A dog in a wheelchair.

Just like people, pets sometimes become or are born paralyzed for various medical reasons. Also just like with paralyzed people, Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates realizes that a paralyzed pet can live a long and fulfilling life. Read on to learn more. 

Special Needs of a Paralyzed Pet

A pet is considered paralyzed when it is unable to move one or more of their limbs voluntarily. Most often the rear limbs are affected, but the front limbs can be as well. Oftentimes when the rear limbs are paralyzed, bladder and bowel control will be compromised as well. 

There are many different causes of paralysis in pets. Some of the more commonly seen include:

  • A congenital problem (birth defect)
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Traumatic spinal injury
  • Tumors
  • Inflammation such as meningitis

A paralyzed pet does require special care. They often need help going to the bathroom and may need to be cleaned frequently. They also may need help grooming themselves.

Paralyzed pets often have impaired mobility and will need help getting from place to place. They may also develop sores or other wounds from trying to drag themselves.

If there is an underlying ongoing medical reason for the paralysis, that condition may need to be managed as well. 

Giving Your Pet the Best Life

So if you have a special needs paralyzed pet, how can you make sure that you are giving them the best life possible? It takes a little extra work, but it is so worth it. 

  • Potty problems—You may need to learn how to express your pet’s bladder to help prevent soiling and encourage full bladder emptying. This can prevent problems like urinary tract infections and skin irritation. You will also need to pay close attention to bowel movements to be sure that your pet is healthy. 
  • Managing mobility—Keeping your pet at a healthy body weight will help them (and you to help them) get around better. You can also help your pet get around with special harnesses or even a specially-fitted wheelchair. 
  • Physical therapy—A pet rehabilitation specialist can help to recommend exercises, stretches, and massage techniques to help keep your special friend’s joints and muscles healthy.
  • Enrich, enrich, enrich—Paralyzed pets may need some extra help keeping their mind engaged. Interactive toys and puzzles, outings, and games like finding a hidden treat can help your pet to stay sharp and strengthen the human-animal bond at the same time.

Please always remember that we are always on your team when it comes to helping you and your pets, paralyzed or not. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for anything you might need.