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Wheelchairs For Disabled Dogs
Owners of pets with severe health problems don't necessarily have to put their dogs down. There are a variety of wheelchairs and other devices out there that can extend their active lives. HandicappedPets.com, is a good place to start.
  Whether a pet is recovering from surgery, has hip dysplasia, arthritis or even an amputated limb, the website provides information about pet wheelchairs, slings, harnesses and even diapers.
  "About 80 percent of the people who visit our website have dogs," says Lisa Murray, who handles publicity for the Amherst, N.H., company. "Some dogs are able to use a wheelchair for a short period of time - the exercise they get while using the wheelchair can help them heal faster and regain their health. Animals that are not injured but have a chronic condition, like arthritis, may have to use the wheelchair indefinitely."
  HandicappedPets.com is a dealer for a couple brands of wheelchairs, but lists other companies as well. The company's goal is to inform pet owners of as many options as possible.
  It's information that Mark Robinson, the company's owner, wishes he would have had when he euthanized his dog, Mercedes, who was diagnosed with a mild form of canine epilepsy. He later learned there were options and started his company in 2003 in Mercedes' memory.
  "We even provide information on how to build ramps and make other home modifications," says Murray.
  Through discussion areas on the website, pet owners communicate with other pet owners about similar problems such as deafness, blindness, diabetes and incontinence and find out what equipment worked for them. Prices for wheelchairs start at around $200 and increase according to the pet's weight and special needs. Four-wheel models are available to provide front leg support.
  The company also offers ideas for cats, horses, birds, and other pets. A recent challenge was to fit a cart to a lame turtle at a zoo.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Handicapped Pets, Inc. (HandicappedPets.com), 10 Northern Blvd. #7, Amherst, N.H. 03031 (ph 888 811-PETS; www.HandicappedPets. com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4