Dog With Deformed Legs Controversially Fitted With Wheelchair

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Disable puppy given wheelchair - a controversial choice.
Disable puppy given wheelchair – a controversial choice.

– The topic of fitting disabled dogs with customised wheelchair-type devices is always a controversial one. Such devices have been in use for over twenty years now, and are usually used in cases where a beloved family dog has had an accident, lost the use of his back limbs due to old age, and so on.

However in the case we highlight today at the Daily Dog, none of the above situations apply. In this case a rescued eleven month old Irish Wolfhound cross puppy named “Chester” has been fitted with a $1,000 customised wheelchair to cater for a disability he was born with. Chester’s front legs were deformed to the point he simply could not walk – as you will see from the image in this Post.

The wheelchair was paid for by Brooke Whitney from Animal Welfare Queensland at Ipswich. Miss Whitney stated she believed Chester had been anonymously placed at the shelter for financial reasons.

At pups4sale we can certainly understand people being unable to provide either a wheelchair or the quality of life for Chester that his deformity dictates. However the question is, would it have been kinder for the shelter to simply euthanase Chester rather than go to the expense of not only the wheelchair, but also the time, effort and additional money required to teach him how to use it. The total outlay for such an undertaking is of course far more than just the $1,000 cost of the wheelchair itself. This begs the question; how many other healthy, rescue dogs could have been helped to find suitable homes with the money spent on Chester? The answer we suspect is quite a few.

At pups4sale our opinion is euthanasia would have been the kinder option for Chester. He is going to need special care for his entire life, which will require a unique household prepared to provide that for him. Additionally his deformity may well result in substantial, unexpected veterinary costs in the years to come, and there are naturally relatively few households out there willing and able to take on Chester’s burden.

Many of our readers will have a different opinion of course, and you are welcome to (politely) express that opinion in the comments section below. However for those with an opposing view, you need to consider if you would be willing and able to take on Chester for the next 10 years or so of his life? If not, what would a viable alternative be for him?

Furthermore, as mentioned earlier in this Post, there are many other wheelchair-bound dogs in Australia that have been placed in a wheelchair for non-birth defect reasons – such as accidents. Is it fair to the dog and his family to extend his life by placing him in a wheelchair? As is the case for Chester, we believe in the vast majority of (if not all) cases it is kinder to euthanase a dog whose only chance at further mobility is a wheelchair. Please feel free to comment below on the general issue of dogs in wheelchairs too, as we value the opinion of all dog-lovers on this controversial topic.

7 Responses to “Dog With Deformed Legs Controversially Fitted With Wheelchair”

  1. Lyn Renn

    That’s where dogs have it all over us humans!!! They don’t have to go through life (if u can call it a life!!??) with a severe disability. They have the benefit of euthanasia!!! May seem harsh to some, but to others, so very true!!!

    Reply
    • pups4sale

      Euthanasia opens up a big can of worms when it comes to humans, Lyn, but when it comes to animals it seems to be a lot less controversial in most cases, such as when an animal is old and suffering. This dog whilst not suffering in some ways would certainly “suffer” from a greatly compromised quality of life, regardless of what time and money people have to put into him.

      Reply
  2. Graham Rabin

    I concur with you, it’s sad when misguided people are deciding for animals. It would have been much better to put him to sleep. In this case I can understand but in the case of breeders drowning perfect pups etc at birth for no other reason than too many in the litter or so is just as wrong.

    Reply
    • pups4sale

      Graham from a purely economic viewpoint, that is true. From a human viewpoint we believe it is also true as a lot more dogs could be helped with the same pot of money than just one dog. Indeed it is a different issue to breeders drowning pups that are perfectly healthy and just an “inconvenience”.

      Reply
  3. Sharon

    Hi, I just wish everyone could make their mind up. I have a 14 year old red cattle dog, hit by car 2 1/2 weeks ago, told vet on arrival I was thinking about letting him go – vet fixed dislocated leg, slung him up, then sent him home with a $900 vet bill, and follow up appointments at $100 a pop. Now, I look at this dog and wonder whether this was a kindness or a ridiculously selfish act. The vet gets his money, the 10 year son gets his dog breathing (but not doing any of the things he once enjoyed), the mother wags her finger and says don’t you dare kill that dog, don’t be selfish, woman up and look after the dog care for the dog love the dog, get the dog a wheelchair – and I, the daughter of the mother and the financially strap single mother to the son cannot help but think that the kindest thing is to let him go. What a wacked up world we live in.

    Reply
    • Sharon

      Sorry, I didn’t mention – the dog no longer uses his back two legs – he drags himself around with his front two legs – vet indicates this is more than likely permanent

      Reply
      • pups4sale

        Sharon, it is a difficult one, but with the age of the dog and the quality of life he is going to have left in the time he has remaining – well the pups4sale team would have put him down for sure. It might sound harsh, but there is economic and suffering realities involved here – as you are all too aware, we’re sure. Lack of quality of life is no life for a dog as far as we are concerned. It is inevitable that more, significant vet bills will be coming your way in a case like this, so the sooner you put your foot down and say “no more”, the better for your hip pocket and the quicker you’ll end your dog’s suffering.

        Reply

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