Surgery Vs doggie wheelchair

(22 Posts)
Littlejayx Thu 04-Jul-19 19:25:58

I really need some advice for this one!

I have 4 year old French bulldog who has nerve damage in her back in a specific area. My vet has recommended either surgery ( quite hard on the dog with a long rest time or a wheel chair which will be a long term thing but will make her be able to do the things she used too.

The surgery will cost at minimum £5000 (insurance won’t cover it) and a set If wheels £300.

I love my little boy so much and am torn what to do, the consultant assured me there was no pain present and may be a chance with the op that it won’t work.

Does anyone have experience with anything like this?

OP’s posts: |
moreismore Thu 04-Jul-19 19:27:59

What level is the nerve damage? Will the dog be continent? Tbh, without meaning to upset you, I would PTS.

spot102 Thu 04-Jul-19 23:57:04

Poor dog, he's only young!
Had a dog that sustained spinal injury and couldn't walk for 6 months. Vet recommended surgery but she was not insured and I didn't have 000s at the time, so was medically managed, choice being that or pts
Looked into wheelchairs, fortunately never needed to get one. Videos always show them running around happily outside, but used to wonder what they did at home, looked like they wouldn't be great in confined spaces.
As pp implied incontinence could be big issue. Can be a result of nerve problems. I was lucky in that mine always did easy to manage poos and she regained urinary continence quite quickly, I'm not convinced she'd have lasted the 6 months otherwise.
I'm guessing it's not currently a problem though.
Unfortunately they don't seem to understand about gentle exercise either. Caught mine thinking about attempting to jump a 3 foot fence, sometime after she was back on her feet! Really do need constant vigilance.
Is definitely a difficult choice, and I do feel for you, not much help, I know!

tabulahrasa Fri 05-Jul-19 00:46:32

To be quite honest, I think dog wheelchairs are entirely for the owner’s benefit and are a pretty bad quality of life for a dog.

With a youngish dog like yours - if surgery could result in a fairly normal quality of life, I’d go for that or if it didn’t work or wouldn’t do that then I’d have them PTS.

DramaAlpaca Fri 05-Jul-19 00:52:32

I'm so sorry you are in this situation. I know it's not what you want to hear, but in your shoes I just couldn't put my dog through all that surgery & recovery & I would take the difficult decision to PTS. I wouldn't even consider the wheelchair option.

Bookworm4 Fri 05-Jul-19 01:07:39

If surgery will give a good quality of life I would go ahead if affordable, he’s young and could go on and have a good many years. One of mine had major surgery 3 mths ago (not spinal) at the time the recovery seemed daunting but now it’s behind us and she’s well on the road back to her old ways. Listen to your vet, get as much information as possible, do not rush into a decision.

omafiet Fri 05-Jul-19 01:12:30

To be quite honest, I think dog wheelchairs are entirely for the owner’s benefit and are a pretty bad quality of life for a dog. With a youngish dog like yours - if surgery could result in a fairly normal quality of life, I’d go for that or if it didn’t work or wouldn’t do that then I’d have them PTS.

I agree, although I can imagine how heart wrenching a decision that would be. Sorry, OP.


Medievalist Fri 05-Jul-19 01:13:03

No way would I expect such a young dog to live the rest of its life unable to walk. I would definitely go for surgery.

Maneandfeathers Fri 05-Jul-19 06:38:06

Surgery or euthanisa. I would also euthanise if the surgery failed.

Sorry but to me dogs need to be dogs and I don’t see how they can do this in a wheelchair sad quality of life must come first

Littlejayx Fri 05-Jul-19 07:09:34

Thank you for all your advice. It’s such a horrible decision because he’s still acting himself and I honestly don’t have the money for surgery it’s alot of money and I haven’t got it in an way and can’t get a loan or credit card.

The thought of having him put to sleep makes me break down though, he’s my two year olds best friend and he’s such a big part of the family. If he was in any pain it would be a very easy decision (as harsh as that sounds) but he’s still life and soul of the party 😭

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Fri 05-Jul-19 07:10:24

I wouldn't put my dog in a wheelchair. To me that wouldn't be any quality of life for him as he's an active working cocker.

I would way up the risk benefits of the surgery and decide based on that.

S1naidSucks Fri 05-Jul-19 07:16:08

Try the wheelchair before you decide. If he’s happy in it and as you say he’s still the life and soul of the party, then that may be enough. My main concern would be if he can’t control his bladder or bowels, but the vet can show you what needs to be done, if that’s the case. If the vet feels that your wee dog can still have a good quality of life, then I’d definitely try that before euthanasia.

LittleLongDog Fri 05-Jul-19 07:17:57

I’m so sorry for you and your pup OP.

I wonder if you could find some owners of dogs in wheelchairs and talk to them about the practicalities and realities of it? I’m not sure how you’d find them though... maybe Instagram or Facebook?

notapizzaeater Fri 05-Jul-19 07:20:48

Is it going to get any worse ?

Can you not contact some charities for help ? Won't the insurance cover some of the costs ?

BertrandRussell Fri 05-Jul-19 07:23:16

My sil’s dog is in a wheelchair. Looked at from the outside it’s awful and for the human’s benefit only. Sorry to be so negative, but I would PTS in these circumstances even if I could afford the surgery. It’s not as if you can explain that the pain and restriction is worth it because it’ll come right in the end. Animals only know about now. It’s an awful decision I know, but that’s what I think.

spot102 Fri 05-Jul-19 07:27:14

Saw a dachshund running along with his wheelchair the other day, looked as happy as Larry! Wouldn't discount them if the dog is otherwise healthy and happy and they work for you and your dog. The dachshund people will have info on line if you want to Google, spinal problems are quite common in them.
Have to say, though, i'd (probably) go for surgery if money readily available, but each situation is different and one ends up doing a balance of what is suitable and affordable in one's own case.

Booboostwo Fri 05-Jul-19 07:33:21

I’ve used a wheelchair for a GSD with degenerative myelopathy. It extended his walks for three months so for me it was worth it. He was very happy to go in the wheelchair, very quickly he realized it meant he would go on a walk so he reacted to it like most dog so react to the lead. The wheelchair worked really well on stable, flat surfaces, he could pick up quite a speed. It didn’t work as well on bumpy ground, e.g. in the forest over roots, etc. but he was also a tall, big dog and it was easier for the whole thing to overturn (it did overturn once, gave me a fright but he was OK. We avoided bumpy areas from then on). This may not be as much of an issue with a short, small dog.

How does he cope with other things? Is he continent? Can he manage to walk out into the garden for toileting?

Is there any chance the exercise from the wheelchair might help with nerve regeneration?

Lougle Fri 05-Jul-19 07:46:40

What is the dog's function at the moment? Also, is it a dog or a bitch? You've changed sex half-way through your post. Functionally, they per very differently!

A Bulldog is such a heavy breed. Would the muscles in the legs waste with the wheelchair?

BiteyShark Fri 05-Jul-19 07:52:25

Just seen your last post about not having or being able to get the money for surgery. Then that means surgery is off the list then if you have absolutely no means to find it.

Then surely it's a choice of wheelchair or manage symptoms until it's time to PTS. If you only walk your dog on roads then perhaps a wheelchair is right in that situation but for my dog it wouldn't be.

Lougle Fri 05-Jul-19 07:56:01

That was meant to be 'pee' not per. Why won't insurance cover it?

spot102 Fri 05-Jul-19 07:56:40

Sorry, just read your second post. Tbh if you can't afford it, don't do it. Checkout info online, plenty of it around if you Google ivdd or spinal injury in dog or even doggy wheelchairs.
Best guide though is to watch your dog. If he seems happy carry on if he looks like he's suffering and it's not solvable PTS. My experience was that dog was on permanent meds which was not cheap either.
I'm not keen on the idea of people in wheelchairs either, but you can't just assume they have no quality of life and its practical. and as a dog owner it's your effort and money that your using, therefore your choice. Just as long as the dogs happy

Tamberlane Sun 07-Jul-19 00:33:24

A frenchie is much less likely do do well in a wheelchair versus a dachshund because of their body shape.

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