Caring for your disabled pets is a big responsibility that is both demanding and rewarding in equal measure – and most of all: challenging. Each pet that comes with disabilities come with their own unique set of challenges that you need to help them with.
These are: blindness, deafness, paralysis, loss of limbs, and birth defects.
How you tackle each of them moving forward will be different, but first above all is to evaluate them – how they react to the environment – from their appetite, and to how they react to you and everyone else. As long as they keep on finding joy in things and with you, then the “battle” is halfway won. The moment they become lethargic, sickly, unresponsive, and/or in pain – then seeking a vet’s advice along with that checkup is warranted. In fact, seeking their advice on how to best help your pet thrive is a must-do.
Pets who are blind may need monitoring and supervision, they’ll need help moving about – so you may have to remodel or rearrange where you and your pet will live to help accommodate them while they learn to maneuver around until they are proficient enough to intimately know their local space. Make sure they get enough exercise, are well-fed, and clean.
Some people actually get another “seeing-eye” pet to help with the labor of love with taking care of your pet. A partner for them is like another nurse to share the “load”.
Some pets may be born deaf, yet they are able to lead a normal life as many other pets do – they just take a little more time and patience to do so. The normal care and attention given to them should not change, though a few steps are worth noting: you need to train both yourself and your pet cues and responses when communicating with them. Sometimes there’s also need to have a “hearing” pet to accompany them as some deaf pets will look at their closest feline or canine companion for cues on how to react.
The interesting thing to note with living with a deaf pet is that they are more alert than most normal pets will be, so they may startle more easily than others.
Paralysis (partial), other birth defects, and loss of limbs:
There are a few ways to handle this. You can invest in “pet wheels”, there’s lots of specialized stores now that help create, build, and sell customized wheelchairs and prosthetics to help your pets to help them develop an “active” lifestyle in terms of being able to go from “A to B”, and anything in between. Like with the aforementioned disabilities above, they’d be needing as much exercise that they can handle, along with everything else you’d normally do with your pet.
Some of them will need to be trained in the use of their prosthetics, though, but it wouldn’t be much of a hardship as the resulting benefits will be rewarding to you both.
The most important advice though, for us humans, is to be more patient with them and be more intuitive to their needs in order for you to help them live a normal, happy life as can be – no matter what their disabilities are. They’ll always return the love you’re giving them a thousandfold in many little ways.