Posted June 03, 2016
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The Dr. Elwood and Linda Collins Rehab Center at the MSU Veterinary Medical Center has a new piece of equipment that is helping the team provide more services to its larger canine patients. The new wheelchair, a four-wheeled quad cart, supports large dogs with mobility impairment in all four limbs—whether the patients’ legs are paralyzed or weak, or if they tire easily. The cart can support dogs weighing 50–150 pounds and also helps prevent strain and injury for the veterinary team treating these large patients.

“The quad cart is for patients who need to get up and be mobile for recovery,” said Dr. Sarah Shull, head of the Rehabilitation Service. “Using the cart, we can achieve those goals in the best possible way.”

The quad cart supports a patient’s pelvic floor and torso and can be adjusted to fit particular mobility impairments. It has stirrups that can lift paralyzed legs off the ground and a detachable headrest for dogs recovering from spine surgery or suffering from fatigue. A tow handle lets the rehab team move the cart if the patient needs help.

“This cart adds a lot of function to our service,” said Shull. “We have carts for cats and smaller dogs, but this cart allows us to offer larger dogs the same mobility and experience. MSU is the only veterinary hospital in Michigan with this cart."

The Rehabilitation Service team can now more easily provide geriatric care, pain management, and surgery prep and recovery to these larger dogs. The services include acupuncture, electrical stimulation, hydrotherapy, massage and stretching, neurologic retraining, orthopedic therapy, therapeutic laser, and weight loss maintenance.