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My mom's dog, Domino, just turned 11 in June. He is a collie-golden retriever mix. She has noticed that he has some hind end weakness and possibly a bit of arthritis. She just moved to a new house this past week that has hardwood floors and some steep stairs. (Her old house had carpeting.) So now the problems are worse, and since she asked me for advice, I am asking you all, as you are the experts on this sort of thing with older, large dogs.

 

Apparently, he has been slipping on the new floors, and unlike her younger dog, when Domino slips, he falls down. He also is having trouble making it up the 4 steps to the porch--they are a bit steep.

 

She is renting, so we can't do anything too crazy, like build a ramp, but I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for ideas to make things easier. He is the first dog we've had that has lived to be in "old age", so we are uninitiated. Given my experience on here and with Robin's arthritis, I am having her start him on joint supplements, and probably some fish oil as well. I will also be suggesting LOTS of runner rugs from place to place. I wish he could go upstairs to the bedroom, but I think they are too steep and uncarpeted, so he may just have to stay downstairs. I was thinking of some kind of harness or something so she could help give him support? Like a Bottom's Up? I was reading another thread about that...

 

Anything else I can suggest? Are there "gripper" booties to help him stop slipping? :lol

 

Thanks!

Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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Can't help with the problem with the floors - but something as simple as a towel or blanket under his belly like a sling will be enough to help him up the stairs. I think they even sell something like that with a handle, but a long enough towel will work fine. It gives him just enough support in the mid section without straining anything important!!

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Cushy Paws can help with slipping on the hardwood floors.

Pet Lift is a good way to help support a large dog when trying to get up. The woman who runs Dogleggs, Schon Gross, is very knowledgeable about rehabilitation and assistance products for animals.

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Guest greytloves

Keep the hair trimmed between his toes also helps. Make sure the runners have the rubber backing - any others will just help slippage! Go to the fabric store and get a long thin piece and make your own sling for aiding up stairs.

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My suggestion is get him to the vet. It sounds to me that he is probably beyond the stage were supplements are going to help. They work best (if at all) for mild cases. Depending on how he is otherwise, assuming he's healthy, Rimadyl or Deramaxx will give him a lot of relief.

 

If the hind end weekness is from compressed nerves (sounds like it could be LS to me) supplements won't do a thing. There are some simple tests her vet can do to determine what's up.

 

As to the stairs, there are individual carpet ovals you can put on stairs. I believe they're removable too. Perhaps she could ask the landlord if she could do that?

 

For the slipping, lots of rubber backed throw rugs!

 

My Mom's dog is having very similar issues. Mom put a rug (oriental!) where the dog lies down most of the time so she can get up.

 

Good luck!


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The best price that I found on rubber backed floor runners is at the big hardware stores like home depot or lowes. They sell it by the foot, so be sure to measure the area before going. I think it was about $1.60 a foot. Note that indoor/outdoor carpeting will typically slip around -- it needs to have a rubber or vinyl backing.

 

Ruffwear also makes a good rehabilitation harness. A sling will let them help their dog without having to keep a harness on all the time.

 

You might see if you can rig a long automobile dog ramp to the front steps.

 

I haven't tried any booties.

 

I agree that he needs to go to a vet for the appropriate meds. If they can't afford Deramaxx or one of the other made for dogs NSAIDs, have them ask the doctor for a human NSAID that is on the $4/$10 generic list at the local grocery/pharmacy (Kroger and Giant Eagle here). Meloxicam is one of them. Be sure to give famotidine (generic for pepcid). Also tramadol might be recommended. It is available for low cost (I got enough for 2 weeks for $4 at Kroger). Be sure to have them watch for stomach or intestinal problems with the NSAID. Tramadol can make some dogs pant or nervous but is an excellent pain killer.

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Non slip rugs for the floors, for sure. We have laminate and a tripod, and many, many rugs! ;) If you buy smallish ones, you can pop them in the wash.

 

For the outdoor steps, she doesn't need to build a permanent ramp, but you can buy the kind that you just rest on top of the steps - the sort they sell for cars. Ours is aluminium alloy and the top has a heavy duty gritty surface. The top end is shaped to rest firmly on the top step.

 

I agree with the vet trip. Sounds as if he might need some help. :nod

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Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. I talked to my mom tonight and told her all of your suggestions. She laughed out loud at the thought of him in toddler slipper socks, but is going to keep an eye out for them. She's also making a vet appt for him, hopefully for next week, so hopefully we can get him some relief. She can help him up the stairs, but down is harder.

 

She just moved to Lebanon, CT, and needs a new vet. I looked on the pinned vet list and found this:

 

Lebanon Veterinary Hospital, LLC

920 Trumbull Highway

Lebanon, CT 06249

860 642 7936

Steven R. Zickmann, DVM

 

Provides services for REGAP, CT

 

Does anyone reading this post have any experience with this vet that could give an opinion? She needs someone who'll be thorough, and who will talk her through it, but who is conscious of running up any unnecessary costs, if you know what I mean... I'm going to give her this name anyway, but just in case someone is reading....

 

Thanks!

Cathy & Calvin (DOB 9/18/13). Always missing my angel Robin (Abdo Bullard).
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I agree, he's probably past the point where joint supplements would do much good. They need to be started at the very first sign. My heart dog, Kenton, started hers when she was 4, made it to 14 with pain meds only the last 4 years. Meloxicam & Tramadol are wonderful drugs, cheap at a human pharmacy, and will make him much more comfortable. Even though it doesn't help the weakness, it will certainly improve the quality of his life.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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Guest strwberrys645

I've had great success with Adequan injections if it turns out to be arthritis (def agree with the vet check first). My mom's grey just turned 16 and the Adequan injections have made a huge difference for her. It's a monthly injection that helps to replace the cartilage in the joints. It helped my shepherd mix too when she first got arthritis. Now she also has degenerative myelopathy and can no longer feel her back end so the pain is gone. I use a sling to help her up ramps and stairs.

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I agree, he's probably past the point where joint supplements would do much good. They need to be started at the very first sign. My heart dog, Kenton, started hers when she was 4, made it to 14 with pain meds only the last 4 years. Meloxicam & Tramadol are wonderful drugs, cheap at a human pharmacy, and will make him much more comfortable. Even though it doesn't help the weakness, it will certainly improve the quality of his life.

 

I'd agree that at his age and level of trouble, pain medication is probably needed. I use tramadol daily with occasional meloxicam and it's a fairly safe (meloxicam carries some risks) and very affordable combo, if you get the drugs at a human pharmacy.

 

I still give supplements along with pain medication--cosequine and human grade fish oil capsules--I have no proof the cosequine is helping still, but my vet thinks it's worthwile if you can afford it. The fish oil there is lots of evidence for its effectiveness in arthritis patients.

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Guest PhillyPups

It is possible he can find relief with chiro or acupuncture also.

 

The floor issues have been covered.

 

Best homemade for a sling is a sweatshirt, the arms give easier holding and the fabric is so soft.

 

Good luck.

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