How does a mentally retarded dog behave

Living with handicap dogs

Handicap dogs are normal dogs. You only have one handicap, a limitation that can result from an accident, illness, abuse or from birth.

Blind dogs, deaf dogs, two- to three-legged dogs, neurological disorders, paralyzed dogs. They all want to be loved and treated just like any other dog. With this article I would like to educate people who have sick or handicapped animals and encourage them not to leave the animals who love us unconditionally in their illnesses. We currently have a throwaway society - unfortunately this also applies to our animal friends. Shelters are full of abused and starved animals.

Types of treatment for handicap dogs

With a little effort, there is always a type of treatment for the four-legged friend, whether conservative, medical or with an aid that helps the animal to continue to lead a livable life. These can be:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Orthotics
  • Bandages
  • Prostheses
  • Harnesses
  • Lifting straps
  • Dog buggies
  • Paw protection / dog shoes
  • Washable diaper pants for incontinence
  • Vibrating collars
  • Special orthopedic beds
  • and many more

It is important to pay attention to that Aids how, for example, wheelchairs are tailored to the dog. There are special ones for that Medical supply stores for animals (for example the animal center in Lüneburg). Euthanasia should not always be the first choice, because they should also be given a chance if there is still a lot of zest for life in them. Such dogs can a wonderful life to lead.

Two handicapped dogs and their stories

I would like to report about two different handicap dogs and their stories - Foxy 3 years old with paralysis and Fuchur, a deaf dog.

The story of Foxy

A very emotional year is behind us, we almost lost our 3 year old female dog Foxy. We fought for a life and shed many tears. But the fight was worth it, because Foxy is allowed to live.

On August 20, 2014, all of a sudden, Foxy could no longer walk from one second to the other - without any prior warning. The hind legs were paralyzed. The diagnosis: Severe herniated disc third and fourth lumbar vertebrae, Paraplegia With spastic and flaccid paralysis, unable to pass feces and urine. She could only take a seated position with her head overstretched and no longer responded to stimuli. Even the vet was amazed and shocked at the severity or extent of the Herniated disc. Now we as a family were faced with the hardest decision of our lives until then!

Euthanasia or an expensive operation with little chance of relief or recovery or with permanent damage. It was also not certain whether she would survive the operation. The first veterinary intervention and its treatment had not worked.
We researched alternative ways of treatment for Foxy. Here we came across an animal healer Mrs. T. Müller, friendship dog from Bremen, who over Bioresonance is working. Foxy was treated with bioresonance and homeopathy until late in the evening.

Already after the first treatment a small miracle happened for us, Foxy showed reflexes again. Further successes came.
Within 4 days she was able to urinate on her own again, the paraplegia was partly gone, her back was mobile again, she could turn and crawl, even stand again for a few seconds, sit and lie down again. The vet was amazed. Of course we stayed on the ball and regularly drove to Bremen to continue the treatments. These were expanded to include osteopathy, acupuncture and physiotherapy.

To support the success of the therapy, Foxy was given a buggy, a special bed, a shoulder strap and later a wheelchair that was tailored to her needs. The therapies complement each other and work very well, so Foxy can sometimes walk short distances on his own again. Foxy continues to be treated through bioresonaz and physiotherapy. The physiotherapist gave us a lot of things to do at home.

Life with a wheelchair dog:

At the time when she was still unable to urinate, we had to express her bladder. But that wasn't a problem for us, we let it show us. Despite her disability, her life is worth living.
you runs with the wheelchair Competing with other dogs, we do a lot of mental work to keep her mentally busy and she even trails short distances every 2 weeks. She radiates pure joie de vivre and you don't even notice her handicap.

We had to make a few changes in the house. The food bowl was set a little higher and the smooth floors were carpeted. If Foxy doesn't come up somewhere, she has learned to let me know. It must of course be carried up or down stairs, this would be a little more difficult with a larger dog. You grow into the situation. She is also not given an advantage, no she is just a completely normal dog for us. It is important that you inform yourself and exchange ideas with like-minded people.

Since it is of course also a financial aspect, we set up a page for Foxy on Facebook. There you can read their whole story and exchange ideas. But also things that we needed over time, such as self-knitted stockings as paw protection, were knitted by a very dear person through our "appeal". This page has been very well received.

Thanks to the therapies, Foxy can now walk small stretches on his own again, while the wheelchair does the rest at the moment. With the help of the therapies, we will continue to pursue the goal that she may soon be able to walk again completely without a wheelchair.

Life with a deaf dog - Fuchur's story

Before Fuchur came to us, we already knew about his innate deafness. It was clear to us that we would try everything to enable him to have a normal dog life. Well, there are of course a few limitations and habits compared to dealing with a hearing dog.

Fuchur came to Germany from Crete in spring 2014 through an animal welfare organization. Here he was initially placed twice unsuccessfully. In the second switchboard it turned out that he cannot hear anything, which was confirmed by a veterinary test.

So he ended up with us through an acquaintance. Before his arrival, of course, I made myself sufficiently smart with various books and extensive internet research. And yet, you are never 100% prepared.

The first meeting at the end of July 2014 between him and our hearing dog Lotta went well, so that he moved in shortly afterwards. In everyday life you hardly notice that he is deaf. He behaves almost like a hearing dog. Still, some things are different. He followed us every step of the way from day one. This is certainly also related to his constant changes of ownership, which he already has behind him when he was less than 2 years old. Certainly the genes of the races he carries also play a role, but I suspect that too deafness is a big factor.

He doesn't hear whether I'm leaving the house or just going to the bathroom. Certainly an advantage here was practicing staying alone, as you didn't always have to leave the house. So he had to learn to trust us that we would keep coming back.

Another big topic is how do I wake a sleeping dog who cannot hear? Calling is not an option. Just touch it? Rather unfavorable, as the dog can be very frightened. Now we have found two methods for us that work very well. On the one hand, you can switch the light on and off again and again. Only works to a limited extent with our snoring nose. It works better with blowing on. Here he can even determine who is waking him up, as dogs can tell by his breath.

An even bigger issue is walking and any activity outside. Fuchur learns to "listen" to visual signals. We have a visual signal for every command: sit, take a seat, stay, come, no, fine, walk and so on. It is actually quite natural to link many commands with visual signals. I did it with Lotta too. But not everything and then you have to get creative. Fuchur has already mastered the above commands more or less well.

It is of course difficult in the Freewheel. Of course I want to make this possible for him, because a dog's entire life on a short leash is not fair. But if I am not in front of him and he is not looking, I cannot reach him. Right now in the rowdy phase, he's often not interested in seeing where I am. That's why we train a lot on the tow line. We also started to train with a vibration collar.
He is trained so that the vibration signals him that he will immediately make eye contact and come to us. I condition it in a similar way to a clicker. Each vibration gives an ultra reward. As soon as this is done and working well, he will soon be able to walk with us completely without a leash.

It is also possible to do dog sports. I've been doing trick dogging with Lotta for 4 years and agility for 3 years. We have also been running tournaments for 2 years. Of course, I would also like to use Fuchur mentally. Even a deaf dog can learn tricksif you just show enough what you want. A dog is naturally more responsive to gestures than to verbal utterances. That's why I see opportunities for sensible agility training for Fuchur. We've already started slalom training and he's doing it very well.

A deaf dog is more sensitive to mood and tension

What I have learned is that a deaf dog is even more sensitive to mood and tension than a hearing dog. Possibly due to the fact that it lacks precisely this sense. He can feel tense situations but not hear why there is tension. For example, I recently met a man in the forest with an unleashed dog who showed me little understanding for my leashed dogs. I was very angry about this situation inside, so that I was very excited. As I walked on, a woman passed us with a dog on a leash. Suddenly Fuchur began to growl. And I just thought, “Yikes, what's my dog?” It wasn't until later that I realized the connection between the two situations. Fuchur had immediately grasped my excitement in the first situation and now linked: Stranger dog = mistress is upset, so be careful! Since he couldn't hear the real reason for the excitement. This is definitely something I have to learn to be aware of.

What is also sometimes problematic for Fuchur are his Utterances. Just because he can't hear anything doesn't mean he can't say anything. On the contrary, it can be louder than any other dog. When we're on the road and something happens that Fuchur doesn't like (be it, for example, that I train with Lotta and he has to look), then he squeaks at frequencies that make your ears ring.
Of course, the clever Mr. Dog quickly learned that most passers-by turn around and / or feel sorry for him. So he only knows: I often get attention for such noises. So it's hard for us to get him used to that. But he has already improved a lot during the time he's with us.

In principle, it is a completely normal dog with small restrictions that humans have to adjust to more than the dog. We haven't made any major changes in our apartment. Fuchur has got his own large transport box so that he has his own retreat, where he has to learn to relax. The box is of course not always closed but open most of the time. He loves sleeping in the box. I don't want to miss him anymore, we have grown dear to him so much. I am really happy to be able to give a dog with a small handicap an almost normal dog life.
Every look at his happy face tells me: I did everything right.

Are handicap dogs a social problem?

The Handicap dog theme is still a very sensitive issue in our society. The reactions to it vary widely. One Dog with a disability But having it also has many downsides in relation to our society. When Foxy sat in the buggy, many people smiled at it again and again, it was whispered and so on. It's a shame that people don't even ask about the background.

Often I am looked at in astonishment on walks with Foxy in a wheelchair and asked, "What is the dog's problem?" When I tell them that Foxy had a herniated disc with complete paraplegia, people look at me questioningly and say, "Why, him The dog is walking with its legs in the wheelchair. ”I then briefly tell you the“ story ”. The people then appear partly impressed, but also astonished.

I myself have never met a Rolli dog on a walk. Why actually? According to experiences that I have now been able to make, veterinarians are more likely to give the advice to euthanize the dog. Is that maybe the reason?

What we handicap dog owners want is more acceptance and cooperation between physiotherapist and veterinarian and not write off the dog immediately.

Author: Stefanie Arnoldt / Cover picture: Tina Müller