When I found out Wrangler had DM I didn’t really know what to expect, I couldn’t find any websites that were very informative, and I didn’t really get any good information from my vet either. I took Wrangler to the vet a few times for his sore left leg before I found some information online and then took Wrangler back to ask if that could be what was wrong. The vet agreed and when I asked him how long he had, he said every day I had with Wrangler was a good day. That was a year ago and the whole thing seemed pretty grim.
Finding a cart was the next obstacle I had to deal with. I tried to find somewhere in Canada or even better Vancouver where I could get a cart but I couldn’t find anything. I ended up going with the Standard Rear Wheel Cart from Eddie’s wheels, a company out of the states. I thought maybe I could buy Wrangler a couple extra months and then I would need to put him down. I didn’t realize the disease would spread into the front end, I just assumed he would become incontinent and depressed and that would be it.
I know now that it’s a much slower process where every day becomes a little bit more difficult and new problems slowly start to appear. Front end weakness happens the same way. Wrangler started by taking bigger front steps, kinda like he was galloping. Then he he seemed to move slower, and then I had to start using a leash with him on our walks to give him an extra pull. Everyday it’s a little bit harder to use his cart. Knowing all this I should have gotten Wrangler the variable axle cart which can be adjusted to shift the weight off the front end and make it easier for him to pull his weight. You can upgrade the rear axle cart for $175 plus shipping but I highly advise getting the variable axle right from the beginning. I also think it’s cheaper if you buy it first rather than buying the standard axle and upgrading. I’m looking into upgrading Wrangler’s cart now.
Here is more info from the Eddies Wheels website:
The variable axle cart has a removable step-in saddle cart (can be reversed to seat females or males). This cart fully supports the rear, with or without stirrups, and has adjustable weight bearing capability for dogs weak or weakening in the forelimbs. Adjusting the balance is done by simply screwing the axle bolt into another position to move the wheels.
The full counterbalance position, with the wheels all the way toward the center of the cart, will take up to 40% of the dog’s weight off the front legs.
As the wheel is shifted further back, the dog bears a larger percentage of its own weight on his front legs. At the standard position, about 5% of the dog’s weight is added to front legs, making the cart track perfectly with the dog’s forward motion.
Appropriate for dogs recovering strength in the forelimbs following surgery or FCE, or dogs with degenerative myelopathy, taking the place of upgrades.
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