Born unable to move his back legs, the only way Opie, a hedgehog, could get around was by scooting on his belly and dragging his back legs behind him.
Seeing his determination, Opie’s mom wanted to do everything she could to help Opie walk on his own. After hopping online to do some research, she came across Walkin’ Pets, a company that specializes in pet mobility and reached out to see if they could help.
The Walkin’ Pets team knew they had to help. They also knew the Opie’s wheelchair would need to be tiny. Weighing under a pound, Opie is a fraction of the size of most of the animals using a Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair. The company primarily creates wheelschairs for dogs, but has helped other animals, including a disabled, rescue mini horse that had been bitten by a poisonous snake on the back of her hoof and had to have her leg amputated.
Opie’s one-of-a-kind hedgehog wheelchair is the smallest wheelchair the company has ever built. Designed to be as lightweight as possible, the wheelchair frame was 3D printed ,which allowed the Walkin’ Pets team to reduce the wheelchair weight by nearly 60%. Since Opie is still a baby, his Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair is designed to adjust with him as he grows. It also features easy-to -maneuver roller ball wheels that allow Opie to steer in any direction.
Hedgehog mobility loss is not uncommon. Although Opie’s mobility problems likely occurred in utero, it more commonly stems from a condition known as Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome. Opie’s mom hopes that sharing his stoy will help other mobility challenged hedgehogs.
For more information about Walkin’ Pets, visit their site at: https://www.handicappedpets.com/