Special Needs Pet Adoptions

Deciding to adopt a pet is decision that should not be taken lightly. Special need animal adoptions should be thoroughly thought out before making the commitment to an animal. A special needs pet will require care and attention above what a normal healthy pet requires. In addition to the added time that is needed to care for these pets, special needs pets often require extra medical care which can lead to costly veterinary bills.

You may be asking yourself what exactly is a special needs pet. A special needs pet is an animal that requires special care due to a health or mental issue. Special needs don’t just relate to pets with physical limitations. Animals that have been abused are also considered special needs. They may not have problems physically, but they have issues mentally that would require special care. Animals with diseases such as diabetes, feline leukemia and FIV are considered special needs due to the specialized care and the specific type of home environment they need to thrive.

Before choosing to adopt a special needs pet, you need to take into consideration if you have the time that an animal with special needs requires. Animals with physical disabilities like blindness, paralysis or an amputation will require more work on your part to take care of them as opposed to animals with diseases as their special need. Pets with physical limitations will often times need help to move to get outside to use the restroom and moving from room to room in your house. Animals that have physical issues should not be left alone for long periods of time. If an animal is left in one position for an extended length of time, they can develop sores from laying down.

Animals with diseases will need more visits to the veterinarian than a healthy pet. Pets with diseases often have a lowered immune system and are more susceptible to illnesses than those with a normal immune system. Along with more vet visits, animals that have a disease, like diabetes, will require daily medication.

Each type of special need will require its own specialized care that the pet will need. Animals with the same condition will also vary on the amount of care they require. The severity of the animal’s condition along with the animal’s personalty will determine how much care they need and how they will adjust to their new home.

Cancer is animals is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells. The cancer can be benign, which means its localized and does not spread, or malignant, which means it has spread throughout the body. The treatment for cancer in animals will depend on the type of cancer they have. Some of the cancer treatment options include surgery to remove the cancerous tumor, chemotherapy, or radiation. If treatment of the cancer itself isn’t an option, the animal will be given medication to help with any symptoms the cancer may be causing. Cancer will often cause animals to not be as active as they were previously and may cause a decrease in appetite. The goal in treating cancer patients is to allow them to live out the remained of their life as pain free as possible. Even with cancer treatment, the life expectancy of animals with cancer is much shorter compared to those without it. Pets with cancer can still live a happy life with a loving family.

Blindness in an animal may be caused from a medical condition, a trauma or they may have been born without sight. Pets that are blind cope with the disability better than humans often give them credit for. Pets that are blind will use their other senses, especially their hearing and sense of smell, to help them navigate the world around them. The other senses will often become more sensitive to help overcompensate for the loss of sight. Pet that are blind can adapt well to new environments. Consideration should be taken when choosing to adopt a blind pet including the layout of the house, if it has steps, and the occupants of the house. Blind pets are not recommended for families with small children as they can startle easily and may accidentally knock small children down. Pets that are blind can lead a relatively normal life once accommodations are made to help them be safe in their new home.

Paralysis is the inability to move parts of the body and usually involves the hind limbs. Paralysis in pets is often caused by a trauma. Other causes can include the ingestion of toxins or certain diseases. The care for an animal with paralysis will include helping them to move around and making sure they change positions regularly. Paralyzed pets, especially dogs, can benefit from using a cart to help support their hind legs. The cart allows that dog the freedom of being able to move about on their own. If the paralysis is minor, the pet can be assisted to walk with the use of a towel to help support their hind legs. Pets with paralysis require a lot of hands on care and patience. These pets should live in a family that will have someone around them most of the day to help them.

Animals that have been diagnosed with diseases are also considered special needs. Diabetes is a fairly common disease in older animals. Animals with diabetes are not able to control the glucose levels in their body. Once animals are diagnosed as being diabetic they will begin treatment. Most pets with diabetes with be placed on a specialized diet and have to be given daily insulin injections. These injections are hardly noticed by the animal and are easy for pet owners to do. Diabetic animals need regular visits to the vet for check ups and to have their blood glucose levels monitored. If a diabetic pet is given their insulin daily and the disease is controlled, diabetic pets can expect to live a relatively normal life.

Anytime you choose dog adoptions or cat adoptions as opposed to buying a dog or cat, know you are saving the animal’s life. You are giving the animal the greatest gift you ever could, a loving home with unconditional love. Adoption is a wonderful way to add a special pet to your family.