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General Info What size crate? Where to find insurance? If it doesn't quite fit in the other main forums, it goes here. We will add forums as needed.

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2008, 02:40 PM
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old dog needs help getting up stairs

My old girl (arthritic and bad hips) is really struggling to get up the stairs at night when it's time to go to bed. I was looking on the net for support harnesses...something I could hang onto and give her a little extra support/help but wasn't sure if I should go with something to prop up her back end or her front! A friend of mine cut open the sides of a canvas clutch bag and used that to help her old dog but I wasn't sure if that would work when Kenya was headed up a flight of steep stairs. I was looking for something with a "handle" on top...either easy on/off or something comfortable for her to keep on. Does anyone use anything they'd recommend??
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2008, 02:49 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Take a look at this.

ComfortLift Carrier: Sling-style dog carrier supports and assists older or arthritic dogs
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2008, 03:01 PM
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Post Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Maybe it would be kinder not to start helping her up the steep stairs?
Could you not just put up a nice, soft comfy bed downstairs...and have her sleep downstairs? Older dogs often need to be let out to pee and poop in a hurry...and having to struggle with stairs in the middle of the night would not be easy for the dog, or for you. She may be just as happy to stay downstairs. My Bruno that suffered with severe HD, found stairs much too hard as his hips got worse...I would not have even tried to get him up or down the stairs...too painful.

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  #4  
Old 01-08-2008, 03:58 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Thanks for the replys.
I've had older fosters who have let me know they prefer staying downstairs and life would be easier for both her and us if she was one of them...Kenya does have a comfy bed in the livingroom but WANTS to be upstairs with us....if I'm upstairs doing something for more than 15 minutes, I'll hear her struggling up the steps to be where I am. My son's golden was the same way when he aged and actually fell down a flight of steps trying to come up them which is another thing I worry about (plus her ending up with a heart attack after climbing the steps as she's really puffing). I could try to put a gate at the bottom of the steps to keep her downstairs, but she'd be very unhappy about that and sadly, I'm getting a bit too old to try to carry her.
Thanks for the link...I was considering something like that but wasn't sure I could use it when she was trying to climb the steps...seemed like it would work better on a level area..has anyone used a strap like this on steps? Other than the steps, she gets around pretty well.
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2008, 04:03 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

I used the sling type harness (that Observer spoke of) for Sheena when both of her back legs were paralyzed.
The harness worked great - handles were very handy.
During the last few days of her life I had to use the harness to support her chest and used a beach towel for her back end.
I bought the harness at my local pet store.
Good luck with your girl.
Just read your post - yes I did use the strap on a couple of steps and it did work out good.
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Last edited by Sheenagirl; 01-08-2008 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Adding add'l. info.
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2008, 04:21 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

I don't have stairs, so I don't have that issue, but I am not far from buying a ramp that's in the same catalog for Missy to use to get on and off the bed. She loves being there so much, (and I like having her up there too) I can't deprive her of that. She handles it pretty well now, but there have been times that I have thought that she's going to need some help. At almost twelve, I think it's great that she can do what she does! She's been lucky.

It's nice to have these tools like the slings and ramps to help us with the seniors.
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2008, 04:23 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Any chance of you moving downstairs to sleep?
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2008, 07:12 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Quote:
Any chance of you moving downstairs to sleep?
As hard as it would be I second this... When Harley's ability to get on and off our bed diminished the bed was moved to storage. In April (hopefully we make it till then) we will have been sleeping on the floor for two years...

Regarding harnesses to assist with mobility, my favorite by far is called the WebMaster Harness (made by Ruff Wear). Two of the vet hospitals Harley has visited started buying and recommending to patients because it is by far the best product for assisting (especially big dogs). It is also something that can stay on 24/7. We do use it to lift Harley (up and down stairs, in and out of trucks, cars, pools, etc) where I have all his weight, but the company doesn't recommend it and neither would I.
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2008, 10:32 AM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Jllack, I just checked out the WebMaster harness...I'm not seeing sizes??? Is it one size fits all? Did you have any problems with the buckles pressing into your dog's sides when they laid down as they look fairly bulky. I do like the way it's designed and it would be great if I could keep it on her all the time. I don't want anything that presses on her neck and this looks like it would sit low enough on her chest to not do that.
Right now she's still getting upstairs under her own power, but it's a struggle...I'm thinking if I use something like this to help her out a bit, we'll gain a bit of time that she can still come upstairs. I've literally carried some of my fosters upstairs (my senior medical needs ones) who have wanted upstairs with me...we'll cross that bridge with Kenya when we have to...I've also slept downstairs (on the sofa) with dogs who've had surgeries so they didn't have to try getting upstairs, but there's no way to put a bed down there; otherwise I would.
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:09 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Hi...have you tried giving your dog any supplements such as glucosamine? My little poodle is tearing around like crazy since I put him on a holistic liquid glucosamine made especially for dogs.
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:26 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

If it were me, I'd block the stairs so she couldn't climb them. I'd rather hurt her feelings then break her leg/neck/back from falling. She'd get over it and find that comfy bed to sleep in downstairs. But that's just me. I had a female who was riddled with arthritis so I've been there, done that.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:31 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Fostermom, that particular harness comes in XXS-L. Both my males wear the Medium, though we did have to get Harley a large when his leg was in a cast since the cast went all the way over his shoulders.

The buckles aren't too substantial, they are the same ones used for many dog collars, which is why I wouldn't recommend picking up her full weight using the harness b/c the buckles might not hold the weight. What I like best about the harness is that it is secure on the dog (if fitted/sized correctly it won't slip or fall off) and it is constructed of straps (not one continuous piece of fabric) which makes it easy to grab the harness for support and stability pretty much anywhere on the harness and there is a handle on the back.

It doesn't sit on the neck but high on the chest and across the shoulder blades. Harley had his on nearly 24/7 for close to a year. It did chafe slightly but he also had 5 surgeries during this time and therefore had been shaved. I think if he had a full coat this wouldn't have been an issue.

Quote:
I've literally carried some of my fosters upstairs
I have used the harness for this countless times too. If I have to completely lift Harley I grab the front of the harness and the back, have him sideways and front of me with my thighs slightly under his belly. At my parents house there were 3 flights of stairs to go potty and we stayed there for a month. Again the buckles aren't designed to carry hanging weight so if you use it for that be careful. If you do that regularly, I'd also inspect the harness often to make sure everything is holding up well.
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:48 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Here's a website -- it's on sale with free shipping!

With our old newfie/lab mix we used the towel under his belly, but sometimes DH just picked him up too. He was content staying on the main level to sleep and whatnot, but had stairs to go in & out to potty. I hope you find something that works! It's sooo hard watching them struggle.
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2008, 02:59 PM
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Re: old dog needs help getting up stairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desertstorm40 View Post
Hi...have you tried giving your dog any supplements such as glucosamine? My little poodle is tearing around like crazy since I put him on a holistic liquid glucosamine made especially for dogs.
I adopted her as an arthritic senior dog and have had her on a plethera of supplements since I've adopted her which I think have helped her stay mobile as long as she has. We've even tried the injections (adequan??) which didn't seem to help her. She's on fish oil, ester C, MSM, osteobiflex, vit E, and the last couple of years, DogGonePain. She's alert, happy, a bit unsteady on her feet but pretty mobile on a level area...she even does fine coming down the stairs..she's just soooo determined to get up the stairs with everyone, I really want to help her out.
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