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Does Anyone Have A Harness I Can Buy For Lydia?


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I've posted a lot about Lydia's difficulty getting up and down our steps. But now we are pretty desperate. On Tuesday the 4th, she fell down the steps twice. Once in the morning when Doug was taking them out to go for a ride. It wasn't too bad, but she was bleeding, so he wrapped her up, and they all went out. He had a vacation day, and that afternoon, we were going to take the dogs up to Mt. Washington to take pictures, where it overlooks Pittsburgh's impressive skyline. Lydia started down the top landing and slid. Instead of stopping, she flew down the second set of steps and fell badly. It happened so fast that we couldn't catch her. It was horrible. Her back paws were knuckling over, her rear gait was wrong, she was bleeding. Our vet said to come in and they would fit us in. Nothing was broken, but she had to be stapled on one leg, and both were re-bandaged. We still had some tramadol, and we got cephalexin. She had to be helped out of the van. Doug carried her up the 22 steps, and hurt his back (which is bad anyway), pretty badly. We had no contingency plan, were only thinking of getting her up the steps and into the house.

 

Here is the situation now. She hasn't been outside since then. We put down plastic and towels in the family room, and just let her pee in there. I know. Clearly, this is not a good solution, or a permanent one. But she was in so much pain that we couldn't let her try the steps again. And it's not beneath her dignity to pee in the house. :lol She pretty much hasn't been able to control the poop for a while now. She'll be 14 on Sunday. She's not desperate to go out, but at some point, she has to go out. I am terrified to let her do the steps. Physically, there is not much wrong with her---no health problems, bad arthritis. She's developed a heart murmur, and her eyesight is not as good. She has done those steps for 10 years, and though the falling started last year, she has no problems a large percentage of the time. But it's the other percentage of the time, that scares me to death. We've been lucky that she hasn't broken anything. What if the next time is the time when she breaks a leg or her back? That would be the end. At her age, I can realistically accept that we might lose her, but I can't accept losing her that way.

 

So what do we do? I'm sorry this is so long, but it's all I think about, and I ramble. Here are the possible solutions.

 

We move to a house with no steps to get in. That's ideal, of course, but not happening fast enough., and in the meantime, the problem has to be dealt with. I've contacted a realtor who will come look at the house, and let us know what needs to be done---a lot---and what she thinks we can sell it for. We've started cleaning and de-cluttering. We'd be willing to let it go for less if it was quicker, and we sold it without some of the work. But we have to see what we can buy at a realistic price. The house in another thread that I loved is still for sale. I still love it, but inside, it's not ideal. Not much closet space, the bathrooms are in the basement and second floor, and the third floor where lots of storage is, has steep steps. :(

 

We ask our 1st floor tenant to move. This is still a possibility---though he doesn't WANT to move. And we would lose $500 a month rent that we really can't afford to lose. We really can't trade our 8 rooms for his 3. We'll first see what the realtor says. If we have to stay here indefinitely, it will have to be on the first floor, and we'll have to get the money from somewhere.

 

We get her up and down the inside steps to our entry hall. These steps are wider, less steep, and fewer---9 steps, then a landing, then 7 steps. Then we'd have to go through our tenant's apartment to the back yard and down 4 porch steps, or out the front door and down 5 porch steps, and around to the back yard.

 

So how do we get her down those steps? We tried with the sling, and she freaked, and it wasn't secure. Another desperate thought---put her in a crate, and slide and pull it up and down. I actually borrowed a crate from work, and we're going to try this.

 

Another way is to try the harness that several people suggested. I contacted Carol, who makes them, and she's not able to do a new one for a few weeks at least. She suggested that I ask if anyone had one they would be willing to sell or lend me. So that is what I'm asking. I hope if anyone has one, that you've been able to read this far. :lol I think it's worth a try. So please get in touch with me if you can help.

I've looked at other harnesses, but they are very involved, more assistance than we need. She can walk fine, she can lay down and get up. She just can't do the damn steps. :weep I love her so much. She is my heart dog, and I want her to be with me as long as she possibly can. Any help would be so very appreciated.

 

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Nancy, Mom to Evangelina, Kiva and Laila
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Catsburgandhoundtown

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:( Poor baby. I don't know if you've looked at the Ruffwear Webmaster harnesses? These are the ones that were recommended to me for tripods. They have a handle on the top. You could get one from Amazon for $60 and free shipping. If you don't like it, you can stick it in the box and send it back.

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I highly recommend the Help Em Up harness. http://helpemup.com/

 

My osteo grey wears one every day to navigate stairs (we live on the second story). I hold the handle and walk with her, and if she trips, I am able to easily grab her and prevent catastrophe. Effie only wears the front harness, but if I need to actually carry her up and down the stairs, I can add the back harness and lift her easily like a suitcase. :) It's comfortable for her and gives her peace of mind that she isn't going to fall.

Edited by EffieGrey

Effie (Nadine's Effie), Carmen (PHX Downtown), & Benny (the chihuahua)

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What sort of harness are you looking for, Nancy?

 

I have a WWW harness, not sure if that's what you're after or something more for assistance. You are welcome to use the one I have if you think it might help....

Phoebe (Belle's Sweetpea) adopted 9/2/13.

Jack (BTR Captain Jack) 9/28/05--11/2/12
Always missing Buddy, Ruby, and Rascal.

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Webmaster. Would your tenant be willing to swap rooms for a time? Lock your more precious stuff in an extra room of yours and temporarily trade spaces?

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest MeAndMouse

What about a dog stretcher? I didn't even realize these existed until the emergency vet was carrying my grey (Mouse) around on one! If you Google "dog stretcher" you'll see a few. It would probably only work good if you can get her to lie down comfortably and not get freaked out though.

 

I have the webmaster harness like others have mentioned... it works really well. My boyfriend can pick Mouse completely up off the ground with it if necessary.

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Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! I will PM the people who sent me messages. I think I'd like to try Carol's harness first---I saw pics in a link in an old thread here. It may be more what we're looking for. The Webmaster might also be a possibility, though it looks a bit more involved. The Help Em Up one is heavy duty---a bit more than we need.

 

She would leap right off a stretcher!

 

Jey---trading temporarily is a thought, but it would be tough. Our tenant is NOT a good housekeeper, and he's a smoker, and his 20 year old son lives there too. It's yucky in there. :wacko:

gallery_11446_3599_3864.jpg
Nancy, Mom to Evangelina, Kiva and Laila
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Catsburgandhoundtown

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Sounds like you should consider getting a new tenant!

 

I was going to offer you the harness I bought for George and used once, but I see you're all set.

 

George wouldn't really let me help him.

 

: ^ (


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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A more expensive solution but easier on Doug's back. Lydia could straddle his lap.

http://www.universal-accessibility.com/products/ameriglide-horizon---outdoor-stair-lift.html#.VGPV3cl0ajY I think this one has a 30 ft limit.

 

Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella), Lulu the podenco andaluz, Rita the podenco maneta
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You guys are wonderful. I appreciate each good thought and suggestion. Tracy and Jan are sending me the Ruffwear and Carol's harnesses! I can't tell everyone how much it means to me to know that there are so many caring people out there.

 

Yeah, our tenant does have some faults. He's been here almost 20 years, though, has diabetes, and is losing his sight. :(

 

A chair lift! $3,000---6 month's rent!

gallery_11446_3599_3864.jpg
Nancy, Mom to Evangelina, Kiva and Laila
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Catsburgandhoundtown

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Nancy :grouphug I hope the harnesses work for Lydia. If I may make a suggestion, I found the best thing to use for Nadir when he couldn't make it outside were the thin, flat waterproof bed pads that were vinyl on one side and the other side reminded me of the white cottony felt like side of plastic tablecloths. They are usually about 36"X 54". I found them easier to use than trying to contain and clean up urine with towels. I would lay down two pads and Nadir would use these if I wasn't home to let him out and in the end when he'd get up in the middle of the night and I couldn't get up fast enough to go out with him. Anyway, whenever he would go on one of the pads it was easy enough to carefully pick it up and carry it outside, put it over the fence and hose it off really good and leave it to drip dry. When I had gone through two I would throw them into the washing machine and launder them. I had about 6 pads that I kept rotating this way. Two on the floor, two drying over the fence after being rinsed, and two being laundered.

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adding to what 4My2Greys said (my QUOTE function doesn't work on this computer for some reason) ... I got cheap (as in Aldi/Marshalls/dollar store) waterproof mattress pads and cut the elastic banding off them. they can slip & slide on you a bit, though, so they may need to be 'weighted' down in spots (say, under chair legs or coffee table).

 

good luck ... and I'm hoping all of the boo-boos heal quickly.

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Nancy :grouphug I hope the harnesses work for Lydia. If I may make a suggestion, I found the best thing to use for Nadir when he couldn't make it outside were the thin, flat waterproof bed pads that were vinyl on one side and the other side reminded me of the white cottony felt like side of plastic tablecloths. They are usually about 36"X 54". I found them easier to use than trying to contain and clean up urine with towels. I would lay down two pads and Nadir would use these if I wasn't home to let him out and in the end when he'd get up in the middle of the night and I couldn't get up fast enough to go out with him. Anyway, whenever he would go on one of the pads it was easy enough to carefully pick it up and carry it outside, put it over the fence and hose it off really good and leave it to drip dry. When I had gone through two I would throw them into the washing machine and launder them. I had about 6 pads that I kept rotating this way. Two on the floor, two drying over the fence after being rinsed, and two being laundered.

They're washable incontinence pads. I have bought several orders of them through ebay for a good price. I prefer the ones that aren't the vinyl backing, but are usually a light green material on the bottom as I feel they absorb better, but either would probably work for you. Mine have lasted for ages through many many washings.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Amazon.com has washable pads too. I have a boatload of them. Thankfully George ALWAYS used his pads, although I'm sure there was "back splash" cause he tended to tinkle on the sliding glass door and bounce the pee off the glass onto the mat (Nothing but wet!).

 

I'm actually going to look at new carpet on Saturday because I'm pretty grossed out now that my dear boy is gone knowing how many times urine has been on my carpet.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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These are GREAT suggestions! I hadn't even thought about those options. I just knew the small pee pads that we use in surgery at work would be expensive. I will definitely make some changes. It is a pain in the butt to keep washing towels.

I REALLY appreciate the support. It's been a rough time for us. She is not going up the inside steps now either, which she normally didn't have much trouble with. There are 16. They are carpeted, and she's stumbled a couple times, but not fallen. After the accident, she ran upstairs while I was cleaning up her pee, and did okay, but the next morning, she slid down them about 2/3 of the way down. So we felt we can't take chances inside either, and now the steps are baby gated off. That means she can't come upstairs and sleep with me, and I miss her SO much. I've always known that would be the most difficult part of losing her. It's like I'm being prepared for when she's gone. :(

gallery_11446_3599_3864.jpg
Nancy, Mom to Evangelina, Kiva and Laila
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Catsburgandhoundtown

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Guest BlueCrab

Good luck with the harness. I'm shopping for one right now for our non-grey Leyland, who's getting wonky in his back end as he ages.

 

He's taken to peeing / pooping in the house when he can't hold it. We use the green-backed bed pads that others have mentioned and then put a disposable pee pad on top of that. His aim is pretty good, but when his aim is off, the bed pad catches the extra, then we just toss them in the wash. I buy the pee pads in a large package from Walmart or Target - the prices haven't been that bad at all.

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