Guest Blogger, Sharon Seltzer (

Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog Brings Support For Special Needs Pets

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur

Advances in veterinary medicine, pet nutrition and better educated pet owners have led to a dramatic increase in the lifespan of our cats and dogs. It’s not uncommon for dogs to reach their teens and for cats to live 20 or more years. While these miracles are allowing us more time with our four-legged family members, pet longevity can be a double-edged sword.

Cats and dogs that would have died suddenly in past years are now more likely to develop a chronic disease that turns their guardian into a fulltime caregiver.

One of the scariest days in my life was when my veterinarian told me that my 10 year-old dog Sophie was going to be paralyzed in her hind legs for the rest of her life. With years of experience in animal rescue I had a good idea of what that diagnosis meant for both Sophie and my family. It left me feeling inadequate and alone.

Sophie is the reason I started Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog. It’s a website and community for pet owners who are facing paralysis, partial immobility and neurological problems with their dogs and cats. We provide information, support and resources to these guardians so they don’t feel isolated while they are taking care of their cherished pet.

I found that taking care of Sophie was a 24/7 endeavor and I didn’t know where to turn for answers. I didn’t want any other pet owner to go through this stressful time.

Most cities and towns don’t have services especially designed for disabled pets so most of us going through this ordeal rely on our busy veterinarians for quick snippets of information. Often that isn’t enough to answer all of our questions.

Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog is set up to give pet owners the answers they are looking for plus give them support and resources to make life as stress-free as possible.

Sophie was a paraplegic for five years before she died in 2013. My family learned to live a new normal way of life. We played games with Sophie, went for walks using a cart and enjoyed our time together. Sure, we ran into challenges, but we also learned many life lessons from having a paralyzed dog.

Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog shares these lessons plus helpful tips like these:

  • How to stop urinary tract infection
  • How to express your incontinent pet
  • How to put on a doggie diaper or harness
  • How to lift a paralyzed dog
  • Which physical therapy exercises will keep your pet strong
  • Diet and nutritional facts for disabled pets
  • Where to buy supplies
  • The benefits of laser therapy, stem cell therapy and other veterinary treatments for disabled pets
  • The best clinical trials and studies being conducted at veterinary schools of medicine

Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog also encourages guardians to share their own story and the lessons they learned from their pet. Everyone who has been through this experience has a story to tell.

If your dog, cat or other pet has been diagnosed with a neurological or orthopedic condition that has left them paralyzed or partially immobile, we invite you to join our community.

Sharon Seltzer is an animal writer, co-founder of the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society in Las Vegas and CEO of Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog. She is also the pet parent to pup Cody and three semi-feral cats; Spike, Sport and Tiger. She was the proud mom to Sophie and Shadow who passed away in 2013.

Animal Advocacy Guest Blogger Thank You Janet Bovitz Sandefur

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