Unfortunately, there are different reasons why a dog can be handicapped: deaf and/or visually impaired dog, paralysis of the limbs, epilepsy, dog with dysplasia, etc.
A dog can be handicapped from birth, or it can become handicapped during its life due to an accident. This kind of experience can be very difficult to live with on a daily basis and it requires an organization of the house and the outings so that the owner/dog duo can be fulfilled.
BREEDS OF DOGS
Today there are more than 300 recognized dog breeds in the world. Unfortunately, these dogs, by dint of regular genetic modifications, come to be affected by diseases that are transmissible from generation to generation.
It would be a lie to tell you that no dog breed is affected by at least one genetic disease. The German shepherd is the champion of dysplasia, the breeds allowing the so-called “merle” coat see white and therefore deaf dogs appear (double merle), the Dobermann can easily develop heart problems, etc. The list is unfortunately long.
In order to avoid potential unpleasant surprises, it is indeed advised to select your kennel seriously. You can of course have a puppy with a lameness even if there is no dysplasia since several generations on the parents and grandparents, but it remains rare and the selection and the reliability of the tests remain a guarantee of safety.
You can see the tests done on the breeding stock via Lof Select. This site references the dog’s record of achievement, as well as the tests that have been done. No cheating possible!
Also, it is possible, even if it represents some expenses, to make tests once your dog at home. You will then be sure of his health in case your dog comes from a place where tests are not done. These costs can be between 50 and 250 euros depending on what you want to check: X-rays of the hips, or a DNA test to check for degenerative diseases for example.
LIVING WITH A DISABLED DOG ON A DAILY BASIS
ADAPTING YOUR DAILY LIFE
Whatever your dog’s handicap, you will have to adapt and organize your daily life so that life becomes simple for everyone. It is not always easy to harmonize, as much for the owner who can be helpless in front of his dog, as for the dog who finds himself limited in his movements and in his life in general.
The deaf and/or visually impaired dog
Deaf and visually impaired dogs can be deaf or visually impaired because of genetics or because of an accident. These dogs can live a normal life, contrary to what one might think. You will need to organize your outings with a deaf dog so that he does not wander too far and that he is attentive to you, despite the distractions. A blind dog will develop other abilities than a normal dog, such as feeling the vibrations of the ground when someone walks or descends a staircase.
We have written this article about deaf dogs if you would like more information about them.
LIVING WITH A DISABLED DOG IN EVERYDAY LIFE
The cart for paralyzed or amputated dogs
Taking care of a paralyzed dog who has no motor skills can be complicated to manage, but there are now carts that allow these dogs to move around quite normally, and even go for walks and have a real dog’s life! You can find on the internet carts adapted to the dog or created to measure so that it is as comfortable as possible.You can also invest in a custom-made harness that will allow your dog to relieve himself or get into a car or move around without you having to carry him, creating back problems. Be aware that, even if the situation is urgent, your dog must perceive these tools in a positive way because he will be confronted with them daily. So be gentle and patient with him so that it becomes commonplace and pleasant.
Car RampEven for dogs without disabilities, a ramp to help get into your vehicle can be very practical. You can also place one in your home to help your dog get on the bed or couch (if you’re okay with that of course).There are many ramps available on the internet today to make your life easier. There are many ramps available on the internet nowadays to make your life easier. However, be careful with some points before buying one: – The weight supported by the ramp – The dimensions so that your dog does not feel too cramped on it – The anti-slip side that must be present on it so that the dog does not slip and get scared
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can make one yourself.
Have a comfortable bed
Even if your dog is not handicapped, I advise you to select the right bed for your dog so that he can have a good sleep. Today, there are orthopedic beds that protect your dog’s joints and therefore his health. To ensure the quality of your dog’s bedding, be careful with the foam inside. If it collapses quickly after a few uses, the product may not be of the best quality, and a removable bed may also be a good option for easy washing in case of accidents.
LIVING WITH A DISABLED DOG ON A DAILY BASIS
Living with a dog costs money, but living with a physically or mentally handicapped dog requires more frequent expenses and this represents a budget (variable according to the handicap), which you must be fully aware of. You can also call upon professionals such as canine masseurs, osteopaths, a specialist in Bach flowers, etc.
To conclude, a handicapped dog is an animal that wants to live and that you can take care of in a normal way after a few adjustments.Take advice from your veterinarian who will be able to guide you in the best way to accompany your dog in his daily life.All dogs deserve to live and the handicap in dogs should not be a taboo subject.