The 90th Western Veterinary Conference was “the place to be seen” on the Las Vegas strip in early March. More than 15,000 veterinary professionals attended the 5-day event to learn the latest in veterinary medicine. Attendees were also treated to a concert by Jewel, an evening of comedy with Kevin Nealon, and a performance by country singer, Darius Rucker. I was there scoping out the best products for paralyzed pets.
This was the 3rd year I attended the conference and once again I was blown away by the innovative products for disabled animals. Paralyzed pets have gone mainstream in the veterinary world.
Here are the best products for paralyzed pets at WVC
I always like to pay homage to K9 Carts because they were the first to develop and build wheelchairs for dogs. My thought was to drop by for a quick hello, but when I saw a chicken in a cart I knew I had to know more.
What I learned about the chicken wheelchair was fascinating. People are adopting a lot of chickens for backyard barns. They want fresh eggs and they want their children to learn about farm animals. Many of these chickens are rescued from factory farms where their beaks and feet are trimmed to keep them calm in the close quarters where they live. Unfortunately, some of them are injured in the process and are unable to walk.
In answer to this need, K9 Carts developed the Avian (Chicken) Wheelchair. It is a lightweight cart that is designed for chickens, ducks and geese. K9 carts made it easy to maneuver so the birds can move around like their able-bodied feathered friends.
K9 Carts also has a new mobility harness for dogs who can’t walk after surgery. Instead of using a towel that can put pressure on organs and joints, the harness evenly distributes a dog’s weight. Veterinary hospitals attending WVC bought the entire inventory of the device.
Just Food For Dogs
This is the world’s first dog kitchen that prepares nutritious, balanced, whole food meals to increase the life span of your dog. (There is a cat kitchen as well) A team of nutritionists and a pet chef developed the recipes that include USDA human grade ingredients. The company has several retail stores in California for doggie takeout. Pet owners who live elsewhere can order meals online that are shipped in frozen vacuum sealed packages. This is not a raw-diet, but wholesome daily cooked meals for pets.
In addition, Just Food For Dogs offers prescription diets for sick dogs and can customize formulas to meet your veterinarian’s specifications.
The recipes for healthy dogs include: Beef & Russet Potato, Chicken & White Rice, Fish & Sweet Potato, and Lamb & Brown Rice. They also have a DIY kit that contains their nutrient-blend. Pet owners add the meat. It makes up to 30lbs of food.
I was fascinated by K Laser’s SMART LASER. This product is light years ahead of the laser therapy Sophie received when she was losing her ability to walk.
Laser therapy is used to treat many more medical conditions than it was in the past. Dogs, cats, horses and rabbits can are treated for: arthritis, back pain, IVDD, muscle pain, inflammation, fractures, and to heal after surgery. It is also used to treat pancreatitis and antibiotic resistant infections like MRSA. Laser therapy is painless and doesn’t cause undue stress to an animal. It uses infrared laser light to speed up the healing process of cells and tissue.
The SMART LASER enables a veterinarian or technician to dial in a specific illness and a preprogrammed treatment sets automatically. K Laser said that approximately 50 percent of the veterinary hospitals in the USA are using laser therapy.
The unique dome shape of this pet carrier/bed drew me to the Sleepypod booth. The lid is made of sturdy BPA-free materials that have been crash-tested, while the bottom is a cozy, soft, washable bed that your pet can use for travel or sleep in every day in your home. It’s a great product for nervous dogs and cats who don’t like being in a traditional pet carrier. I’m sure it would ease the fears of a disabled pet too.
In addition to being made of safety tested materials, the Sleepypod threads through a seat belt to ensure worry-free travels. The pod has won numerous awards from the Center For Pet Safety. They also make a carrier for air travel. You can find Sleepypod beds on Amazon.
Next, I visited the Tripawds booth to say hi to my friends, Jim Nelson, Rene Agredano and their gorgeous German shepherd, Wyatt. They were at WVC to let veterinarians know about their Veterinary Financial Aid Programs. Jim and Rene are the founders of Tripawds, the largest online support group for amputee pets. They started the group when their dog Jerry lost a limb due to cancer. Today they share their life with Wyatt who lost a limb from neglect as a puppy.
In addition to educating pet owners about life with a three-legged animal, Tripawds has 4 financial aid programs. Their goal is for no animal to be euthanized because of financial hardship.
Their programs include:
- Tripawds ASAP (Amputation Surgery Assistance Program) helps families in need of aid due to the unexpected expense of an amputation for their dog or cat.
- Maggie Moo Fund offers reimbursement for certified canine rehabilitation services.
- The Tripawds Gear Fund has free assistive devices for families in need.
- Tripawds Rescue Fund reimburses families when they adopt an amputee pet.
Learn more about these grants at Tripawds.
Phyto Animal Health
Ian Quinn,who is the Chief Executive Officer of Phyto Animal Health, educated me about the health benefits of the supplements his company makes for animals. They are formulated from CBD oil which is a non-GMO all-natural product derived from the hemp plant. CBD oil promotes animal health and well-being.
The Phyto Animal Health story began with a sweet and beautiful Pit bull dog named Dante. The dog developed severe arthritis when he was only 3 years old. Dante was put on a pharmaceutical regimen, but it didn’t help his mobility. It also worsened his allergies. Ian looked for alternatives to help his dog and found CBD oil. Within a very short period of time, Dante was back to his normal activities.
While hemp is a member of the cannabis (marijuana) species of plant, it does not have the active ingredients of marijuana. Ian explained that CBD-infused products are one of the most exciting new developments in pet health.
I hope you enjoyed reading about the best products for paralyzed pets as much as I liked interviewing the innovators who are helping animals.