Welcome to Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog!
We are a blog and website that teaches pet owners how to take care of your paralyzed dog. This isn’t a medical site, although many of our articles cover the different causes of dog paralysis and their treatments. We’re a resource that explains how to be a skilled caretaker.
Below is a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions pet families want to know. Just scroll down the list and click on the highlighted words for the answer. It will take you to an article written exclusively for this website.
And while you’re exploring, I hope you’ll pop over to read The Lessons. It’s the personal story of my dog, Sophie and the lessons we learned.
If you don’t see your question listed below please send us a message by clicking Contact Us.
– Sharon Seltzer, Sophie’s mom
The two most common conditions that cause paralysis in dogs are: IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) and DM (Degenerative Myelopathy.) The articles below are a good starting point to understand each disease.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions – Daily Care
- My dog just became paralyzed. What do I need when we come home from the hospital?
Answer: Dog’s recovering from a herniated or ruptured disc, surgery or another type of spine injury will probably be on crate rest. That means confinement to a dog crate/cage or small room.
Other important items needed for the daily care of your pet are: orthopedic bed, support harness for lifting and moving, diapers, pee pads, belly band (males), dog wheelchair and boots to protect paws. Our free downloadable guide will help you find all of these products and more: FREE Essential Guide of Products for Paralyzed Dogs.
The Guide is my gift to pet families of newly diagnosed dogs. It lists all of my favorite products that make daily life better for you and your pup.
2. Does my dog need a wheelchair?
Answer: The short answer is yes. But please keep in mind a dog wheelchair is only part of getting your pet mobile again. Wheelchairs are great for exercise, playtime and walks. But dogs should not be left in a cart 24 hours a day.
Here’s our story about Dog Wheelchairs and the Top-Rated Companies.
3. What if I can’t afford a dog wheelchair?
Answer: There are wonderful nonprofit groups that donate or loan wheelchairs to pet families in need.
Click here to read: How To Get A Donated Dog Wheelchair.
4. How do I lift my paralyzed dog?
Answer: A support or lifting harness is a must-have product for a paraplegic pet. It helps you safely move your dog without straining your back.
Click here to read: My 5 Favorite Harnesses For Paralyzed Dogs
And if you have a small dog Click here to read: The Right Way To Lift A Dog With Spine Problems
5. Where do I find dog diapers and other products to keep my dog dry?
Answer: Dog diapers can be confusing. There are disposable diapers, washable diapers, belly bands, suspender outfits and more. To help you decipher dog diapers we’ve covered the topic from head to tail in this article, Taking The Mystery Out Of Doggie Diapers.
6. How do I to learn to express my dog’s bladder?
Answer: Learning how to express your dog’s bladder is one of the best ways to keep your dog healthy and prevent Urinary Tract Infections and Urinary Retention. We’ve put together a video so you can learn the most popular techniques. Video: How To Express An Incontinent Dog’s Bladder
7. My dog has recurring Urinary Tract Infections. What should I do?
Answer: Paralyzed dogs are prone to recurring UTI’s. Here’s a story that explains why this happens and how you can test for UTI’s at home.
Click here for: Tips To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
8. How do I treat urine scald?
Answer: Urine scald is a common problem for paralyzed dogs who are incontinent. This articles explains urine scald, why paralyzed dogs are prone to it, and how to treat and prevent it.
9. How do I treat and prevent pressure sores (bed sores) and hygromas?
Answer: Pressure sores and hygromas are common, especially for paraplegic pups who are sedentary.
We’ve got lots of information for you in this story: Why Paralyzed Dogs Get Pressure Sores and Hygromas.
FAQ – Medical tests, treatments and more
10. My dog is scheduled to see a veterinary neurologist. What should I expect?
Answer: A visit to a veterinary neurologist can be pricey. But this specialist will work to determine the cause of your pet’s paralysis and develop a plan for their medical care. The article below explains what you can expect from the exam, the diagnostic tests and the follow up care.
11. What should I know before my dog has an MRI?
Answer: Here’s one of our most popular posts about these common diagnostic tests: MRI, CAT scan, Ultrasound and X-rays.
12. What are the benefits of physical therapy? What exercises can I do at-home with my pet?
Answer: There are many easy to learn rehab exercises you can do at home with your dog.
Check with your veterinarian first and then read: 6 Rehab Exercises Your Handicapped Dog Can Do At Home.
13. What are the benefits of water therapy?
Answer: Hydrotherapy can be very beneficial for dogs with hind end weakness or paralysis.
14. Should my paralyzed dog have laser therapy?
Answer: Here are the facts about laser therapy for pets with paralysis and hind end weakness.
15. Should my paralyzed dog have acupuncture?
Answer: We’ve answered this popular question with a short quiz.
16. How do I keep my dog safe if I work all day?
Answer: This is a problem lots of pet owners face so we went directly to the source for great solutions.
Click here to read: How To Take Care Of A Paralyzed Dog When You Work Away From Home
17. Are there pet sitters for paralyzed dogs?
Answer: YES, there are qualified pet sitters who are ready to help you. This article will help you find a great sitter in your city.
18. How do I keep my house from smelling like urine?
Answer: The lingering smell of urine doesn’t have to be a problem when you have a disabled dog.
19. How do I find a veterinarian that will work with me and my paralyzed dog?
Answer: Veterinarians have many opinions about life with a disabled pet. This post arms you with questions to ask.
20. How do I know when it’s time to say goodbye?
Answer: This is the hardest question you’ll ever ask, but thankfully a wonderful organization offers you a way to evaluate the situation.