Animal wheelchairs

Problem – small size animals ( mostly dogs and cats ) with paresis or hindlimbs paralysis.

Our adventure with creating wheelchairs for animals started with Tofik – a miniature pinscher that is a pet of Mrs Monika, who works in “Cztery Łapy” vet’s office in Kielce, we cooperate with. Tofik has always had problems with his spine and unfortunately twisted it as a result of the unfortunate jump. Since then he was not able to move on his own and had to use a wheelchair. Unfortunately for him he is a dog of a very small weight of 3,2 kilogram.

His first wheelchair weighed 1,5 kilogram. For us it seems to be light weight, for Tofik however, it is nearly 50% of his body weight. Just after few months of using the wheelchair there have appeared health problems resulting from excessive weight on shoulder joints and forelimbs. Tofik’s chest muscles grew to such an extent that his paws could not drop freely during sleep. The situation was becoming dangerous enough for the dog’s health that he could not use his old wheelchair. At that point we decided to help him. This is how I have started my adventure with wheelchairs for animals.

Tofik turned to be an outstanding and fearless tester of our solution. Thanks to his undaunted energy and destructive impulses we had made an enormous progress of our project. Currently our wheelchairs are used by few cats and dogs of different breeds, sizes and weights. We stay in touch with their owners and all their opinions and observations allow for development of our project and its constant improvement.

Solution

Our wheelchairs are intended mostly for small size animals of weight of up to 10 kilograms. They are characterised by a very small weight, what is particularly important in case of small animals. We do not rule out however their further development from the point of view of adjusting them to bigger and heavier animals.

When it comes to stages of creating a wheelchair – the first of them is gathering information about the animal. Causes of the paralysis or paresis are important, and whether the animal has chances to be able-bodied again. We always consider special needs of the animal, which may need additional adjustment of the wheelchair.

Another stage is filling a measurement protocol by the veterinary doctor who takes care of an animal ( you can find the protocol on our website ). It contains 14 parameters, based on which I create a three-dimensional model of a wheelchair. We also develop an individual size of a chair, I choose adequate height of the wheelchair and wheel alignment.

In the next stage after having determined precise wheelchair’s geometry , its adjustment to the diseases and individual requirements of the animal and his guardian, I start making elements of the wheelchair. A part of them is made with use of 3D printing technology. All materials used in our wheelchairs are of high quality, and those having contact with skin of the animal have appropriate certificates. We care a lot for the highest comfort of animals using wheelchair.

The final stage is assembling printed elements with mechanical parts of the wheelchair and adjusting it to a adequate position. Then a quality control of the product is run. A ready wheelchair is shipped to the owner of the animal for fitting. If the wheelchair is well-fitted, it can be used by the animal right away.

Effects

Our wheelchairs are developed and prepared completely remotely, thanks to use of the measurement protocol. It contains all the essential parameters, allowing to construct the wheelchair appropriately, without necessity for an appointment. Our wheelchairs also hold very easy option to regulate the height and adjustment of a chair and wheels. That way the owner can adjust the wheelchair easily and on their own. We have developed a number of manuals regarding adjustment of the wheelchair. The weight of our currently the smallest wheelchair is 0,5 kilogram.