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Urgent help needed with old hound who can't manage unavoidable stairs.

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by AnnaLi, Sep 12, 2013.


  1. AnnaLi

    AnnaLi PetForums Newbie

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    Hello again,

    I've already posted one post in the newbies section about a problem getting my dog to take his meds & I got a great response. I was hoping by now to have offered some advice to hopefully help other forum members but I've been very busy looking after my poorly dog & dealing with my own health problems.

    My dog Ringo is a 14 year old rescue foxhound with congestive heart failure, he's had a heart murmur for many years now but he only started showing signs of a full blown failure about 6 months ago. He's lost a lot of strength & stamina & also lost a lot of weight, but he is eating regularly, enjoying walks, very affectionate, not showing any signs of pain & generally seems very content & comfortable.

    The problem is, even though he's quite steady & fast on the flat, he's suddenly having massive difficulty on our stairs because his front & back legs are much weaker than they used to be & very wobbly on stairs & uneven surfaces. We live in a 2 floor flat with a steep flight of stairs to gain access, I've already moved his bed, toys, feeding area, blankets etc to the lower floor so at least he doesn't have to tackle 2 flights of stairs.

    He has an ordinary harness which I always use on walks to give him extra support if he needs it & I've been successful with gently helping take his weight using the harness when we've gone up & down the stairs (but never pushing or pulling him, or making him feel he has no control) & that was working until 2 days ago, but a couple of small stumbles made him lose his confidence & the extra help from the harness doesn't work anymore.

    The stairs are carpeted but are too narrow & steep to build a ramp so I was wondering if anyone can recommend a carry harness, possibly one I can use to lift all his weight & be comfortable for him. He doesn't mind being lifted or carried, he seems to quite enjoy it, but I'm not strong enough to lift him on my own as I have health problems myself.

    I've seen carry harnesses advertised for aging & disabled dogs, does anyone have any experience with these & can anyone recommend which are the best ones to get?

    He weighs about 45 lbs & is about the height of a labrador. (He's a naturally lean build, he's underweight right now, but I'm hoping he'll start to gain weight again as he's been through a period of not eating & come out the other side).

    He's currently taking Fortekor & glucosamine sulphate (he also has arthritis but it's not very advanced) & I'm also just about to start giving him ubiquinol. He's nails are always kept trim so they're not causing any additional problems with mobility.

    If I could move house I would do that for him if I had the financial resources, but unfortunately I don't.

    I'd be so grateful if anyone could help.

    Thanks
    Anna x
     
    #1 AnnaLi, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  2. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    This harness is featured in the October issue of Dogs Today magazine and is being used by Haatchi, the assistance dog. Price range from £70 - £96 for dogs ranging from 10kgs to 80kgs.
    Help 'Em Up Dog Harness | Hip Dsysplasia | Dog Carrier

    They are giving three away free. All you have to do is send your dogs name, weight, breed type - your name, address and phone number to:
    'Harness Giveaway'
    Dogs Today,
    The Dog House,
    4 Bonseys Lane,
    Chobham,
    Surrey GU24 8JJ
    Or e mail: comps@dogstodaymagazine.co.uk with 'Harness Giveaway' in the subject line.
    Entries close 7th October

    Worth a try. :)
     
  3. AnnaLi

    AnnaLi PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much Malmum, that looks fantastic. I was up til 4am researching harnesses & slings & I didn't come across that one. Just about to enter the comp now but I might just go ahead & order one anyway.

    For anyone else who reads this post who has a similar problem with their dog, this support harness also looks good & is only £25.

    The Support RX Harness.
    Zoomadog - Support RX Dog Harness

    Thanks again & your dogs are beautiful by the way! :)
     
  4. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    Really hope you can find a solution
     
  5. AnnaLi

    AnnaLi PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Rona :)
     
  6. Polly G

    Polly G PetForums VIP

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    Hope you soon find a suitable harness for your lovely Ringo :)
     
  7. AnnaLi

    AnnaLi PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much Polly! :)
     

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    #7 AnnaLi, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
  8. soulful dog

    soulful dog PetForums Senior

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    Good luck with Ringo, my far younger Ringo has bother with his hips (he's only 5), so I'll be bookmarking those two links provided for future reference.
     
  9. AnnaLi

    AnnaLi PetForums Newbie

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    Best of luck to your Ringo too, if I find any more useful resources I'll either post them on this thread or make a thread specially for dog harness & sling links. :)
     
  10. jesterjenn

    jesterjenn PetForums Senior

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    In the meanwhile whilst you're waiting for the harness to arrive, would it be feasible to get a bath towel and use it as a sling under his middle, and bring it up around his sides for you to hold?
     
  11. AnnaLi

    AnnaLi PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for that, I did try a towel but I've got an autoimmune problem which makes my wrists & fingers very weak & I couldn't keep hold of the towel long enough to lift him. I'm hoping something which distributes his weight more evenly with strong handles to grip will be easier for me.

    It's a great interim option for people who don't have problems with their hands though. :)
     
    #11 AnnaLi, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
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