Helping A Brain-Damaged Puppy With A Front Wheel Dog Wheelchair

Sugar, a nine month shih-tzu, went in to be spayed and ended up brain damaged, possibly from too much anesthesia. As a result, she has head tremors and has lost all core stength. When her family carried her in to meet us for her cart evaluation and measurement, we were touched by her joyful spirit and saddened at her complex disabilities.

When supported by a sling, her front legs stretched out beneath her body, and her rear legs splayed out wide from her hips. However, her family had not given up on her and had been doing all kinds of home care, including massage, passive range of motion and walking her with slings. Amazingly, when supported, she made an effort to use her rear legs.

We decided to build her a front wheel cart, since it seemed that her forelimbs were less mobile, and provide her with detachable rear training wheels to help relearn balance and give her just enough support to gain strength and proprioception .

We never expected her take off like the puppy she is, at least not as fast as she did, when she came to try out her custom cart. Like many dogs who've been down for a while, Sugar enjoyed just standing up again, and that's what she did for the first five minutes. A gentle push was all she needed to realize that she could move in this cart. Here she is: