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ramonaghan

New Aversion to Indoor Stairs

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The past few days, Sweep has been reluctant to come downstairs from our master bedroom in the morning. She tries and backs up several times, eventually frustrating herself to the point of whining and even panting. She has come down in the mornings and back upstairs at night for years now, so I'm not sure what's happened. This staircase is steep but there's a stair runner and plenty of light. She still does the outdoor steps and jumps into the car without issue. My only thought is maybe depth perception (she turned 10 in October) and I thought about putting a strip of painters tape at the edge of each tread. Any other theories or suggestions? Thanks! 


49001591033_2aaeeba8f4_o.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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She could have slipped or something that you didn't see, or maybe something hurts, or a vision issue, or nothing. Things change when they get older. Lila was the easiest dog to do nails, she would flop over on her side and fall asleep when I dremmeled. Then one day she had a full on panic attack about the dremmel. Nothing had happened, I can manipulate her paws otherwise with no issue. So she could have just decided that she doesn't like those stairs anymore. I hope you're able to find something that works so she can continue to get to her bedroom.


 
Lila Football
Jerilyn, devoted Mistress to Lila (Good Looking)
 
 

 

 

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Do you have a vet chiropractor in your area? They can check her spine, hips, etc to be sure they are in alignment and not sore (Val just had such an assessment). Checking her vision is another good idea.

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4 minutes ago, Jerilyn said:

She could have slipped or something that you didn't see, or maybe something hurts, or a vision issue, or nothing. Things change when they get older. Lila was the easiest dog to do nails, she would flop over on her side and fall asleep when I dremmeled. Then one day she had a full on panic attack about the dremmel. Nothing had happened, I can manipulate her paws otherwise with no issue. So she could have just decided that she doesn't like those stairs anymore. I hope you're able to find something that works so she can continue to get to her bedroom.

Thanks, me too. It breaks my heart to see her struggle.

4 minutes ago, Remolacha said:

Do you have a vet chiropractor in your area? They can check her spine, hips, etc to be sure they are in alignment and not sore (Val just had such an assessment). Checking her vision is another good idea.

Yes, we do; we saw him a few times years ago when trying to get to the bottom of her limping. Good idea, thanks!


49001591033_2aaeeba8f4_o.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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11 hours ago, Remolacha said:

Do you have a vet chiropractor in your area? They can check her spine, hips, etc to be sure they are in alignment and not sore (Val just had such an assessment). Checking her vision is another good idea.

Ditto

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Another vote for checking her sight.

Perhaps the lighting needs to come from a different source to increase the contrast. Have you tried getting down to her level and looking down the stairs to see if the edges stand out?


Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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I had another thought while walking the dog this morning :) If it is just (or mainly) going down stairs, but not up, be sure and check her neck and shoulders as well.

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Thanks, all. We've just come back from the vet and he doesn't think it's pain-related. He stretched her neck in all directions and checked her spine thoroughly and she wasn't reactive at all. Her hind end strength is good. He said there are no obvious issues with her eyes, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be vision-related. We tried laying a trail of treats for her and turning off the lights, but she headed for the exit door every time. She's no dummy. :lol  So we'll do some experimenting at home, but the working theory is either vision or psychological (maybe she slipped/tripped and is now freaked out--she's never been graceful on those stairs). Now I have to decide whether to push forward and make her do it or sleep downstairs with her for a few nights and see if that "resets" things. 


49001591033_2aaeeba8f4_o.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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:goodluck you may never know what caused it, but I hope that whatever the reason, she gets back to her “old” ways!

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I'm glad Sweep got a clean bill of health.  Who knows what goes on in those pointy little heads..... ^_^


 
Lila Football
Jerilyn, devoted Mistress to Lila (Good Looking)
 
 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Jerilyn said:

I'm glad Sweep got a clean bill of health.  Who knows what goes on in those pointy little heads..... ^_^

Exactly! I so wish they could talk. 


49001591033_2aaeeba8f4_o.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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Hello --  I just saw your post.  We have both a greyhound and a borzoi -- it's our borzoi that's going though a similar issue as Sweep.  He won't go up.  The only way into our house is by the lower level and we have beige carpeted steps to the upper level.  They are 5 steps, an 180 degree turn and then 8 steps.  He will "bound" up the 5 steps, but rarely go up the 8 steps. Going down is not a problem.  He goes both up and down outdoor steps fine, one by one, foot by foot (like his greyhound sister).  He's 11 and has some back issues, but walks well, chases squirrels and is in good health.  He gets chiro once a month.  He jumps into the car without a problem.  We've considered fear problems and also his eyes and the fact that the steps may all blend together, and will try taping them to make them more separate.  Also working on back leg strength with step ups.  Please continue to post how it goes with Sweep -- we're sleeping downstairs.....Thanks!

Edited by cgingrich
added and changed facts

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58 minutes ago, cgingrich said:

Hello --  I just saw your post.  We have both a greyhound and a borzoi -- it's our borzoi that's going though a similar issue as Sweep.  He won't go up.  The only way into our house is by the lower level and we have beige carpeted steps to the upper level.  They are 5 steps, an 180 degree turn and then 8 steps.  He will "bound" up the 5 steps, but rarely go up the 8 steps. Going down is not a problem.  He goes both up and down outdoor steps fine, one by one, foot by foot (like his greyhound sister).  He's 11 and has some back issues, but walks well, chases squirrels and is in good health.  He gets chiro once a month.  He jumps into the car without a problem.  We've considered fear problems and also his eyes and the fact that the steps may all blend together, and will try taping them to make them more separate.  Also working on back leg strength with step ups.  Please continue to post how it goes with Sweep -- we're sleeping downstairs.....Thanks!

Will do! These are the lights I ordered if you think that might help in your situation. (There's a plug-in version too, but we don't have any outlets in our stairwell.) I think I've determined it's not Sweep's vision though--we did some tests at home by throwing treats in a dim room and she went right to them, without having to sniff them out. She must have psyched herself out about something. These guys are so sensitive; it could be anything! She came down a *little* better this morning, so I'm hopeful we're making some progress. She also had to do the steps to the basement today because it's stormy and she's a thunderphobe, so that's always been her safe spot. The more she does it without anything bad happening, hopefully the more confident she'll feel. Anyway, good luck with your boy too--please keep us posted!

Edited by ramonaghan
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49001591033_2aaeeba8f4_o.jpg

Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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