Training Veterinary Professionals at STAAR 2017

We offer free on-site training at Eddie’s Wheels to any veterinary professional who has an interest in learning how to evaluate, measure and fit pets for wheelchairs.

As Eddie and I work towards passing the company on to our daughter, Chris, to run, we have a renewed interest in educating the veterinary community about how wheelchairs improve the lives of pets with disabilities.  We offer free  training at our facililties to any veterinary professional  who has an interest in learning how to evaluate pets for wheels, and  how to measure and fit them in a cart.

Every year I offer a class to vet techs at our local community college.  I also give a lecture at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine (at Tufts) and at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston, which is the largest veterinary hospital in New England.  This past year we also gave trainings for a nominal fee in Chicago for over 30 veterinarians, and trained the staffs at the University of Minnesota and at Michigan State University Animal Rehab Departments about our wheelchairs.   This spring (2017), we taught a course at the STAAR Conference for rehab practitioners who wish become experts in using and adjusting our products.

For the first hour of our workshop at STAAR, Chris Grinnell taught the finer points of evaluating and measuring dogs for wheelchairs.  Then she showed everyone how to make the normal, simple adjustments that happen at the initial fitting of animals in their carts.  

The second hour of the class featured Stella, a 14 year golden-doodle who suffered quadriplegia following an FCE over a year ago.  Stella came in on a child's wagon.  We placed her in our adjustable therapy stand to evaluate and measure her.  She was thrilled to be standing up on all fours again, and showed that she was neurologically intact in three of her four legs.  Erika McElwey of Change Your Range, evaluated her strengths and weaknesses while Chris adjusted the clinic quad cart for her.  Finally, she took a walk in the quad cart to the applause of the students.  

 This June, we are offering a lecture and training at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School.  

We find that many veterinary professionals are misinformed about wheelchairs for animals.  Some of the most misconceptions are:

  • Big dogs don't use wheelchairs.  In fact, we've put dogs up to  200 lbs in rear wheel and front wheel carts.
  • Three-legged dogs don't need wheelchairs - they get along fine on three legs.....But what about the rear amputees with knee problems and the front leg amputees with hyper-extended carpal ligaments due to overstressing the remaining legs? We are the inventor of front wheel carts, and routinely put front leg amputees in carts before their remaining front leg is damaged from over-use.  
  • Dogs get lazy in wheelchairs - put a dog in wheelchair and he'll never walk again.  This is simply a myth - no dog with the ability to walk again prefers to use a wheelchair, however, some dogs may need some gait-retraining by a canine rehab person to re-pattern formerly paralyzed rear legs.  Many dogs rehabilitate in wheelchairs.   

Are you a vet, vet tech or rehab professional and interested in being trained?  Contact us and we'll see what we can arrange!