A Boxer’s Wheels – Rosco’s Story

My boxer, Rosco, was diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). A disease similar to Lou Gerrit’s Disease or ALS. There is no pain (except for a human’s heart) and simply stated, the boxer (or dog, or human) starts to lose use of their movement. To learn more about Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) click here.

Sadly once they have lost use of their back legs, it becomes difficult for them to walk and run. When you have a boxer, this is hard to watch. They aren’t in any pain, just confused.

Rosco still acts like a lunatic, slapping his front paws to get your attention wiggling all over. The veterinarian told me that it was important to find a balance for him. “Don’t do too much but don’t too little either.” He was always active and I knew I had to keep him that way.

I looked into different devices to help. At first he would drag his back leg, this would lead to bleeding nails and paws. So I purchased booties and hock joint supports for the hind legs. Then his back paws would curl under, so I purchased a toe boot (which was expensive). Then he needed a little lift on our walks, so I purchased a belly lifting harness and a hind lifting harness to help him. Boy that was tiring. He had a little bit of incontinence/leakage at night so I purchase these diapers.

And then he needed a wheelchair. I looked everywhere but they were really expensive. The vet quoted me at $800. I finally went to eBay and found one that was reasonable. I get it, put it together only to realize, you get what you pay for. It rolled backward and the only way Rosco would walk in it, is if I held the front up. I think it was putting too much pressure on his front legs. The vet took a look and said the chair would likely do more harm than good. So I put it off to the side.

I started to carry him because it was easier but he loved it when I ran with him. I wanted to give him the opportunity to run, to play, to eat standing. So, my mom purchased a doggy trailer/jogger. I wanted to give him wheels so he could have the wings he needed to fly. He used to jump so high and run so fast, he looked like he could fly.

Then another boxer friend suggested a group that helps put boxers in wheelchairs. And here we are today. Wheelchairs are pricey. However, there are non-profit organizations, such as Tyson’s Wonder Wheels 4 Boxers that fund-raise to provide wheelchairs for boxers in need. It is important that you invest in a good wheelchair for your boxer. I purchased a wheelchair and was only told by my veterinarian later that it would do more harm than good

I am so grateful. Rosco got his wheels from Tyson’s Wonder Wheels 4 Boxers and he is ready to rock and roll. This is a video of him learning to use the wheelchair.