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  • Author or Editor: Cindy Skowronek x
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Summary

A questionnaire was mailed to 30 owners of paraplegic dogs who had been caring for their dogs at home for 3 to 72 months. It was designed to collect information on demographic variables, duration of ownership and paralysis, age of the pet, pet/owner relationship, owner expectations and perceptions of the pet's quality of life, problems the pet experienced, effect that maintaining a paralyzed pet had on the owners' quality of life, and whether use of a cart was beneficial.

Significant correlation was found between prior expectations that the pet would lead a high-quality life and perception that the pet, in fact, had a high quality of life during paralysis (r 2 = 0.61, P = 0.01). Owners who had anticipated that extra work would be necessary to care for their paraplegic dog had a more positive attitude toward home care (r 2 = 0.55, P = 0.03).

Overall, owners involved in the study were satisfied with all aspects of maintaining paraplegic dogs at home. Our findings support the feasibility of dedicated owners successfully maintaining small (average body weight, 9 kg) paraplegic dogs at home for extended periods.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association