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Thread: Dog wheelchair

  1. #1

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    lazarus's Tools

    Dog wheelchair

    I'm not sure this qualifies as a tool, but it sure makes the job of walking the dog and letting her do her duties much easier.

    My sons 13 year old German Shepherd started losing the use of her back legs a few months ago. She has gotten so weak that she can't stand up or walk without help. He brought her over to the farm thinking she was ready to die and asked if I could help her, or put her down if not. One look at the dog and we all said, "this dog isn't ready to go." Eyes bright, alert, wanting to "do", just not able. Wife says, "can't you build her a wheelchair". Off to the shop, the shed and the internet.

    I had a people walker that I was gonna use some of the aluminum for a tree stand. It was still complete. I weigh about 3 times the weight and it held my total weight and a lot of stress it wasn't designed for didn't affect it. This is the donor for the dog chair. Walmart sells a model(different design) for $439. If I screw up a $5.00 walker, I won't feel too bad.

    I cut off the legs of the open side at the side support bars. Next I took the end stubs that pulled out of the bottom leg and put them into the remaining closed end leg bottoms(after removing the rubbers). After measuring the dog I decided a 10" gap would fit her. This was as narrow as the frame would let me cut and keep the lock bars. I cut out the center of the front top cross bar and cut the lower front cross bar in the center. Next, I bent the lower bar sections up to meet the top bar for strength and extra room for a tail. This is very thin wall tubing so forgive my welds. It is very strong and very light weight. I bolted brackets from hydraulic door returns that had wore out to the frame, drilled 5/8" holes in them and put grade 8 bolts in them(overkill). The wheels were off a garden cart that the axle rusted thru and all else was trashed. A piece of 3/4" conduit with neoprene cold water insulation bears the weight up front, but her rear legs still make the moves like walking. Dog wheelchair-part_1467725942439.jpg

    This was the initial test drive. I put a shoulder harness under the frame and wound the shoulder loops over the rails. Picking the dogs back legs up and putting them through the loops was doable, but not fun. I set her down and off she went. Out in the yard, thru the grass, scared the hell out of the horses, back after doing her duty she goes in the shop to snoop around.

    When she was done I decided the extra piece in the long rails put too much weight in front of her shoulders so it was removed and the shoulder bar put in the front of the adjustable bar. The rivets that hold the side cross support were drilled out of the top rails and 5/16" Briggs and Stratton head bolts from a grenaded opposing twin engine replaced the rivets with a little over an inch sticking above the top nuts. I took a piece of 4" load strap (left over from my flatbed days) and put gromets in it in each corner. 2 more B&S head bolts and it was done. You put the strap on one side, move the wheelchair over the dog. Lift up her belly and slide the strap under it and lift up and hook the strap on the other side. Then you try not to cry as she takes off like nothing was ever wrong.

    Sorry I didn't get better, or final pictures. she went out to the gate and wanted to get in their SUV and go home. He says she is doing fine at the house and going for walks down the street.

    The belly support has to be forward of the axles 3-5"s so the dog doesn't tip over backward.

    Late entry..The shoulder bar is held on with 1/4" eye bolts with the loop on the bottom. Caribeener(?) clips hold the eye bolts to her halter so her front pulls the chair.
    Last edited by lazarus; 07-11-2016 at 08:35 PM. Reason: spelling and more info

  2. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to lazarus For This Useful Post:

    50gator (12-28-2017), bruce.desertrat (12-29-2017), C-Bag (07-09-2016), Jon (07-10-2016), Okapi (10-02-2016), Paul Jones (07-08-2016), PJs (07-11-2016), sawswood (07-14-2016), Toolmaker51 (07-09-2016), Tuomas (07-11-2016)

  3. #2
    Frank S's Avatar
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    You might not be sure if it qualifies as a tool but I bet the dog knows it is a very useful tool for her.
    Good on ya for taking the time to make this being's life a little easier.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Toolmaker51 (07-09-2016)

  5. #3
    Paul Jones's Avatar
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    Great story and happy ending. Thank you for sharing.

  6. #4

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    Thanks Frank and Paul Jones. I think it will make life easier for her and the family. Now she can get around till it's her time to give it up. I've seen too many good dogs put down for convenience to their owners to let a good companion suffer, if it can be helped. I live on a small farm and we have 3 horses(2 are rescues), 7 dogs, 2 pigs and 20 chickens. My biggest problem with these farm animals is momma and her sister give them all names. Once you name an animal, it's a pet and no longer suitable for food(eggs only). I've built a 1911 from castings with hand tools(350 hours) and it didn't give me any more satisfaction than seeing her walk around in a 4 hour project.

    Ben

  7. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to lazarus For This Useful Post:

    C-Bag (07-09-2016), Paul Jones (07-12-2016), Toolmaker51 (07-09-2016)

  8. #5
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    A little off the thread, but seeing comments left by various HMT members, lent insight to 'our' sensitive side about man's best friend. Here are some of mine.
    The world's greatest doctors are Veterinarians.
    Others who care for animals are the real 'Social Workers'.
    And from "A Matter of Life and Death" (1946). A motion picture, where David Niven's character thinks he's killed during crash of his Lancaster bomber into the English Channel. Walking in from the surf, through low dunes, a big black Lab runs up for attention
    Dog wheelchair-thered-dogs.jpg
    and Niven says "Oh, I always hoped there'd be dogs..."
    Take 100+ minutes, and watch it. Been and still my favorite over 50 years. U.S. title is "Stairway to Heaven"
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Toolmaker51 For This Useful Post:

    C-Bag (07-09-2016), lazarus (07-10-2016), Paul Jones (07-12-2016)

  10. #6
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    Good job Ben.

    There's few things on this planet that are more dear to me than my dogs. Your solution was a lot like what I used for my go at the same problem. I had a completely different outcome because my dog Izzy had a different problem. I think she was either poisoned or ate a blackwidow(which we had a lot of and she was always going after any critters). Dunno for sure. But the vet and others thought she was done and that was 9yrs ago!

    She could move around good enough to take care of her needs but not go for a walk. So I saw a dog chariot and also had a walker out in the garage. The hard part in looking at all the designs was getting the dog into it. What I did use the same hardware and make the wheels swing out so the whole thing lay flat. Then walked Iz over it and then lift up until it locked. I should have used something like cloth or netting instead of straps as it wasn't as comfortable as yours is, but I was trying to figure out if it would even work.

    It seemed to be the correct height but unfortunately my daughter was there and she started laughing so hard I thought she was going to stroke out. Iz is very smart and I think she got TOTALLY embarrassed. She wouldn't even let me try to get her in it again so I could perfect it. But she also decided she was going to walk no matter what.

    I know it's not the same as your sons dog as it ultimately was not a hip problem. But it had been a couple of years since she'd even thought about trying to go for a walk and that seemed turn some kind of corner for her. Now she HAS to walk every evening.

    I applaud your dillegence to help man's best friend remain on the planet and doing what all dogs live for, going for a walk and making me slow down and go with her.
    Last edited by C-Bag; 07-09-2016 at 05:29 PM.

  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to C-Bag For This Useful Post:

    lazarus (07-10-2016), Paul Jones (07-12-2016), Toolmaker51 (07-09-2016)

  12. #7

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    I'm glad everything worked out in the long run. One of my friends had a prize(#2 in US and #1 in Canada) Mastiff that got bit by a Copperhead when it saved his toddler from the snake. The dog was never right after that. Still good for show, but not trustworthy as a pet(a little mean). A "little" mean Mastiff don't work with 3 youngsters, so he had to turn him over to his trainer.
    I'm really glad to hear yours got over it, kinda gives you hope knowing things like this can pass.

    Ben

  13. #8

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    Thanks Toolmaker51. I'll see if they have it on Netflix.

    Ben

  14. #9
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    Thanks lazarus! We've added your Dog Wheelchair to our Miscellaneous category,
    as well as to your builder page: lazarus's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:



  15. #10
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    Loable tu trabajo, felicitaciones.

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