Corgis in Peril

I took my 9-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi to the vet today and found that he's having neurological problems concerning his back legs. One leg is feeling nothing and tilts randomly inwards as he walks, the other is pretty minor.

The vet described to me the whole thing with long-backed dogs and piffing disks, then told me that surgery is a long and painful process, and not good considering his age.

I thought, okay. I've had this dog long enough. I'll put him down in the next few months when his back end goes completely.

But the vet freaked out and told me putting him down would be a waste. He's healthy and robust with great bones (no arthritis) and teeth. He's still running around and bringing me toys, demanding food, and all that other good dog stuff.

She told me that my dog is completely eligible for a dog cart.

Now this is my first dog. Dogs (and cats) I've known in the past went the way of Olde Yeller when they lost the ability to walk. I don't know how 'in' or useful these dog carts are, or if they work at all. What the best ones are, how they work. And it hasn't hit me yet the full implication of keeping a dog that can't stand a few months from now.

For now the dog is on anti-inflammatories. So he has a while yet before I make any decisions.

I just need info, links, guidance on where I should go with this.

I'd say you're best off following the vets advice. If the dog can keep on healthy and happy, then it should be done.

He's 9 with no other complications so what, 3 to 6 more years of life? Get him a cart. They don't cost that much and a well designed one avoids any problems when he does his business. Outside of a bit of mild doggy vexation as he gets used to it, and needing help getting up and down stairs not much will change from him being fully healthy.

Though make sure to keep things in repair and such. Otherwise if you thought a dog with a squeaky toy could get irritating...

halfeclipse:
He's 9 with no other complications so what, 3 to 6 more years of life? Get him a cart. They don't cost that much and a well designed one avoids any problems when he does his business. Outside of a bit of mild doggy vexation as he gets used to it, and needing help getting up and down stairs not much will change from him being fully healthy.

Though make sure to keep things in repair and such. Otherwise if you thought a dog with a squeaky toy could get irritating...

I do have minor questions regarding such things.

Is it as simple as leaving the dog tied in a cart all day? Or does he have to be taken in and out of it when inside the house, left to drag himself around on the carpet otherwise. Would he get 'saddle sores' and wear marks on his body from the harness? Will he have to be under constant surveillance for the rest of his life? Would the harness pinch at (and possibly dislocate) his front limbs in any way? It's a lot more to take in than simply getting a cart and attaching a dog.

That and the carts I have seen so far, the ones that are good and functional, are rather pricey.

I think I'm better off just taking him to a mad gaming engineer and having him built into a cyborg corgi with rocket packs for back legs. Alas, Peta would probably be knocking at my door with torches and pitchforks.

Oh, and here's a picture of him for kicks:

image

He was wet and miserable during that photo, btw. Worried of what I may do to him next.

Quaidis:

halfeclipse:
He's 9 with no other complications so what, 3 to 6 more years of life? Get him a cart. They don't cost that much and a well designed one avoids any problems when he does his business. Outside of a bit of mild doggy vexation as he gets used to it, and needing help getting up and down stairs not much will change from him being fully healthy.

Though make sure to keep things in repair and such. Otherwise if you thought a dog with a squeaky toy could get irritating...

I do have minor questions regarding such things.

Is it as simple as leaving the dog tied in a cart all day? Or does he have to be taken in and out of it when inside the house, left to drag himself around on the carpet otherwise. Would he get 'saddle sores' and wear marks on his body from the harness? Will he have to be under constant surveillance for the rest of his life? Would the harness pinch at (and possibly dislocate) his front limbs in any way? It's a lot more to take in than simply getting a cart and attaching a dog.

That and the carts I have seen so far, the ones that are good and functional, are rather pricey.

I think I'm better off just taking him to a mad gaming engineer and having him built into a cyborg corgi with rocket packs for back legs. Alas, Peta would probably be knocking at my door with torches and pitchforks.

Oh, and here's a picture of him for kicks:

image

He was wet and miserable during that photo, btw. Worried of what I may do to him next.

Specific care instructions would be something to ask your vet about. I've known someone who had a dog (German Shepard) with degenerative myelopathy and thus had a cart, however I've never cared for one myself on a long term basis so second hand advice, based of some experiences with a different dog of a different breed. Take it with a grain of salt and all that:

There's obviously some care required, but it's nothing overly severe. Chafing and sores,and other such issues shouldn't be an issue with a good cart properly attached. Still something to keep an eye out for of course. As well you'll want to take him out of it every so often, at night if nothing else. I can't imagine sleeping with a suspended arse is all that comfortable.

The cost shouldn't be that bad (Compared to normal vet costs for surgery and all that anyways.) I've no experience with corgis, but sounds like a common issue with them, so you might be able to find a used cart for sale or donation, and potentially recoup some or all of that cost by selling it again in turn later (Or if you don't need the money, donating it to another needy dog.)

Shouldn't need to be under constant surveillance, unless he's fool enough to try going down steep stairs by himself continually or something else like that. As said he'll need some help, but chances are he'll figure out how to tell you what he needs pretty fast, same as he always has.

 

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