2020-07-07 This original post was posted almost exactly 10 years ago today. I updated my website earlier this year. The videos on this post no longer worked so I had to reinsert them.
I am not someone who holds resentments. I am a very forgiving person. Updating this post, 10 years later, still brought me to tears. The way Eddie Wheels treated us is to this day is sickening.
I teach people to let go of guilt after their animal passes. I know how hard it is. I feel guilty to this day, that I ever subjected Maia to this cart experience. I know she flies peacefully in Heaven. It is my living amends to her to share this experience so other dogs are not hurt.
The original post was written in a time of great sadness and anger. 10 years later, I feel the same way.
Original Post 2010-07-10:
Here is the story of Maia and the Eddie’s Wheels cart. In less than one month, Maia makes a rapid decline and had to be helped to heaven. My feeling is the cart played a huge part in it. This is our story:
It starts off in late July:
Outside of the cart Maia has limited use of her hind end. Her muscles have atrophied and her toes turn over. She is wobbly but she gets around with some falls. Her front end is strained but still pretty strong.
I received the cart on Thursday from CARE in Santa Monica. To make a long story short they tried to send me home from there with the cart not fitting correctly. I was very concerned Maia would be injured in it and insisted on calling Eddies Wheels. The people at CARE where nice but had no idea how to fit the cart properly. We (care and I) sent Leslie at Eddie’s wheels pictures and video of Maia in the cart and then Leslie told us how to readjust it. When I got home, I called Leslie again because I still did not feel comfortable with the way the cart was moving and she gave me further adjustments.
It is almost impossible to get Maia in the cart as a single person. I have to lift her hind all the way up and down into the saddle. If Maia struggles a little bit I am worried I am going to hurt her badly.
The cart is heavy for Maia to pull. It bangs back and forth (sideways) on her while she is walking. When her hind legs are in the stirrups they make her hind go in an awkward position and throws off the balance of the cart throwing the weight on her shoulders. The wheels are at a very strange tilted angle. When Maia comes out of the cart she can barely walk. She is hunched over and tilted drastically to one side. It takes about four hours for her to be able to walk normally or walk at all. Her back is also in pain from trying to keep the cart from not banging into her.
Video of Maia walking in Cart Day 4:
Video of Maia walking crooked after getting out of cart:
Video of Maia walking Day 2 of cart:
Video of Maia Walking in Cart Day 1. This is how CARE wanted to send us home before I said I wanted to call Eddie’s Wheels:
At one point I was worried the wheels were going to run over Maia’s legs. You will see this if you watch closely. The bars are slanted and it is not tall enough for Maia. This forced her body into a hunched position instead of being straight.
Video of Maia Talking About Her Cart:
EDDIES WHEELS REFUSED TO TALK TO ME! Carole was helpful in the beginning but then Leslie the owner never called me.
ON SAT AUGUST 21TH I paid a canine physical therapist that works closely with a veterinarian to work with Maia and me and the cart. She brought her engineer friend. They worked with us for 1.5 hours and thought they had it fitted correctly. Since everything is welded they adjusting the height to the finest measurements and added cushion. They were very caring and concerned.
ON SUNDAY AUGUST 22TH MAIA COULD NOT WALK AT ALL. BEING IN THE CART HAD CREATED THAT MUCH PAIN.
ON MONDAY AUGUST 23RD I HAD MAIA PHOTOGRAPHED BY A PHOTOGRAPHER. MAIA WAS STILL IN PAIN FROM THE CART.
ON TUESDAY AUGUST 24TH. MAIA BEGGED ME TO SEND HER TO HEAVEN.
HERE IS THE LINK TO MAIA’S PASSING STORY CLICK HERE
THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT THE EDDIE’S WHEELS CART CREATED DAMAGE TO MAIA’S BODY THAT COULD NOT BE REVERSED.
I KNOW WITH ALL MY HEART THAT IT SPED UP MAIA’S DYING PROCESS.
I REGRET EVER PURCHASING IT AND EVER PUTTING HER IN IT.
I had a fully Counterbalanced Cart for Maia. It is for dogs that have serious physical problems and will be degenerating. It was not supposed to be as heavy as it was and it was not supposed to cause her as much pain as it did. I know with all my heart Maia was not worse than the dogs they describe. Maia’s cart damaged her.
From Eddie Wheels: All standard carts can be upgraded to counterbalanced by the acquisition of new axles, brace bars, and a support strap. For pets with serious forelimb deficits will remove up to 40% of the weight borne on the front legs. For dogs with advanced DM, cervical IVDD, osteoarthritis.
If you are looking to buy a cart:
Do not spend your money on Eddie’s Wheels. Custom-fit is not better.
They have a no refund policy which means they will not help you.
And if you beg for help they say it will cost another $150 or more.
What I learned:
You have to lift a dog high to get them into the cart. This can create great pain in the spine if issues are already present.
Very difficult to do alone if you have a big dog.
The yoke may poke dog on the side if the dog struggles/wiggles a little bit.
The saddle can be very tight on the pelvis and is not always welded at the right angle.
The saddle needs more cushion.
The cart is heavy for dogs that are weak in the front end even though I purchased “counterbalanced”.
The front strap pulls on the shoulder too much. Similar to a “easy walk” harness. Which is working against a dog that is trying to move forward.
If Maia moved fast, this cart would lose balance and sway from side to side making the wheels come off the ground. I was afraid it would knock her over.
The side rails would slam into her side as she moved. Which created a great amount of stress on her spine and the muscles on her side. I would like to have seen them padded.
I would also like to see a belly strap on all older dog carts. This would give extra support to the delicate spine.
This cart can come with stirrups. When I placed Maia’s legs in the stirrups (I was careful to follow directions) the weight of the cart would be thrown forward and rest on Maia’s shoulders. Making it impossible for her to walk forward with ease.
If I put her in this cart for 10 minutes she could not walk for 4 hours afterward and when she did she was crooked from the cart banging into her.
Many dogs that use these carts muscles are in the beginning stages atrophy. The muscles get bruised from the slamming.
The company will tell you that this pain is normal when they are getting used to the cart. I believe that if the cart was a good design Maia could be more active in it, making her more tired. But her pain was from bad design and a bad fit.
Maia was measured and fitted by CARE in Santa Monica, CA. One of Eddies Wheels Authorized facilities. I paid an extra $150 for this service. This did not guarantee a custom fit.
I was very unhappy with this cart and with the customer service.
* I would like to offer my pet psychic services to any other company that would like to know how their pets are feeling in their carts. I would like to honor Maia by helping other dogs. This offer stands to know matter how much time goes by.
When I contacted Eddie’s Wheels to tell them about Maia’s passing. Eddie’s wheels were insensitive! I received this email:
From: “Leslie DeGraff-Grinnell” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: August 30, 2010 2:20:53 PM PDT
To: “‘Laura Stinchfield'”
Subject: RE: from laura stinchfield
Our sincere condolences on your loss. Unfortunately, had we been informed that Maia had a heart condition before we accepted your order, we might have advised against purchasing a cart. However, you neglected to give us her entire medical history.
As you can see days after I ordered the cart (after the weekend – and way before the cart even got started being built) I wrote this email to Eddies Wheels telling them about Maia’s heart:
Subject: from laura Stinchfield – ordered cart for Maia GSD / wolf
Date: July 10, 2010 7:16:39 PM PDT
We talked on the phone the other day about a cart for my gsd / wolf Maia. I was at Care in Santa Monica.
Maia’s weight alarmed me! I believe it was 62lbs (at her prime she was 115lbs). Because of it I took her to my regular vet. There she weighed 69 lbs (still alarming) and got diagnosed with a heart problem. I am going to try and get some weight on her.
A few things:
1. I wanted to let you know about the weight. I don’t know if it makes a difference.
2. Also we walk a lot at a grassy / dirt park and on dirt roads. So it is important to me that Maia has wheels that are easy for her to walk on that terrain. see below
3. CONDITION: Maia’s hind end is deteriorating rapidly. Her hind muscles have atrophied and are virtually non-existent. Her front end is very strained from pulling around her hind end but she is still strong in the front end. She has started to compensate with her front by bowing her elbows in and her paws out. She is amazing with her torso and can shift her body to catch herself going down a few stairs or if she goes to fall. I am worried about her front end lugging around the rear much longer. Her left rear is worse.
She has been diagnosed with that heart problem but she still has the stamina for a 20 min walk twice a day. Though now only on grass because she is dragging her hind so much and they will bleed. It looks neurological with the flipping of the toe.
4. How long do you think it will be?
5. Please contact me when her wheels have been shipped.
Thank you! We are very anxious 🙂 As I am sure all your buyers are.
All my best, Laura
Here is Eddie’s Wheels letter to AMEX when I tried to get my money back. They not only mock me as a pet psychic but they also say:
“Caring for a disabled animal takes work and commitment, and despite our guidance and tutorials, Ms. Stinchfield is now too helpless to lift her dog into the cart and use it.”
Now if they think “I” (a Professional Pet Psychic, Animal Trainer & Behaviorist)- who dedicates my whole life to the welfare of animals is too helpless to help my dog use an Eddie Wheel’s cart, may I ask what about the average pet owner? And exactly what “guidance” are they talking about?
Laura Stinchfield Has Been Featured On/In:
23 thoughts on “EDDIES WHEELS CART COMPLAINT : SPED UP THE DEATH OF MAIA”
I’m so sorry that both you and Maia had to deal with this. Thank you for posting this. I am sure I will need to buy wheels for my pup in the next year or so. I will definitely be careful of who to buy them from. Definitely not Eddie’s Wheels!
My deepest condolences for the loss of Maia.
I’ve heard things like this before. I bought an adjustable wheelchair called “Walkin’ Wheels” from HandicappedPets.com. They appear to be the experts here.
The thing about the adjustable cart is that it is not locked into one size dog — if it doesn’t fit, you simply adjust it. No tools, just finger-snap buttons like a pair or crutches.
Plus the people at HandicappedPets.com were REALLY helpful!! They have a vet tech there “Kelley” who had the patience of a saint while I asked all my dumb questions about fitting. I just didn’t believe that it was really that adjustable until I got it and peppered her with questions.
My dog used the Walkin’ Wheels until it was time for him to go. I sold the dog wheelchair on Ebay for close to what I paid for it. Overall, I’m really pleased and grateful.
Thank you Harold. I have since heard about handicappedpets.com and walkin’ wheels. Many people speak highly of them. I wish I knew about them before. I am glad you and your dog had a good experience. I am sorry for your loss as well. All my best, Laura
Gayle Bertsch wow! again, i am so sorry for maia’s/your pain
Laura Stinchfield Thank you Gayle. It was terribly difficult when it was going on, but we have found peace with it. We just don’t want to see anyone else go through what we did. We are all well now 🙂
Jeffrey Dransfeldt That is horrible what they wrote to you in that letter. Very insensitive in my opinion.
Yesterday at 6:49pm
Jan Verrill Gilpin Schmedeke I’m so sad that you all had to go through that. 🙁
Meredith Whitney I agree with Jeffrey, Leslie, the owner of the company is very insensitive.
Alice Tropper so so sorry they treated you and Maia with such insensitivity! 🙁 karma will find them!
Diane Zusman Laura, You go girl, you must spread the word of defective merchandise pandered to unsuspecting animal lovers. This is a crime, and so unthinkable that this company has so little compassion, it is obviously all about the all mighty dollar. You did everything possible for Maia, you must feel like you have lost not once, but twice.
Michele Morrow that’s really great that you are doing service in Maia’s honor. i know other dog’s will benefit. Maia knows what a good mama you are and that we all do the best we can.
Sheri Lynn So THIS is ‘the rest of the story’. Much godspeed to you and Maia.
Maria Tello In the end Maia knows you did everything you could to make her comfortable, hard as it is to see her pain, the love is resounding.
I am deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved Maia. I am familiar with the pain after losing my 16 1/2 year old westie this year. Thank you for telling us about this company thereby helping us spare our dogs pain that we might not have known they were experiencing. I will definitely keep the name Walkin’ wheels and that website in a safe place. I have recently adopted a 9 yr old westie who seems to already have a problem with one of her hips. I sorely hope she will never need one of these carts, but it will be easier to make the decision to get a cart for her knowing there is a good one out there with the pets best interest in mind.
Dear Laura please except my condolences on your loss of your beloved girl Maia I am so thankful you have posted this information as I am in the process of shopping for a cart for my chow who is no longer able to use her right hind leg due to hip problems I have been trying to decide which company to purchase it from I had narrowed it down to either Eddies or Walkin Wheels your information has made the choice for me I cannot imagine what poor Maia went through and just how bad you felt we do the very best we can for our pets you thought you were buying her the best cart being made Maia knew you were trying to help her she also knew you loved her very much she had a great life with you try to think about all the happy times together we cannot change yesterday.
Take care of yourself,
Danette & all the chows of Dante Chows
Hi Danette, Thank you for your kind words! How are the walkin wheels working? Have you got them yet for your girl? I would love to hear.
Thank you for writing! All my best, Laura
Good to know. I almost considered purchasing this cart. I’m still looking.
Sioux I hope you find a good one. I head great things about walking wheels http://handicappedpets.com/www/index.php/dog-wheelchairs.html?gclid=CI2B9tzR8KgCFUiK4AodyzqKCA I hope your and your dog are well!
Thank you for this post. My dog is 15 and has IVDD. He still walks but struggles. I was considering this cart. I notice that even after taking him for a walk in the help me up harness- he struggle to walk for an. hour or so on his own. It’s weird- like he can not adjust. I wonder if the cart idea is just a bad one altogether or if eddie’s wheels is the problem. I am so sorry for your loss. I just lost my lab in November and now i am trying to help my Bailey boy. It’s such a struggle. If you have any advice, I would like to hear it. thanks so much, Jolene
I am so sorry Jolene, that is so hard. I don’t really know how to advise you. It seemed Maia needed so much strength and stability in her spine to walk in the cart but you may be able to find another cart that would be better for your dog. Have you tried laser therapy? So many animals love it and find benefit from it. Maybe getting him a stroller and then letting him lie at the park? Sending you and Bailey many blessings!
Thank you for all of the information regarding Eddies cart.
Which is 1 of 3 carts recommended by our boxers vet.
Jake is 10 1/2 yrs old he has degenerative myelopathy.
We will NOT be getting Eddies cart.
It has been years and I am still brought to tears about this situation. I am so happy that you can be steered to a better cart. Check out the walkin wheels. Also now I have a jogging stoller for my Aussie. It is awesome. We have the novel dog jogger stroller. I made a few adjustments to it (liking having my dogs paws be able to stick out the front. But he is a big boy. You may not need it.) Check it out if you are thinking of a stroller as well. http://www.doggyride.com/us/en/P24/Novel-Dog-Jogger-Stroller.aspx
I will think good things for Jake. I will visualize him healthy with flexibility and mobility in his body 🙂 be well.
I did not have time to read all the comments but I am now more concerned than before. A physical therapist came to my house for the second time on Monday (6 mo ago was first visit). My large dog (lab/Dane still 126 lb) is suffering in what sounds like similar fashion. Last week he just couldn’t walk. He is already incontinent and I thought this was the next and final deterioration. He told me it wasn’t time though and I was giving us the weekend to figure it out together. Then by Monday he was walking with 80% his own power. Now just two more days and he needs help only in turning and stabilizing. The therapist thought maybe it was a stroke. I’m not sure what it is/was but thrilled with the recovery. I’m concerned though because of two things. I know the weakness will likely return and be an end of life issue and I’m terrified of making the decision for me and not him but I have faith I will do the right thing. This therapist did bring an eddies wheel cart which turned out to be far too narrow. I can’t see how I would get Duncan in either. I can hold him but not lift him 3 ft into the air… We tried, then took him out. He was so anxious for a good 10-15 min like a panic attack. I hoped it was just uncertainty of the situation. The therapist really feels eddies carts are the best. I want to have something in case this happens again. (For when it happens again). What suggestions?
I am so sorry to read about your dog. Have you had him seen by a chiropractor? If not I would do that right away. That can fix many of these problems. As you know, I would not suggest Eddies Carts at all! I have a http://www.doggyride.com stroller for my older dog now. He loves it! I would look into some of the other carts, but before that I would get him adjusted by a chiropractor, do accupuncture and learn the Tellington-touch. All of these things can help dogs with what you described. I have seen many bounce back to their normal mobile selves. Feel free to call into the radio show or set up a private to talk to your dog about where his pain is and what he thinks could help him. Many blessings to you!
I am torn about Eddies Wheels; they are the only option I have found for front wheel carts. I have a 9 lb toy poodle. Can you suggest any company for a front wheel cart? The other sites mentioned in these threads are only for back legs 🙁
I have a Dalmatian with a front leg amputation. Initially, she did not need a cart, however, she now does. I chose Eddie’s because they are the only company that offers a 2 wheeled cart for a front leg amputee allowing all three limbs to be used, and the ability to sit and pee in the cart. My rehab vet recommended that I not used Eddies, because of the number of clients that she has had that have had issues with improper fit and the fact that they don’t guarantee a fit, when all of the other companies do. Unfortunately for me and my dog, Victoria, I went against her advice.
It is an incredibly long story, but the cart was too narrow and had to be sent back because of a mistake of their staff. They paid for shipping and to fix it. However, the cart is also too tall for Victoria and when I mentioned that this may be an issue, I was told it was fine. When I got the cart back, I tried every way possible to adjust it so that it would fit properly. I have sent photos and videos trying to get advice from the “expert” staff, but no matter what I provided, it was not good enough. No matter how many times I asked for them to call me, they would only respond in writing. I dealt with Leslie also, and found her to be condescending (implying that I don’t know how to care for my dog or use the cart) but would not provide any useful advice. She finally told me that she needed to see a 1 minute long video of my dog walking normally in the cart, without being coaxed with treats. This was a ridiculous request given that Victoria didn’t fit in the cart and could not and would not walk (even without the cart) for that long. Not to mention that she had flipped forward completely over onto her back 2 times prior to that request.
There are other fundamental problems with the design of the sling in that it does not allow for enough room for her leg to move freely without chaffing.
I almost think that they are using their customers as a way to “test” their design and with their no return policy they have a way out if it doesn’t fit or work. For the front wheel carts, they claim that they cannot be resold because they are so “custom made” for individual dogs that they will only work with them.
From just looking at the photos of Maia in the cart, the first thing that strikes me is that the wheels are too small to provide the kind of stability that she needs. Even that is obvious to me. With Victoria, the wheels are really too large. She is a small Dalmatian (only 35 pounds) and the cart seems almost “overbuilt” for her. And there is the issue of adjustability of the metal components of the cart. It takes literally an hour to unscrew, adjust and screw the screws to make just a minor adjustment.
I am so frustrated with the whole process, the staff attitudes, etc that I don’t even want to call them again to try to get them to make it right. At the same time, Victoria needs something because she is losing mobility.
I have encountered one other person who has had a similar experience in 2011 with Eddies, but other than that it seems that everyone is just gushing with good feedback. One more thing, my vet told me that there are so many companies out there that do wheels for dogs that it is really unreasonable for Eddies to refuse to guarantee a fit, because everyone else does. She said it is one thing when you are a sole provider of something, but when there is competition, that type of policy is simply outdated.
Awww Molly, I am so sorry that this is happening to you. It has been many years since I had problems with Maia’s cart (she is long passed), but the even the thought of our experience with Eddie’s wheels makes me sick to my stomach with sorrow. In honor of Maia, I would like to gift you and Victoria a half hour pet psychic session. I will email you now. Sending you and Victoria many blessings.
I wish I had read this earlier. My puppy’s cart is coming tomorrow. I went with Eddies Wheels because my 10 month old dog Diamond is a distemper survivor with neurological issues and she has only about 30 % use of her right leg and her left is pinned up against her chest. She has myoclonic seizures as well. I couldn’t find any one else who made front wheel carts. After reading this I am scared to use it. She basically walks like an upright vacuum right now with her chin on the floor and her booty up in the air- which is bad for her spine cause she’s so lanky. I’ve got to get her up out of that position, I was so relieved to order the cart, now I’m scared I may do more damage to her.😔
Hi Sandy, I hope all went well with the cart and you had a different experience then me. Since she is still young she’ll have a better chance of moving it. How did it go?
I am so sorry to hear about Maia, and the other sad stories in the comments. My daughter is a 15 years and a half Hovawart, who also has heart problems. She is losing her strength on her back legs, and I am searching for a good wheelchair. Eddies was one of my options. I am so grateful I read this before making a decision.
What company do you suggest for my babygirl? Do you think a good wheelchair is recommended for a furbaby with heart problems? Thank you 🙏🏻
Aww I am so sorry to read about your sweet girl. I am not sure what the best cart would be for her. Connect with Denise on FB at https://www.facebook.com/denbydogcorgi/ She has a lot of followers with dogs in carts, so she probably knows more what is best. You can tell her I sent you. Denbi was my good friend 🙂 Also you could get her a stroller. Check out my amazon product page to see the one that I have for my dogs. there is a big one there and a small one: https://www.amazon.com/shop/thepetpsychic
my engineer friend and I were just talking about designing a cart for dogs in honor of Maia. So we may do that in the next year or so 🙂 Wishing you and your pup lots of love and many blessings!
Glad I looked at these, I am just starting to look and they are very expensive. My boyfriend dog will be in need of one and he doesn’t plain on spending any money he would rather take him out back. So I am hunting down what he will need and things to help him. He not that bad yet but more than likely will be wheel chair den-pendant . I have found walking pets and they have been very helpful on answering question and teaching by email to measure for him, looks like I will be doing some home work to get the best and lightest for him.
I wish you the best of luck! If you find one you like please let us know so we can post about it here. Thank you!