Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Bottom's Up Leash

(The above is a photo borrowed from an internet search.)

I want to briefly mention an invaluable product that was a godsend when Andy was partially paralyzed in his back legs last year because of a bad back resulting in his having surgery to address the problem. I don’t know how we found out about this leash. I’m pretty sure my mom called around some pet stores to see if they had any assistance devices for dogs with walking impairments. I bought the leash we have at a ‘big box’ pet store in a shopping center in Knightdale.
While Andy was undergoing ‘conservative treatment’ (i.e. pre-surgery treatment) to treat his partial paralysis, this leash made assisting him in and out of the house much more convenient and easy for me while it made Andy more comfortable in his bathroom breaks. At the time, Andy could stand up but if he tried to take a step, he would stagger or fall.

Once the leash is on, a little tension must be maintained by gently holding the leash up, or else the leash will drop down to the ground and have to be put back on again. This wasn’t too hard to do in the first month Andy had to use it since he could put very little weight on his back legs. The other major advantage to this leash is that Andy was able to use the bathroom without any problems or interference with the leash. The old fashioned way to support a dog that needs walking assistance is to roll up a towel and place it under the dog’s belly. This works OK, we tried it, but Andy had problems urinating with it and would soak the towel. Maybe for a female this wouldn’t be a problem, but not so for a male.
When I bought the leash, I was worried it would irritate his skin and rub it raw, but it never did, even after two months using it. There is a learning curve in properly putting it on the dog. Fortunately for me, Andy is a sweet, tractable and patient dog, so he gave me no problems when I was figuring out how to use it, so whatever problems correctly putting this leash on him were on my end. I do wish I had this leash a few years ago when Abby blew out her ACL. This would have made her recovery after the surgery much smoother and easier on us and the baby girl.

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