The sheer number of views on dog and cat videos is testament to the fact that there is something about animals that makes us feel happy. The energy and excitement they show in running around and discovering the world around them everyday, is one of the main reasons why they make for such good friends for humans. So the sight of a dog or a cat that is injured is downright heartbreaking. Even though they find ways to get around, a furry friend who is bogged down by an injury is the saddest thing.
Bhumit Vyas, a dog lover from Gujarat who feeds over 50 stray dogs a day and rescued his own best friend Pilu nine years ago, was broken hearted when he came across injured dogs at a shelter who could hardly get around. The web designer, who was looking to donate wheelchairs for nearby animal shelters and NGOs realized that the ones available in the market are so high priced that NGOs and shelters could not possibly afford them.
This is when he started to create his own range of dog wheelchairs. These wheelchairs are assembled by Vyas, and made from loose parts that he imports from abroad and some purchased from local markets. He ensures that his wheelchairs are made from lightweight Aluminium alloy that can be pulled easily even by animals who have arthritis or paralysis in hind legs. The range of wheelchairs are completely customizable to height, length and width. The custom built wheelchairs can be small enough for kittens or big enough for St.Bernards.
He has also recently launched a NGO variant of the dog wheelchairs that are made from all Indian parts and is even more affordable. His intention was to ensure that NGOs did not have to wait for huge donations to give wheelchairs for injured dogs. Since the NGO variant wheelchairs are made of only Indian parts, the maintenance can be done by using parts from local markets. For Vyas, it was important to ensure that people do not have to bother with paying more money for upkeep after the initial purchase.
In addition to selling their products on their website, they also offer caretakers a chance to place listings on the website. They can post details about animals requiring wheel chairs and those who are willing can pitch it in to pay for the wheelchairs for these animals. After launching his company, he has sold more than 100 wheelchairs all over the nation and hope to help more injured dogs and cats live an easier life.
So if you are an animal lover who wants to help out dogs or cats who cannot walk, you can make use of this venture. You can buy products, read more pet handicap and how you can help, help NGOS and shelters buy wheelchairs all on the website for Dogwheelchairsindia.
MUMBAI , JULY 24, 2019 00:19 IST online link
Back to life: Sheru is happy running around with a wheelchair built for just ₹8,000. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT
Just two months after bringing his pet pug Sheru home, Vikas Chawla noticed the puppy consistently wobble. Very quickly, the dog lost all mobility in his hind legs.
“Veterinarians were unable to understand the problem, let alone diagnose it,” recalls the 51-year-old Kolkata resident.
“They presumed it was hip dysplasia or he had damaged nerves.” Ultimately, it turned out Sheru would never walk again.
For a whole year, the Chawla family chased doctors, took Sheru for physiotherapy and even swimming classes. “But there was no improvement and it was tormenting Sheru,” says Mr. Chawla, who was advised by several veterinarians to euthanise his puppy.
Instead Mr. Chawla decided to buy him a wheelchair. With international manufacturers quoting a whopping ₹40,000 for a clunky product, he turned to Gujarat-based web-designer-turned-animal prosthesis maker Bhumit Vyas.
Sheru today has a wheelchair built for just ₹8,000.
“My dog’s life has changed. He’s so happy running around,” says Mr. Chawla.
“I’ve recently, ordered a second wheelchair in case the first one breaks down. I don’t want Sheru to be immobile for a single second!”
Mr. Vyas has always been an animal lover., feeding strays in his locality and helping as much as he can. His own indie Pilu, first arrived as a foster who needed rehabilitation. Almost a decade later, they’re still attached at the hip.
Mr. Vyas has always been an animal lover, but the idea of building economical and sturdy wheelchairs for injured pets was sparked three years ago by the plight of a stray dog that had been hit by a vehicle. Even though it was taken in by a local shelter, Mr. Vyas recalls that it was heartbreaking to see the dog drag itself across the shelter’s rough floors.
Ever since, he has worked on designing and building custom-made animal wheelchairs, extending a lifeline to pets with few other options in the country.
With imported wheelchairs being expensive, ones, while weighing upwards of 30kgs, cost up to Rs 50,000. “In India people look after several stray animals at a time, how will they afford such prices?” he says. “How would poor feeders buy these wheelchairs?”
Earlier this year, Mr. Vyas established Mintbowl.inc, offering custom-built wheelchairs for animals as small as kittens and as large as St. Bernards. He has since sold more than a 100 such prosthetic aids across the country, with orders from as far away as the Andamans.
The parts are imported from China and South Korea and assembled by Mr. Vyas.
“The price of the wheelchair depends on the size of the animal,” he explains. “The wheelchairs are for the impossible cases and it makes me so happy to see them running around afterwards.”
He’s also developed a special edition of wheelchairs for shelters, that are lighter, more subsidised and made entirely using local parts. All the products are adjustable (height, length and width) which makes them portable. Starting at ₹1999 with free delivery across India, these wheelchairs can be re-assembled for as little at ₹40 if they break down. Mr Vyas also offers after-sales services, including spare parts and accessories.
All of Mr Vyas’ efforts for animals can be attributed to his pet Pilu who helped him become an advocate for Indian breeds. “When you’re adopting, look at the soul and think about the life you’re taking home. A dog won’t demand much, their love for you will not change if you feed them fresh meat or even old biscuits,” he says Mr Vyas, concluding that the ultimate hope is that every handicapped animal gets the quality of life it deserves.
An emergency contact, also known as a designated caretaker, is a person who will take care of your dog in case you are hospitalized, incapacitated, or unable to return home during an emergency or natural disaster. An emergency contact should be established before a problem arises. Reach out to various friends and family to see who might be willing to take your dog in. Once someone has agreed to be the contact, you should sign an agreement before notifying the proper authorities to ensure that your contact is notified during an emergency. It is also important to provide supplies and instructions to your contact so that they have everything they need to care for your dog.
Many canine conditions cause stiff or limp body movements. Many people think these are a normal part of a dog’s aging process, or that they aren’t a symptom worth getting checked out. While mobility issues are part of getting older, many younger dogs also can experience stiff or limp movements. To notice if there is a problem, you should watch for signs of stiffness or limping such as problems walking, reluctance to do activities they used to, and difficulty getting up.
An “Ehmer” sling is a binding technique used by veterinarians to stabilize a dislocated hind leg in dogs. The configuration of the wrap reduces the movement of the injured leg, preventing further injury and allowing it to heal faster. To apply an Ehmer sling correctly, flex the leg so that it’s held close to the animal’s body, then tape around the bottom portion of the leg and up over the abdomen. When properly immobilized, the injury should begin to heal within 1-2 weeks.
There may come a time when your dog suffers from an injury known as “happy tail”. Contrary to the name, “happy tail” is anything but “happy”. Some dogs, especially large breeds with short hair, can injure his tail when wagging it. Injury is sustained when the dog hits his tail against a hard surface or simply wags with such force that the tail ruptures. Follow these steps to help heal and protect your dog’s tail after an injury.
If your dog has a cut or bite on its shoulder or you think the shoulder is sprained, wrap it before taking your dog to the vet. Try to stop the bleeding of an open wound before you place a cotton bandage on it. Wrap the shoulder and chest to create a harness-type bandage. For a sprained shoulder, wrap an elastic bandage up and around your dog’s shoulder and front legs. Then get your dog immediate medical attention.
Take action if you suspect a shoulder strain. If you notice that your dog is suddenly in pain or that their shoulder is gradually becoming more painful, look for other signs of a sprained shoulder. These can include:
Keep the dog standing and drape an elastic bandage over its back. The dog should be standing on all 4 legs. Unroll a long Ace-style elastic bandage and lay it over the dog’s back so both ends of the bandage hang evenly over its sides. The bandage should fall below the dog’s neck near its shoulder.
Bring the straps behind the legs and up to secure the bandage. Wrap each strap behind the legs and pull the straps up towards the dog’s back and shoulder. Tie a knot to keep the bandage from unraveling.
Call the vet if the sprain is moderate to severe. If your dog can’t move their shoulder or leg, contact the vet. You should also talk with the vet if your dog’s minor sprain hasn’t gotten better after 2 days of being stabilized by a wrap.
Press a cotton bandage on the shoulder wound. Dab the wound gently with clean cotton gauze. Then cut a cotton bandage to fit the size of the wound and place it directly on the open wound. Press down firmly with 1 hand to slow any bleeding.
Wrap an elastic bandage around your dog’s torso and shoulder. Press 1 end of the elastic bandage on your dog’s back near its shoulder. Pull the bandage down and under its torso before bringing it back up near the shoulder. Bring the bandage down over the covered wound and wrap it around the dog’s leg to keep the bandage in place. Repeat this a few times to stabilize the shoulder.
Wrap the bandage behind the dog’s neck and under the torso. To create a harness-type bandage that secures the shoulder, pull the bandage behind the dog’s neck and down onto its chest. Bring the bandage behind the leg of the affected shoulder and back up behind the dog’s shoulder. Wrap the bandage around the leg a few times for support.
Secure the bandage with medical tape. Pull off a few inches of medical tape and cut it. Tape the bandage in place along the dog’s back so the bandage doesn’t unwind. You may need to use a few pieces. If you don’t have medical tape, you can use masking tape or another strong tape that you have around the house.
Get your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible. These instructions are only meant to help you provide immediate first aid when necessary. If your dog has a deep, bleeding wound or you suspect the dog has a shoulder fracture, it will need medical treatment.
Nosebleeds may seem fairly harmless, but in dogs, they usually indicate something else is wrong. Therefore, it’s important to know what to do in the moment, such as keeping your dog still and applying an ice pack. You will also need to take your dog to the vet, so they can diagnose what’s wrong, as treating the underlying condition is important.
Frostbite is a scary and dangerous winter hazard for your dog! Frostbite occurs after a dog has been outside in cold temperatures for too long. It causes damage to the skin tissue, and can result in your beloved pet losing part of their body. Frostbite can be minor or major, depending on how long the dog was exposed to the cold. To treat frostbite, look for the symptoms, warm the dog with warm towels and warm water compresses, and take them to the vet as soon as possible.