A Donkey Wheelchair for the Holidays

Nov 26, 2020 6:45:00 AM

A Donkey Wheelchair for the Holidays

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? For Norman and his family, they are thankful for the gift of mobility!

Meet Norman the DonkeyNorman's Wheelchair

Norman has been living with Heidi, his owner, for over 20 years in Ohio. One morning, caretakers went out to get Norman's breakfast and discovered him on the ground, unable to stand or move his back legs. Norman was seriously injured.

Norman was rushed to Ohio State University where the Veterinarians went above and beyond trying to find out what had happened and how to care for him.


Operation: Get Norman Moving

The OSU staff led by Dr. Timko diagnosed Norman with a spinal condition called Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). IVDD is when bulging vertebral disks put pressure onto the spinal cord causing numbness, pain, incoordination, and eventual paralysis. Norman's IVDD occurred between L4-L5, and left him with decreased mobility in hind left leg.

Ideally, a pet diagnosed with IVDD would start physical therapy including hydrotherapy and laser therapy to help slow the progress of the disease but Norman was 340 lbs. and very challenging to move. The team progressed with the laser therapy hoping that it would help enough to get Norman back on his feet.

Heidi knew Norman needed to get back on his feet to fully heal and lose the extra weight which was putting unnecessary pressure on his spine. Knowing Norman was going to need some creative thinking and support to keep moving forward, Heidi reached out to Walkin’ Pets, to see if they could help.

Donkey in a wheelchair

A Custom Donkey Wheelchair

The Walkin' Pet team was up for the challenge! Norman's wheelchair is the largest wheelchair the team has ever made! To accommodate Norman's weight. Norman's rear wheels feature special fixed knuckles and a reinforced frame rugged enough to support Norman’s weight. As soon as he got into his new wheelchair, Norman took off right right away! After only a few weeks, Norman is down to a slim 312 lbs.

His improvement has been incredible! With the support of the wheelchair, Norman was able to stand upright and reduce the pressure on his back leg. Norman's wheelchair has helped him to build up his strength and improve mobility. After a few short weeks, he can now stand on his own for hours unsupported! His wheelchair has made all the difference in his recovery and has been released from OSU and is now back home at the farm!

IVDD Guide

Tags: Pet Tails