Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 06, 2016
    Location
    The Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    59
    Thanks
    11
    Thanks
    7 Rec'd/2 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    8 Post(s)

    Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    Greetings, my human and non-human friends. Today I come with a complicated and unusual issue.

    As some of you know, Maple is paralyzed. Or, he was paralyzed. He's gotten a significant amount of motion back, and I'm almost positive he has feeling in both back legs. So now we have another problem, which is that he's in danger of muscle atrophy and can't figure out how to walk.

    His left leg is much better than his right. So what ends up happening is that as soon as he's put in the cage, he tips to the right side so that he's actually sitting on top of his useless right leg, and there's nothing he can do about it. So he just drags himself around with his front legs. The vet has us doing some physical therapy with him, which includes lifting him up and then gently lowering him so his weight is supported on his back legs, as well as moving his legs back and forth. But I don't think it's enough.

    So here's what I want to do: I want to make him a wheelchair or sling of sorts to use during floor time. It needs hold him so that his legs stay under him and he can use them to walk without having to overcome the challenge of falling down and standing up. If we go the wheelchair route it will be harder, because I have no idea how we'll rig up wheels and still let his legs be free, but he'll be more independent. If we do a sling, it'll be sort of like a guinea pig tote bag with four holes for legs, and then we'll follow him around and hold him up. I'm not completely sure how that would work, but Mom saw someone do it with a lamb?

    So for one thing, I'm looking for suggestions on how we can pull this thing off. But even more importantly, I want to know how to do this without injuring him. I know that cavies have super sensitive spines, which is why they can't have wheels, balls, or harnesses--and I'm practically making a harness. And I'm even more aware of it now that I have a guinea pig with spine problems. So how can I make sure I don't injure his spine? Or better: How could I possibly injure his spine, so that I know not to do that?

  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    28,435
    Thanks
    169
    Thanks
    7,204 Rec'd/5,737 Posts
    Mentioned
    2022 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3767 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    Here's a GL thread on the Roxy Roller: http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=15475

  3. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," say these 2 members:


  4. #3
    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 23, 2019
    Posts
    219
    Thanks
    92
    Thanks
    59 Rec'd/53 Posts
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Quoted
    30 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    How awesome you're going to do this! I wish you and Maple all the best ❤️

  5. "Thank you, MerryFriarTuck, for this useful post," says:


  6. #4
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 06, 2016
    Location
    The Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    59
    Thanks
    11
    Thanks
    7 Rec'd/2 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    8 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Here's a GL thread on the Roxy Roller: http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=15475
    Oooh, that is clever. Thank you very much--I'll definitely need that for reference. I don't know where I can find neoprene...I'll have to look into that.

  7. #5
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 06, 2016
    Location
    The Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    59
    Thanks
    11
    Thanks
    7 Rec'd/2 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    8 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    Attempt number 1 (I apologize for the horrendous picture quality):

    Name:  WIN_20191031_18_38_54_Pro (2).jpg
Views: 68
Size:  49.6 KB

    I made the cart out of LEGOs, because I didn't have any wheels that I could directly attach to the flip flop, and...well, LEGOs are just good for everything. Then I put the flip flop on top. The LEGO wheels turn surprisingly well on fleece. The hard part was the harness.

    We didn't have any neoprene on hand, or any foreseeable hope of finding it, so we started with an old dish towel. That was only supposed to be temporary anyway, but it really won't work at all (if we'd had enough felt, that would have been better. But still probably not good enough). The problem was that the towel stretches. So to make it tight enough that he can't squeeze out, we're probably restricting his breathing.

    We got him to wear it for a few seconds, though, and in those few seconds I realized that I really don't know what I'm doing. The first thing he did was panic and try to run off, which resulted in him lying on his back frantically kicking his legs. I righted him, and for just a moment, it was working. He could roll around on it, and his back legs were in a more proper place. But then I took it off because his sides were heaving and he looked super uncomfortable.

    So. Problem number one: The harness needs to be made of a different material. I'm considering getting him one of those guinea pig leashes you're not supposed to buy and using the harness from that, but I haven't done my research yet so I'm not sure if it'll be feasible.

    Problem number 2: I don't know how to tell if it's hurting him. It has him lifted up at a weird position that can't possibly be comfortable, and it seems like that could restrict his breathing. But he didn't seem any less comfortable than Roxy seemed in that picture. And apparently she was relaxed? How do I know that I'm not hurting his sensitive little spine and his sensitive little organs? I really really really don't want to hurt him.

  8. #6
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,400
    Thanks
    400
    Thanks
    553 Rec'd/460 Posts
    Mentioned
    80 Post(s)
    Quoted
    410 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    I wonder if the headgear from a CPAP mask might be what you need? Its stretchy and has velcro fastening straps as well. I BELIEVE they're made from neoprene. Although youd have to look around for ordering and whatnot. I don't think it would be an inexpensive solution but I think it would work

  9. #7
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 06, 2016
    Location
    The Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    59
    Thanks
    11
    Thanks
    7 Rec'd/2 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    8 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    Quote Originally Posted by Guinea Pig Papa View Post
    I wonder if the headgear from a CPAP mask might be what you need? Its stretchy and has velcro fastening straps as well. I BELIEVE they're made from neoprene. Although youd have to look around for ordering and whatnot. I don't think it would be an inexpensive solution but I think it would work
    Hmm...I don't know where I would could find that...

  10. #8
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,400
    Thanks
    400
    Thanks
    553 Rec'd/460 Posts
    Mentioned
    80 Post(s)
    Quoted
    410 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    I know there are places online. They sell parts or whole masks. You likely have a medical supply place close to you as well. We have a place here called Medigas.

  11. #9
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,400
    Thanks
    400
    Thanks
    553 Rec'd/460 Posts
    Mentioned
    80 Post(s)
    Quoted
    410 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair


  12. #10
    Cavy Champion Guinea Pig Papa's Avatar
    Joined
    May 12, 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,400
    Thanks
    400
    Thanks
    553 Rec'd/460 Posts
    Mentioned
    80 Post(s)
    Quoted
    410 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    Try that link and browse to see if what I'm talking about would suit your needs. It was just a thought on my part.

    I'm not very "crafty" so to speak, but the headgear from some of those masks looks like it would be perfect.

  13. #11
    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,766
    Thanks
    4
    Thanks
    493 Rec'd/415 Posts
    Mentioned
    156 Post(s)
    Quoted
    232 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    You can get sheets of neoprene on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=neoprene+...f=nb_sb_noss_2

  14. "Thank you, Soecara, for this useful post," says:


  15. #12
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 06, 2016
    Location
    The Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    59
    Thanks
    11
    Thanks
    7 Rec'd/2 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Quoted
    8 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    @Guinea Pig Papa , @Soecara , I really appreciate the helpful suggestions...But here's the thing: If I order something online, it has to ship. And I need this now, not a week from now. The longer Maple goes without finding a way to walk, the harder it'll be for him to recover. I'm not sure I can afford to wait that long.

    That said, I'll be going into the city tomorrow, so I can try and find neoprene and/or a CPAP mask while I'm there. I'll tell you if I succeed.

  16. #13
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    28,435
    Thanks
    169
    Thanks
    7,204 Rec'd/5,737 Posts
    Mentioned
    2022 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3767 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    What about just plain velcro strips? You can find them at any fabric store.

  17. #14
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jul 05, 2019
    Posts
    41
    Thanks
    1
    Thanks
    2 Rec'd/2 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    4 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    Have you considered hydro-therapy? I.E. put him in a tub with the water just high enough to take the weight off his legs but low enough to walk.

  18. #15
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
    Joined
    Oct 09, 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    5,518
    Thanks
    71
    Thanks
    1,538 Rec'd/1,267 Posts
    Mentioned
    584 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1142 Post(s)

    Re: Guinea Pig Wheelchair

    @Maplepig........did you ever create a working wheelchair for your cavy? Are you still looking for neoprene? I just came down from a search in my attic with a pair of neoprene "exercise" shorts that would provide lots of neoprene for your project.

    If you want them, they're yours. PM me with a mailing address and I'll get them out to you. I also have a neoprene foot splint that I'll include.

User Tag List

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •