It really needs a big heart to offer services to a disabled; whether it is a human being or an animal. When your near and dear ones encounter some hinder in their body functioning, they could still continue their life. All that is needed is some special love and care from you.
Similar to the human beings, animals too understand the language of love. The pets that you keep at home, could be subjected to mishaps and lose their certain body-part utility.
Under these conditions, the responsibility of the pet-keeper multiplies to a greater extenct. It is easy to nurture and care a disabled human being, but it is all the more difficult in case of pets.
What is a Disability?
Before we move further, let us know the deep meaning associated with the word disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an association, that defines a ‘disabled’ person as the one who:
- Possesses a mental or physical injury that hinders his major life functioning extensively
- Has a record of any kind of injury
- Is said to have any such kind of injury
Under all the above conditions, the person is bound to suffer a great deal.
Similar to the humans, the pets such as dogs and cats could also possess certain physical or mental impairment in the body.
Following is the list of injuries that could be encountered by the pets, corresponding to the humans:
|PHYSICAL PROBLEMS||MENTAL/ EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS|
|Asthma (or other breathing problems)||Age-Related Cognitive Decline|
|Blindness (& partial blindness)||Any Psychiatric Condition|
|General Hearing Difficulty||Depression|
|Blindness (& partial blindness)||Panic Attacks|
|Deafness (& partial deafness)||Social Phobia|
|Dizziness/Balance problems||Stress Problems|
|Neurological Problems||Bipolar Disorder|
|Physical Weakness||Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)|
All these and various others could also affect our pets and it needs to be followed by the pet-keeper, to reach the roots of these problems.
Heart-Touching Story of a Disabled Dog:
Most of the pets are not as lucky as yours and they get an inconsiderate master, who leaves them when they are not able to function well in their life.
Tera was one such pet. She was a 5 year old German Shepherd from New York. She suffered a malfunctioning in both her hind legs due to which she was not able to even stand up. Following this, her masters were quick to give her to a shelter home in the area.
She was rescued by BARRK Animal Rescue team. When recovered, she was covered with ticks in her body, which took three hours to be removed.
When shelter-home did her diagnosis, they found that Tera’s body was affected by cancer, which covered about 90% of her spine. This could not be followed by a surgery as the recovery would have been too painful for her. Moreover, surgery wasn’t a guarantee to remove all the cancer of her body.
This gave an outcome that she had only 2 to 3 months of her life left.
She was adopted by Foster Dogs, Inc. which enabled them to enlist her for their Fospice Program, so that she could live her last few days in happiness. Following the program, she was offered to a couple, Allison and Matt, who already has a pup and a cat in their home.
Tera was not accustomed to a loving family and it showed from her behavior. She would not lie on the dog bed that was offered to her. Instead she found herself comfortable on the floor. She would also not eat food from the dog bowl given to her and spilled her food on the ground.
The life changing part of this all was the which was fitted on to her rear body. This wheelchair ensured her a good balance in walking too, while the family went on a holiday to Seattle with her.
There are hoards of other tales too about pets that do not receive the stipulated love and affection when a certain part or system of their body is not able to function well.
These are to tell you that while a normal pet is loved by the human beings, similarly a disabled pet too, is no different. All it needs is a little more warmth from its master.
Getting on with Physically-Hindered Pets:
- Blind Dogs (Partially or Fully):
Dogs could acquire blindness on account of birth defects, illness or injuries. Even if the dog becomes completely out of eye-sight, it could still lead a healthy overall life.
A fact says that eye-vision is the third best sense in a dog. The other two being ears and nose in the list of top three. Apart from this, sense of touch is a big asset that could be used to establish a conversation between you.
Tips for Living with a Blind Dog:
- Speak to the dog in a low, loving and cheerful voice. Do not let it feel its blindness.
- Let it develop its other senses well such as use of various sounds to get it alert or aromatic appetizers which enhance its smelling ability.
- Use the toys that have certain smell or sounds in them. Squeaky toys are great things to interact with it.
- The dog needs to map-out his living area in his house. Let him do it on his foot with bits of instructions and treats. Do not pick it up in your arms while it walks.
- Locate an easy place to keep its bowl, bed and toys so that even if he gets confused in the house, he could return to the place and restart his move.
- Use certain keywords such as ‘watch’, ‘stop’ and ‘jump’ etc. to make it learn its actions while walking. Dog has the ability to learn these quickly.
- Keep all the harmful objects such as pointed metallic items and chemical etc. aside, lest your dog ends up harming itself due to this.
Most importantly, be patient and let it learn slowly. Your haste and disaffection could render it to depression and hopelessness.
Tips for Living With a Deaf Dog:
Dogs could encounter deafness due to various reasons such as constant ear infections, chemical intoxication, aging or any kind of physical injury. Due to these, the dogs could go permanently or partially deaf.
The deafness of dog is confirmed in its sleep when you make a loud noise and it does not respond. You could also make a noise when it is not looking at you. The indifference towards the noise would confirm its deaf ears.
You could use the following tips for a better living condition of deaf dogs:
- Keep your dog leashed. A deaf dog is unable to locate the approaching danger. You could also contain it in a fenced yard.
- The most prominent problem with the dog is its communication with you. This could be easier at night if you use a torch or a flashlight to call it.
- At day, you could have a difficulty in contacting them but vets say that deaf dog constantly looks at his master and reacts at the wave of a hand. You could try this with your dog. Even if it is busy, you could yourself go and communicate with the dog.
- A bell on their collar with an inscription of ‘Deaf Dog’ could help you and other people to get on with it well.
Tips for Living With a Limb-Handicapped Dog:
If your dog is physically handicapped in body-parts such as legs, it could be highly disabled to follow out your instructions. Leg injury could be a part of an accident, some infection, injury or age effect. Under this, some special care is required by your pet to do better in its life.
- Try not to call your pet by name. The more it does physical labor, more will it receive pain and get exhausted.
- Offer it a secure place in the house so that it does not need to get away at slight causes. The food and water should be offered at the same place.
- Accompany it for the morning routine job and other processes, so that it does not get hurt in any unforeseen mishaps.
- Several artificial devices are available to support the pet which is handicapped. You could buy these to better effects.
Other Mental Disorders:
Apart from the mentioned disabilities, the pet could have certain mental problems as well. These may arise due to certain accidents, injuries, allergic reactions, infections, lack of nutrients in food or a hoard of other reasons. The most important help is to offer it a regular vet or animal-special psychiatrist help.
They could understand the condition of the pet in a better manner and help them to recover with the illness. Offer proper medications and shower it with utmost affections. Mentally disabled dogs might appear depressed. They need to have a proper touch-contact with their master, so that they do not feel their life to be worthless.
While it might appear difficult from above, it is rather not. A disabled pet becomes more silent and still. It does not prove a nuisance with its rough behavior, which other normal dogs might do. All it wants is a little concern and sympathy from its master, which it fully deserves.