It’s been a huge learning curve for us this past month, and for Daisy too, probably. Last month she was a 4-wheel drive this month only a 2-wheel drive. Somewhere along the line she’s lost the use of her back legs, but only on dry land.
As soon as we realised she was suffering from degenerative myelopathy we visited a local dog hydro centre where we were lucky enough to find a trained physio who did everything she possibly could to help us.
As we’ve mentioned before, she had a full exercise programme designed to keep her back legs working, and she swam or walked on the underwater treadmill. All this built up the muscles in her back legs, so they are very strong. Her problem is that she can’t control them.
Earlier this month we realised that her days walking unaided were over and so tried her in the wheels that we had ready for her. She wasn’t at all keen and just stood still until we hooked her back legs up behind her in the stirrups. That got her moving, but it also gave us another problem.
With her legs so strong, she paddled when she walked in the cart, rather like when she was swimming. This was causing the stirrups to rub on her legs making them sore and bleeding. We began bandaging her legs before taking her out, but with the constant friction, they weren’t healing.
While looking for a solution, we temporarily reverted to the belly band, made from an old sweatshirt. We first used this with Blitz, who also had this horrible disease.
She loved it and took to it immediately, but for us it was exhausting.
The next logical step was to combine the wheels with the belly band. In order to do so, the whole cart had to be re-engineered with new aluminium rods!
We finally managed to come up with a solution that gave her (and us) the best of both worlds, and although it may not look very elegant, she is one happy bunny again. It’s given her back her freedom and independence.
Here she goes…
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