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Progressive Mobility Loss in Dogs

As dogs age their mobility and activity levels can change. But how do your care for a dog who’s slowly losing their mobility. Progressive mobility loss and degenerative mobility conditions impact a dog’s ability to walk, run, and do all of their favorite activities. But how does a pet parent adapt to fit their dog’s changing mobility need?

What is Progressive Mobility Loss?

Progressive mobility loss is a condition or disease that worsens and changes over the course of a dog’s diagnosis. Most progressive condition begin with mobility loss in the back legs and travels up the spine towards the head. Eventually causing mobility loss in the dog’s front legs as well.

Degenerative Mobility Conditions

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

DM is the most common cause of progressive mobility loss. Although it impacts many different breeds it occurs most often in German Shepherds. Often starting with a dog scrapping their nails or “knuckling” their back paws, the disease causes hind leg weakness and paralysis that eventually impacts all limbs. An incurable disease that


Although not a “mobility condition”, as canine cancer spreads it can impact a dog’s strength, stamina and ability to walk. Cancerous tumors can press against nerves or develop in bone both of of which can limit or restrict movement. The speed in which the cancer spreads can vary. But dog’s may show signs of weakness and even paralysis as it spreads.

Mobility Change in Senior Dogs

As dog’s age old injuries, arthritic joints and painful hips can all lead to a natural slowing down and changes in their mobility. Every dog ages differently and the level of support they need will vary as well. Senior dogs may struggle on the stairs or need a hand into the car. While other dog’s may struggle to stand and be unable to support their own weight.

Support Your Dog’s Changing Mobility Needs

When dealing with a progressive mobility disease choose support that can change and adapt as your pet’s needs change and worsen. The level of support in the Walkin’ Lift Combo Harness changes with a dog’s changing mobility needs. The only harness system that can be combined with a dog wheelchair to help keep your dog active regardless of their mobility loss.

Support Your Dog Every Step of the Way

  1. Rear Support – support weak hind legs and give dog’s a boost in their rear. Perfect for larger dogs just beginning to lose strength in their back legs.
  2. Both Front and Rear Support – as front legs begin to weaken, stabilize and support the front legs by adding the Front Buddy Up Harness.
  3. Attaches to a Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair – as additional support is needed, the combo harness is fully compatible with the Walkin’ Wheels rear dog wheelchair, giving dog’s their independence.
  4. Attaches to a Full Support Wheelchair – when additional support is needed, convert your dog’s wheelchair into a quad, 4-wheel cart with the Walkin’ Wheels Front Attachment.
Buddy Up Harness progression

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  1. My shepard has lost almost all strength in rear legs . He is still as sharp as a tack mind wise i don’t know what to do. He s a big boy about 120 lbs. What are your suggestions. There is snow in winter where i live. He is 11 yrs old and my friend.

    • Hi Mark – Shepherds adapt extremely well to a life on wheels, most GSD take to their wheelchairs right away! During the winter your dog’s wheels can be switched out for a special ski attachment, even with snow your dog can live a mobile, active life. If you have any questions, please call us at 888-253-0777, we’re happy to help!

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