German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Huh-Kramer is having a real problem with the stairs. For the one step out of the front door he has kind of fallen out of the house-or he awkwardly jumps from the doorway to the ground, really. It's very odd and very uncomfortable looking.

THEN on the deck stairs to the back yard that he uses throughout the day, he's also been wanting to jump instead of going down them. Of course, that big old spine being fused...I am a titch concerned. Four steps down. He goes down one maybe and then jumps.

I've been working on him to stop that but haven't gotten it to the point of normal doing down the stairs one at a time. He has been doing two, jumping two but I thought that's just his joie de vivre. (denial...ignorance is blind...what else!)

Up is okay. That is worth a


But down is getting very weird. Vision? I am thinking it might be time to build a permanent ramp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
Vision was my first thought when I read this. I know Chama has trouble on the inside and outside stairs at night when the lights aren't on. Or he may be worried about tripping. Chama waits for me to spot her. A ramp would be good as long as he's willing to use it. A harness could also help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've been considering putting Nina's harness on him...at night I've been using a big light thing...

I was thinking if the only way to get off the deck is the ramp, he'd do it.


I had no idea having a senior could be like this-not that this is awful or terrible, but it's hard figuring out what to do.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
I bought a ramp for Basu when he hurt his knee and he refused to use it. Instead he hauled his butt up the stairs. Chama was running up and down the ramp like she was in agility class.


Massie couldn't do stairs for the last 5 years of her life. So we lived on the first floor with minimal stairs into the house and I gave her a boost if she needed it.

This senior stuff is tough. Chama can barely breath with this warm weather and her back legs are giving out on her. I just ordered a bunch of new supplements and a refill of her "Get up and go" which clearly was working (I ran out last week).

I would the harness on Kramer and see if he'll tolerate it. I think building a ramp is a good idea though. I'm sure if you put enough really good treats on it he'll use it...especially if it blocks total access to the stairs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,668 Posts
Sarge is only 3 1/2 and when we go down stairs hes stands at the top, looks at me without going down until I turn the light on for him. His vision is fine but he wont go down the dark steps until the light is on. It seems to me their eyes dont adjust to the darkness as fast as ours do or something. When hes tried to go down the steps with very little light Ive seem him stumble on the steps like he cant see them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,796 Posts
Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN...
But down is getting very weird. Vision? I am thinking it might be time to build a permanent ramp.
I had a K9 handicap ramp built for Yukon 10 years ago and believe me, it's been a blessing over the years. I don't know what I would have done without it. Right now Ringer uses it to go down the majority of the time and always coming back up. Honey is about 50/50 and Kelly doesn't use it going down unless there's something to bark at at the neighbor's house facing the ramp. He's starting to have to use it a lot coming up.

And the biggest benefit is when my back is giving me a problem I use it too!!!

I have several suggestions. One is that you use a moderate slant - not too steep. Also to use hand rails and a middle rail or maybe two so HRH won't fall over the side. I've had to assist some elderly Hooligans up the ramp, so also suggest it's wide enough for that (ours is about as wide as a hall way). I assume the King will demand a red carpet on his? Also, I'm not too sure how you'd handle ice on it, I guess the same way you do on the steps???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
I also had a handicapped dog ramp built many years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. The old dogs can gradually start using them on their own as they have increasing trouble with stairs and when I had a dog that couldn't use the ramp on his own anymore either, I could just help him up it by pulling him from the side by the collar. I've found that this helps maintain my dog's dignity by keeping them as independent as possible for as long as possible, and I don't have to worry about hurting myself by either trying to carry them up the stairs or have my dog freak out while being helped up the stairs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,571 Posts
I'm voting for a ramp as well.

The thing is, the sooner that we get used to racing up and down a ramp, when we're young and it's fun, the better. When we're older, less mobile, perhaps a bit confused, and not so inclined to try new things, it will be scary, intimidating and we'll hate it.

Not that HRH will grumble and kvetch....


Especially if his ramp has a red carpet and pages lining the sides, bowing as he passes!


I was thinking about the rest of your pack...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,796 Posts
Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
...
Especially if his ramp has a red carpet and pages lining the sides, bowing as he passes!

...
And don't forget he'll need a group of trumpeters sounding a fanfare when he appears at the top of the ramp before he decends!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
714 Posts
What you describe is what my angel Bonnie used to do. She had Severe hip dysplasia and LS disease and would always try to jump off the deck. I eventually escorted her outside and lifted her on and off the deck as I'm not very handy and couldn't put a ramp in. I would vote for a ramp.

Best wishes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Baron loves to go up the steps in the house but is too scared to come down. At close to 50 lbs he's getting a little to big to carry. I vote for the ramp too. Would be nothing to build
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,571 Posts
Originally Posted By: Arycrest And don't forget he'll need a group of trumpeters sounding a fanfare when he appears at the top of the ramp before he decends!!!
I like "Hail to the Chief," as his fans cheer from the ground below:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
Discussion Starter #15


Kramer is liking this thread...HRH wants the whole shebang! Trumpets, throngs, Hail to the Chief, perhaps a velvet robe...

Baronthegreat is welcome to venture to Jeanspackistan to build a ramp! I have no idea-I am guessing I will have to hire someone. I am looking in the Pennysaver and trying to find anyone who might do it well for less. Any price range thoughts?

It has to be good-it will be the only exit from the deck. I was going to put it near the door and have both, but realized A. he wouldn't use it and B. I would be posting from traction in the hospital after I got knocked over and down the ramp because I would forget it was near the door!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,796 Posts
My handyman built my ramp. Can't say how much it would cost to build today (Ray passed away about 5 years ago - he was very inexpensive). But if I recall, 10 years ago the labor and materials ran under $200. If I were you, and you're building it as the only exit from your deck, I'd make sure it met building code specifications (if there are any in your area) so you won't have any problems if/when you sell the house.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
JeanKBBMMMAAN where is Jeanspackistan
Can you post a pic of your deck it might help with ideas. If you post the pic and height and width of the steps and how far out they are from the deck from base to top. I'm sure we can come up with something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Jeanspackistan is a figment of my imagination
in upstate NY.

I couldn't find a good picture-I should probably take one. Here are Bruno and Bella on the deck though!


Nina is now having problems with the stairs. Not because she's actually having problems, but because she sees Kramer having problems...oy! She was going to dive off until I stopped her. She copies what she sees the other dogs doing all the time-sometimes it's a good thing, but not this time!

Here are some measurements-now I don't know if these are what you need=this is how far out I am on the carpentry thing.

The deck floor is about 32-34 inches from the ground.

From the top step out to the ground is 48 inches.

It's 8-9 inches between steps.

Steps are 34 inches wide.

I don't want a really steep ramp-plus it's got to be really sturdy because they all like to run up and down the stairs together.

Any ideas you can give me would be appreciated because I don't want to be taken advantage of by a contractor who realizes I am a crazy dog lady who would do anything for my old dog!

I have been either taking him out front on a leash, or using a leash to get him down the stairs slowly and it is helping. I also used Nina's harness and that did help. So I have options while I plan/get info.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Working on some ideas. Trying to come up with something you can make at home with just stuff from depot or lowes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,571 Posts
Jean, did you say that the ramp would be something that humans would have to use too? That there's only sufficient room for the ramp OR stairs, not the stairs AND the ramp?
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top