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Discussion Starter #1
Eli went for his recheck at the vet school on Monday. His orthopedist was pleased with how I have worked on his core strength, but both he and I were concerned at how much more his legs bow than Spirit and how much less steady on his feet he is.

Spirit is a lightweight, tall GSD, where Eli was bred to be a "wider, heavier" show GSD. Unfortunately this is now a disadvantage, as his little legs just aren't supporting his body, meaning he can't walk more than about 100 yards before starting to drag his hindlimbs. The result is that Eli gets to go out for walks much less as he is now too heavy for me to carry/sling.

I talked to Eli's orthopedist and he agrees that Eli may never be as good as Spirit is. We have thus decided that we will have my angel Bonnie's wheelchair modified for Eli, so that he can get out and about more. In the house and yard he'll be walking on his own hopefully encouraging him to keep walking and build strength - the thing I fear is that in using a wheelchair, Eli will lose the drive to walk as well as the core strength needed to keep himself upright.

World beware ... Eli on wheels!!
 

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Sorry to hear that Joanne... I was thrilled to see him up and running around in the last video you posted.

Maybe just using the wheelchair for outings will help keep him on his feet at home. Can't wait to see pictures of that though. I bet he's going to be extra cute in his new ride
 

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No need to worry, Joanne. I bet Eli will do just fine with his new wheels. If anything, I bet he will be much happier with his new found mobility. That wheelchair will help keep him strong, build endurance, and most importantly, he will enjoy life more.

I had a dog in a wheelchair a couple years ago and it was the absolute best thing that ever happened to her after she could no longer walk. She was so happy again!

Be sure to post some pictures & keep us updated!
 

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I am not sure about the cart you will use but the one ozy had allowed him to still use his hind legs while he still could. that way he could keep up his muscle mass as best he could. Also, consider swimming! it is a great way for dogs with hind end issues to have fun and use those muscles!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Eli's cart will be from Doggon - I deliberately chose a manufacturer whose carts have neoprene saddles so the dog can still walk, the cart just supporting their legs.

I would love to take Spirit and Eli swimming - unfortunately they can't swim, as I found out the hard way last year. Spirit fell in my neighbours pool and with her rigid legs and limited range of motion she could only thrash with her front legs, her hindlegs acting like an anchor. I had to dive in after her and pull her out - frightening for us both.
 

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Originally Posted By: SpiritsmamEli's cart will be from Doggon.....
Good choice! I went with them for my Dunja's cart and they were wonderful people to work with!! Continued support after the purchase and her chair held up great! I did have to order a new set of clips for her saddle because the other ones wore out and wouldn't stay hooked after she couldn't use her legs at all anymore.

If you need to take Eli anywhere (traveling, vacations, day trips) and don't have room in your car/truck/van, a bike rack works nicely! I have a bike carrier that holds 4 bikes that hooks on my trailer hitch and it worked like a charm! Just bungee cord the sucker down and you're good to go!




Here's my girlie in her chair, smiling:
 

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where we took ozy (a rehab place) we put a life jacket on him to help support him and they had safety ropes on him just in case. Luckily he was a good swimmer before, so he adjusted pretty well to it.
good luck with the cart. I loved ours (from eddie's wheels). ozy loved it too.
 

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WRT to swimming - not sure if it would be helpful to Spirit, but our neighbours - whose dogs both have hip issues - bought them life preservers that allow them to exercise their legs in the water but still be supported.

dd
 

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Do hope the cart helps Eli!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Problem with Spirit and Eli is that their legs are stuck in extension and they walk by bunny hopping. The most comfortable place for them to hold their legs is almost parallel to their bodies, which makes them very "butt heavy". I may try Bonnie's old life jacket on Spirit, but am not holding out much hope of anything more than her sinking like the Titanic!! ;-)
 
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