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Mobility Aids

APPOINTMENT
As you pet ages their mobility often declines. This is generally more obvious in dogs than in cats as dogs might limp or struggle when they walk whereas cats will simply sleep more and move less to avoid the pain.

As a part of your pet’s pain and mobility management plan we may suggest some of the following mobility aids. By adding in some of the following tools it can make a considerable difference to your pets mobility.

Toe Grips

Dr. Julie Buzby developed Toe Grips to help our senior dogs who struggle with gripping slippery floors as they age. Just as falls can be a significant risk to geriatric humans, they too can be dangerous to our geriatric dogs.

Toe grips simply slip over your dog’s nails and provide them with a grip on slippery tiles, vinyl, floorboards or laminate. You can find out more information about how toe grips work and how they are applied here. We are stockists of Toe Grips and are able to fit them for you during your pet’s appointment.

Support Harnesses
When a senior pet experiences a disease which affects their spinal cord/spinal nerves or they struggle with severe hip and limb pain they can benefit from the additional support that a specially designed support harness can provide. It can help to make trips outside to the toilet easier and can provide assistance when they are going up and down the stairs. It has the added benefit of reducing strain to your back by being specifically designed.

We can help make recommendations for the basic mobility harnesses however for more specific joint support harnesses we will refer you to one of our veterinary physiotherapists who can not only make the correct recommendations for yr u pet and fit the harnesses but will also be able to provide you with exercises to help improve mobility.

Ramps and Steps

Ramps and small steps can be particularly helpful for dogs and cats who struggle to get up onto the bed or couch but still desperately want to be where they have always slept. It is important to ensure any ramps or steps have a non-slip surface, that they are not too steep, that the steps aren’t too big and that they are a safe width to ensure your elderly pet does not fall.

At first your pet may be unsure of the new stairs or ramp. Be patient and use treats, positive reinforcement and pheromones to help convince them to utilise their new mobility aid. Forcing them to go up an down the ramps or steps will only cause them to fear them and may result in a fall if they panic.

Ramps can also make getting in and out of high cars easier for large dogs who can be difficult to lift. The same guidelines above apply to car ramps.

PawFriction
Like Toe Grips, Paw Friction is designed to reduce slipping by the application of a sticky glue and sand to the bottom of the foot pads. Paw friction works well for patients who are not overly active, but for those dogs who still love going for a walk, it does wear off rather quickly. More information regarding Paw Friction can be found here.
Wheelchairs or Carts
There are some neurological conditions where pet wheel chairs or carts can be considered. They can help pets regain mobility when their hind legs are failing them. It is good to be aware that pets should not be left unsupervised in their wheel chair/cart and that the wheel chair or cart is only going to be one part of their management.
Elevated Food and Water Bowls
As many senior pets are affected by arthritis, the simple act of raising their food and water bowl so they do not have to bend down to eat or drink can dramatically improve their ability to eat and drink. This is something I recommend for all dogs and cats who have neck pain, spinal pain or forelimb and hind limb pain (basically nearly all geriatrics).

My old boy Jack had arthritis in his elbows and some hip pain. There was a considerable improvement in how much easier Jack found it to eat when I elevated his food bowls. He would no longer struggle to get his head down the level of the food bowl, slip on his front feet and generally appear uncomfortable when eating.

Making a difference when it matters the most

Hours

Monday – Sunday: By Appointment
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