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Thinking Outside the Box: Unique Ways to Help a Handicapped Pet

After working with Vets and Rehab Specialists for over 20 years, we’ve picked up a few unique ways to help animals. Here are a few of our favorite tricks and tips for unconventional uses for a few of our Walkin’ Pets products:

Nemo: A Puppy with a Missing Paw

After a difficult birth, Nemo, a German Shepherd puppy was born without a back paw. Left with one back leg inches shorter than his other three legs. His owners became concerned that he’d struggle to get around and Nemo wouldn’t be able to keep up with their other dogs. They needed to find a way to support and protect his shorter leg.

As a growing pup, he would quickly outgrow a custom prosthetic. Nemo needed something that would protect his back leg and adjust as he grew. Using the a dog boot as a base, the Walkin’ Pets team cut and stacked adhesive backed foam to fit inside Nemo’s boot. Building a durable base for Nemo to stand on. As Nemo grows up, the boot will be adjusted to grow with him. His parents can remove foam from the boot as needed, allowing for the adjustability he would not have had with a custom orthotic.

Other Unconventional Uses for a Dog Boot:

  • Protect a bandaged leg or cast from the elements
  • To cover a prosthetic leg
  • For dogs that drag their back paws: wear the boot upside down, with the rubber sole on top of the foot for traction and extra durability.

A Splint for a Goat

goat splint

After suffering a knee tendon injury, Jimmy’s owner needed to find a way to support and protect his knee joint. Most knee braces are expensive. And either custom built or made to fit a dog’s anatomy. Jimmy’s mom and his Vet struggled to find a solution that would work. Unsure what to do next, they called Walkin’ Pets for some advice.

Although, goats frequently use the Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair, fitting a goat for a splint was a new challenge. Walkin’ Pets worked closely with Jimmy’s Vet to determine what he needed for support; it was decided to use a Carpal Splint. Although, designed to support the back of a dog’s front leg, by turning the splint backwards and placed over the front of Jimmy’s knee.

Increasing the Support of a Soft Leg Wrap

Dog wraps for leg support

Splints are designed to provide rigid leg support. Protecting a pet’s leg and joint. A neoprene wrap is used when lighter support is needed. But what do you do if your dog needs both their range of motion and a firmer support?

A great (and simple!) solution is to build up the support of a Hock or Wrist Hugger. Cut thin strips of an adhesive backed foam and place on either side of where the joint sits while wearing the wrap. Proper support is important, and your Vet or Rehab Specialist can help make sure placement is correct. The best part is, as your pet heals you can remove the foam supports and use the Hugger on its own.

Do you have an interesting tip or trick? Share in the comments below!

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