Front wheel carts for forelimb disabilities

Roosevelts Eddie's Wheels front wheel cart

Roosevelt pops a wheelie to get over obstacles during his off-road run in the woods.

Eddie’s Wheels is the inventor of the front wheel cart – we built our first one twelve years ago for a dog living in rescue who was born with deformed forelimbs. Front wheel carts constitute a significant percentage of our business, as we are the only canine wheelchair company that makes a simple 2-wheeled device that allows dogs to sit, sniff and play in their wheels.    We also adopted a pair of chi-weiners, Willa and Webster, who were born without any front legs a couple of year ago.  These little guys have taught us so much about the finer points of balancing a dog in a front wheel cart, and teaching dogs  how to drive it.

Willa and Webster in their front wheel carts by Eddie's Wheels

Willa sniffs while Webster sits in their front wheel carts.

Front wheel carts are also used by dogs who are missing a front leg due to amputation.  The hopping gait of a three legged dog takes a huge toll on a dog’s body over time.   Tripods can often run more easily than they can walk and turn into sprinters, but as they age, arthritis in the elbow and carpus of the remaining front leg sets in.  The lumbar spine suffers, and the rear legs, having compensated for years, become painful and arthritic as well.  Convincing a young healthy tripod to use a front wheel cart can be a challenge, but once they get used to using the wheels, the long term benefits become obvious.   They actually return to the normal gait of a four legged dog – moving each leg independently and letting the wheels carry a share of the load on the front legs.

Willa and Tank in Eddie's Wheels front wheel cart

Tank, at over 100 lbs., just couldn’t manage on three legs. Notice the square rear yoke to make the cart weightless on his already arthritic hips.

Roosevelt, a border collie with deformed forelimbs – watch his video!

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23 Responses to Front wheel carts for forelimb disabilities

  1. Rene@Tripawds March 16, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    This is a terrific option for arthritic front leggers! Thanks for covering this topic. Stay tuned for our blog post about wheelchairs and Tripawds, coming soon (promise!).

  2. Stacey May 3, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    My tiny girl has terrible front legs, they bow out bad and at 11 she has bad athritis now. I didnt know a front wheel cart was even possible until I saw the news article. My vet said to just give her Rimadyl for pain until her kidneys fail from the meds and then put her down. I was given no hope even though she still has so much life in her…you give me hope. I am in Maine and I will be down to see you ASAP as she has trouble even taking the stance she needs to use the bathroom. Thank you so much for all you do.

    • leslie May 4, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      It sounds like we’ll be able to make a big difference in her life. Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Jeanie August 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      I surely wish I had known about these carts when my first male Samoyed. He suffered so much from arthritis an his front legs. You’ll never regret getting wheels for him. No regrets!

  3. susan steele May 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    We have a 2 year old retriever with a missing front limb. He weights about 75 lbs. Do you have wheels for him?

    • leslie June 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

      We can build him wheels – just take his measurements and submit an order.

  4. Janet McSwain June 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    We recently rescued a young Malinois born without a right front leg. I am concerned about the health of his remaining leg as well. He is probably about 4 months old, and has the most wonderful disposition. But he can’t seem to support himself very well at all on the front leg. Do we need to wait until he is full grown to get him fitted for wheels? We are a non-profit rescue and have limited resources.

    What do front wheels generally cost?

  5. shawn eckols August 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Poncho is is a wonderful healthy donkey except for right front elbow that is fused.
    his weight is around 500#. Can you help?

    Shawn Eckols

    • leslie August 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

      We have a 400 lb weight limit, based on our technology and the kind of metal we work with….so unfortunately, we cannot help your donkey.

  6. Mille September 1, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    I love your site.
    I have a dachshund puppy with only one front leg (and the paw on that leg is malformed)..What
    would a wheelchair cost (approx.)?
    Thank you.

    • leslie September 4, 2012 at 11:14 am #

      A front wheel cart would cost around $400.00 – wait til he’s 6 months old and mostly full-grown before ordering.

  7. Mille September 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    I really want to order a wheelchair for my Dachshund puppy (1 month old) if it´s possible? One front leg missing, the other front leg malformed. My heart is breaking when I see her just lying there and her sisters running about.
    Is it a little bit adjustable for her to grow?. She could then use it until she is too big for it and then I will order a bigger one when she is more than 6 months. Or is it unrealistic and better to wait 5 months?
    How long does it take from ordering the wheels – till the wheels arrive in Denmark?
    Thank you.

  8. Lynne December 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m excited to have found your site. Our American Bulldog/St. Bernard just had a freak accident a couple of days ago that will cause him to lose his front leg (too badly broken at the elbow joint to respond well to surgery). We were encourage to put him down because being three-legged is so hard on a large breed (he is 120lbs). He is only 4 and is very athletic since he runs with the other dogs on our 47 acres. We decided to give it a try and go ahead and amputate the leg. Now after finding your site, I see that he will hopefully be able to run again with us down to the horse pasture and back. He is in surgery as I write this – when he gets home we will start measuring him and be contacting you. :)

  9. Elsa December 31, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Hi, I was happy to have found your website.
    I have an 8 year old chihuahua with Carpal Hyperextension and her front legs are pretty much gone… she is not able to walk and have very weak back legs due to the lack of excercise.
    So, the vet said there’s not much she can do for her as the surgery to fix her legs will be extremely costly and no guarantee it will be succesful. So, the other option is to get her a cart…I am thinking she will need a 4 wheels cart since her back legs are also weak.
    Please let me know how much would it cost and the options you have for my little girl.


    • leslie January 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

      WE can do that – 4 wheel walker will support her entire body and take the stress and strain off her front legs. It will cost less than $500.00

  10. Skye Doggett April 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    We have a 15 month old Alaskan Malamute, who had a front leg amputated at 6 months due to a birth defect. He weighs around 100 lbs, what would the cost be? This would be awesome for Tres!

    • leslie April 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

      We would need to see all his measurements before I can give you a quote, but it would start at $590.00 – with surcharges for extra large wheels.

  11. leslie April 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Yes, I’d love to help your newfie. It probably will entail building a couple of carts as she grows. We’ve done Newfies, Saints and Great Pyr’s in front wheel carts, so size is not an impediment. Call us at 1-888-211-2700.

  12. leslie May 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    A front wheel cart for a 41 lb. dog would be around $545.00 plus shipping. We make many front wheel carts for amputees. Bulldogs are so front heavy – I’m sure it would help her.

  13. Ekup June 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    I have a 6 month old lion… can you custom made me a wheel for his front legs…. his front legs where amputated due to birth defects.. it would be helpful…. thank you…

    • leslie June 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

      I don’t think a lion would tolerate a set of wheels.

  14. Carly July 22, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Last week I adopted an older chihuahua dog from my local kill shelter. He is around 8lbs. He has a severely deformed left front leg (he is missing his radius) and the leg is not usable. Can he have a front wheel cart or will his deformed leg be an issue? He has a shoulder, humerus and a paw. I would greatly appreciate your advise as well as an approximate cost.
    Thank you! You do great work!

    • leslie August 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

      We would need to see what the deformity looks like. Sometimes it’s in the dog’s best interest for a deformed leg to be amputated and sometimes we can just build a cart around the deformity. The cost of a front wheel cart for him would be around $425.00.