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