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Caring For Paralyzed Pets


Paralysis in our beloved pets can be a terrifying reality, whether it happens from an accident or simply the wearing down that can come with older age. Our pets, however, are incredibly resilient and can live full and happy lives even when some of their parts don't work very well! Whether young or old, feline or canine, paralysis is not always a cause for pet euthanasia. Many pets can continue with an excellent quality of life. Here are some key suggestions to helping them thrive.

Comfort: Keeping your paralyzed pet comfortable is essential to making sure they lead a quality life. Your pet may have to spend a lot of time in their bed, so investing in a quality orthopedic bed is generally the best route. Look for something with good wash-ability so that you can keep the bed clean. You can also purchase special bedding with waterproof covers in case of accidents. As with bedridden humans, paralyzed pets are also at risk for bedsores, so frequent adjustments will be needed. If your pet is exceptionally energetic, you might also want to consider confining them to a playpen to make sure they don't hurt themselves.

Cleanliness: Keeping your pet clean and tidy will be an important part of taking care of a paralyzed pet. They may require frequent grooming sessions if they are unable to groom themselves. While this may seem daunting at first, daily grooming often becomes a cherished bonding time for people and their pets! Paralyzed pets might also experience difficulty with bathroom issues and will need to be cleaned up promptly should an accident occur.

Enrichment: Your pet still has the same basic needs for enrichment as any other pet. They will want to play, get fresh air, cuddle, and do all of the things that pets that are not paralyzed love to do! Quality time with your pet is still important, even if you have to modify playtime to keep them included. Wheelchairs, wagons, strollers, and carriers are fantastic options for helping your pet get out for fresh air, sunshine, and of course, to stop and smell the fire hydrant!

Nutrition: Our pets that have paralysis need special nutrition and may require vitamins, supplements, or prescription food. Lack of physical exercise can also cause paralyzed pets to gain weight, so be sure to watch their waistline.

Your veterinarian will be able to give you the best recommendations for your unique pet based on their activity level, age, size, and reason for paralysis. Regular veterinary care is also critical for your pet so that they can monitor any changes in your pet's health or quality of life. With a little extra love and care, you and your pet can go on to make many treasured memories together!

If you have a paralyzed pet and are questioning their quality of life, Dr. 4 Pets can assist you with making the best decision possible for your furry friend.