A little over a month ago Mia was ageing well. I mean, she’s 12, she’s a Rottweiler and she’s had her health demons but she was doing well and still enjoying everything she always has, such as chasing a tennis ball, albeit in shorter spells.
But you know what they say about counting chickens before they hatch.
A few days after we had said how well we thought she was doing, something happened and one health problem led to another and about a month ago, Mia fell twice in a very short space of time and couldn’t keep her balance or even walk a step without collapsing.
We still have no idea if what initially set the ‘illness ball’ rolling, IBD and medication for that is linked to what followed when she went off her legs. But in truth, everything else has faded into comparison while we’ve navigated our way through her mobility situation. Not knowing what her new normal would be or how long it might take to discover was quite a shock, to be honest.
A month on, we’re quietly confident that we’re on the road to recovery and where we are now is down to two things – Mia’s ‘I know best’ attitude, determination and her willingness to take some guidance in the early days, and a Help’EmUp Harness (priced from £58.33 exc VAT) which we discovered online while searching for solutions to try and help us to help her get back on her feet.
The harness has truly been a gamechanger for Mia’s rehabilitation. If your dog has mobility problems of any kind, from arthritis to more serious issues such as Degenerative Myelopathy, then I encourage you to investigate further.
After reading about the harness online, I contacted OrthoPets.co.uk and received some fantastic advice from Alison Hunt.
The harness is available in sizes x-small to x-large. Alison helped me to work out what size Mia might need based on her weight and breed and forewarned me that the Help’EmUp Harness looked quite complicated in real life but is in fact very intuitive to set up, and she was absolutely right.
The harness has two parts to it essentially and this is so that whether your dog needs extra help and support to their front or back-end or both, you’re covered.
Mia needed a large size harness (£87.50 exc VAT) but she’s a small large, so after we altered the strap sizes to fit (you can cut away the excess material, if you do this please remember to seal the end of the strap with a naked flame before putting on your dog, otherwise the material ends will fray).
There’s a combination of fleece and meshed padding in all the areas you’d expect to have good padding to keep your dog comfortable when wearing and there are softer stockings dotted around to conceal any excess straps or provide extra comfort, so you can put it on and leave all day (although it’s recommended you take off at night time).
We put it on when Mia needed it but took it off at all other times because, in the early weeks, she was spending her days confined to one or two sleeping zones to help her recoup and recover.
It’s a very well made harness. The stitching is good quality and the plastic clip fastenings have all performed exactly as you might expect, I have no worries that they’ll come undone.