THESE DOG DAYS
A resource for disabled dogs and their owners
Today we meet the super cute Diesel and his family from Port Hope, Canada.
Diesel became paralyzed at age 4 due to a condition called hemivertebrae abnormality. According to his previous owners, who surrendered him for rescue, he woke up one morning seemingly in pain, and couldn’t walk. They brought him to the vet and did attempt two surgeries to bring back his mobility, but when they surgeries didn’t work they realized they didn’t have the ability to care for him. This landed Diesel confined to his crate almost 24/7 for about 3 months until they contacted a rescue in the Port Hope area, where Ashley and Diesel met. When Ashley took Diesel in she had him seen by the vet, and took him to a specialized rehab centre. When they reviewed Diesel's medical files, they knew that he was too far gone and his chances of recovery were very slim. Regardless, they gave hydrotheraphy and physical rehab exercises a shot to be sure, but with no luck. Diesel is paralyzed in his hind end for life, but don’t tell him that, it doesn’t slow him down one bit!
Describe a normal day with Diesel
We wake up at around 8am every morning. Diesel sleeps in our room in a large soft sided enclosure with his big bed that is lined with per pads. We bring him to the bathtub first thing to express his bladder. After his bladder is expressed we put a diaper on to avoid any extra leakage as he’s running around, and booties to protect his feet from getting sores as he prefers to run around the house without his wheels. He runs downstairs himself (he can go down, but not up) and he gets his raw breakfast with his other fur siblings, and then they all go outside to hang out in the yard and play for a bit! Before we leave the house we change him into a fresh diaper, and he typically goes and lays in his favourite bed.
I work mostly from home, so I am in and out of the house frequently to change his diapers and boots. When he goes outside to play, his diaper comes off and his bladder is expressed again at those times. We go for walks and trail hikes often in the afternoon, so we will get Diesel ready in his wheelchair and head out! He is super energetic and LOVES his walks. After a good walk he loves to snuggle on the couch, which requires another clean diaper and blankets on the couch in case of a wardrobe malfunction.
Supper time rolls around and he’s very excited for his dinner! His raw diet has made his poop clean up much easier. Diesel loves bedtime, so he will wait at the bottom of the stairs and stare upstairs until we carry him up, assemble his bed with blankets and pee pads, take his diaper and booties off and he hops right in for a snooze!
How do you spend your weekends?
Weekends for us are the same structure as weekdays, since luckily I work from home and my other half has alternating schedules so one of us is always home. Many times on weekends though, we will make a trip to the pet store (Diesel's FAVE) and he will slide around the store, greeting everyone he sees and stealing treats! He will usually also get a bath at the Dog Wash, since he needs a bath every couple of days, as well as multiple daily cleanings to avoid any irritation from his diapers.
What products, tips or tricks would you recommend?
Baby onesies work great to keep Diesels feet protected in the house, as well as booties with straps to keep them on tight, baby wipes, washable cloth baby diapers, his drag bag, baby change table to change him on rather than hunching down every time, washable pee pads for on top of beds or in between the bed cover, and his SKIS for his wheelchair! Best thing ever to have in Canada. He runs through all of the snow no problem with them.
What advice would you offer someone who has a dog in a similar situation?
Be patient and work out a routine that fits in your schedule. Once you get in the habit of caring for them, it just becomes a daily routine. The smile on their face says it all, and they are just as happy and capable as any other animal. They deserve good, full lives too and will return the love to you in ways you’d never imagine. Their determination and zest for life will amaze you!
Follow Diesel's adventures on Instagram @diesel_the2wheeleddawg
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