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Living with a Handicapped Pet

image of a pug in a wheelchair.

Strokes, vision problems, arthritis and other conditions don't just affect people. Pets also develop serious health problems that change their lives. Fortunately, you can help your handicapped pet enjoy a comfortable, happy life by making a few modifications to your home.

Make Your Home Accessible

Many diseases, conditions and injuries make it difficult for your dog or cat to navigate your home. Make life easier for your pet by following these tips:

Use Non-Slip Surfaces. A fall can be devastating to a pet that already has a disability. Prevent falls on stairs by adding non-slip treads to the steps. Secure area rugs with double-sided tape or heavy furniture to prevent falls. If you have slippery, glossy floors, consider buying non-slip booties for your pet.

Take Advantage of Textures. A change in texture can provide valuable clues to a blind or visually impaired pet. Rough carpeting placed above and below staircases offers a warning sign, while a rug under your pet's bed helps your dog or cat find a favorite resting place easily.

Choose Easy-to-Access Beds and Litter Boxes. When have pets have mobility or joint issues, it can be very difficult for them to raise their legs high enough to step into beds and litter boxes. Choose products that offer low sides instead. A large floor pillow is a good substitute for a pet bed, as long as it offers a washable cover. If balance is an issue, choose a bed with a low front and high sides. The high sides will support your pet and prevent it from falling out of the bed.

Raise Food Bowls. A raised feeding station makes eating easier for pets with orthopedic or neurological conditions.

Add Ramps and Steps: Arthritis, hip dysplasia, stroke and neurological diseases can make it difficult for pets to jump on couches or beds. If your pet is used to sleeping with you, the change can be difficult for both of you. Ramps and steps are fairly inexpensive and allow pets to easily access their favorite resting spots.

Use Training Pads. There are bound to be a few bathroom accidents if your pet has a disability. Put a puppy pad near the door in case your dog can't quite make it to the backyard in time. Adding a pad next to your cat's litter box can also be helpful if your pet sometimes overshoots the box when defecating or urinating.

Consider a Mobility Cart: Strokes and other conditions can paralyze your pet's hind legs, making life very difficult. Although some pets become very adept at moving by dragging their hind legs behind them, scooting can cause sores on the skin. Two-wheeled carts restore your pet's mobility. The lower part of your pet's body rests on the cart, while his or her front legs are free. Carts are specially designed to allow your pet to urinate or defecate while attached to the cart.

Keep Pathways Clear. It's important to keep floors clear of clutter, particularly if your pet is blind or has some degree of vision loss. Even small objects can throw off your pet's balance.

Pet-Proof Your Home and Yard. Bumping into the sharp edge of a coffee table can injure your pet. Get down on your hands and knees and look for potential hazards. Use baby gates to prevent your dog or cat from falling down the stairs, and pad sharp edges of furniture to prevent injuries. It's just as important to ensure that your yard is free of tripping hazards. Ask your children to pick up and put away toys and remove gardening and other supplies promptly.

Buy New Toys: Visually impaired pets can find toys easily if they make some noise. When each toy produces a different sound, it will easier for your pet to differentiate between them.

Regular veterinary care is important for all pets but is particularly important for handicapped pets. If you're concerned about your pet's health or need a little help managing a disability, call us to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

My Pet: Living with Disabled Cats & Dogs

http://www.mypet.com/basic-pet-care/living-with-disabled-pets.aspx

Catster: 7 Ways to Adapt Your Home for Your Disabled Cat

http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/disabled-cat-home-accessible

Pet Education: Living with a Blind Dog

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2085&aid=3620

Animal Wellness Magazine: 12 Tips for Paralyzed Animals

https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/12-tips-paralyzed-animals/

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Monday:

10:30 am-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

10:30 am-5:30 pm

Wednesday:

10:30 am-5:30 pm

Thursday:

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  • "Roxy and i loved our experience with Clinton hill, and our doctor was amazing! She explained everything and answered all my questions. I highly recommend this vet clinic!"
    Amanda Hodge
  • "Always excellent professional care. Staff are empathetic towards pets and pet parents. I highly recommend this clinic. My dogs have been under care there for the past eight years."
    Frances Haile
  • "I wish there was a way to give 10 stars. It was the absolute best experience for us and our cats. The guy it the front desk I’m so sorry I forgot your name but he was extremely patient, thorough and took the time to answer every question we had. The doctor was caring and extremely knowledgeable about cats. It was the best experience 10 stars!"
    Brian Bee
  • "This place specializes in creating great relationships with owners and pets. I've been with Dr. Pamela Dendtler since 2003 ! Awesome care and service."
    Diedre Yvonne Gary
  • "We have trusted Dr. Dentler and company with three dogs so far, all of them beloved family members, and time after time she has proven to be extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and intuitive. She has diagnosed tricky conditions other vets have missed, and recently my dog went through surgery with her team... we were treated with such care and concern. All the staff in this office, from LJ at the front desk to the vet techs who help administer care, have treated us-- and our animals-- with respect and dedication. Strongly recommend this place, i have not met a smarter vet in this city."
    KC G
  • "To Dr Dendtler and Staff, I cant begin to tell you how impressed I am with the loving care you have given to my cat Baxter, before and after the much needed surgery. Baxter is so pleased with the outcome; he goes around purring all day."
    Thanks again. -Estelle P.
  • "Dear Pamella, We want to thank all of you so much, not only for the loving care and consideration you showed us last Thursday when we had to say goodbye to Gericho but also for all the years of check-ups and other crisis' that we went through with him. We know it was your good efforts that allowed him to live a full and vigorous 16 years that gave us so much pleasure. Please know that we have always found your staff to be so courteous and helpful all these years."
    Thank you. -Cathy W.
  • "Dear Dr. Dendtler, You were very thorough and caring in treating Buddy. You explained clearly how to protect my dog. I have been to many clinics but you are the best. You were very professional and compassionate. Buddy and I are very grateful. Thanks ever so much to you and your staff."
    John L.
  • "Hi Dr Dendtler, Thank you so very much for fixing my eye. I can see clearly now…I can see all obstacles in my way! Love Vernell R"
    Vernell R.

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