My black lab, Lucy, is nearly 13. She always likes to be with me and has always slept on the floor (in her own bed) in my bedroom.
She has had bad hips for awhile, and just last week she decided she was done with stairs. I am sure they are too painful for her anymore. However, she gets very anxious if I still try to go sleep in my bedroom (which is upstairs). She whimpers until I return. I have tried to "wait it out" and see if she falls asleep, but she doesn't.
She never destroys anything when I am gone during the day. I think she really just wants to be near me when she knows I am home but is fine when she knows I am not home. She still has a healthy appetite and goes outside when she needs to.
I would love any advice you have for helping her adjust to sleeping downstairs while I sleep upstairs. Thanks in advance!
It is so hard when they get older.
Could you help her up the stairs. I am in the process of teaching Erns to put his front feet on steps and let me take his back end. I saw a woman do it with an arthritic dog.
Erns sleeps on the bed. He has bad hips and was having trouble getting on the bed so I put the mattress on the floor.If he couldn't be by me he would stress too much. Tess would too.
I give my boy monthly injections Gabapentin, Metacam and for bad days Tramadol. These seem to help.
Sorry I am not much help. Good thoughts coming.
I like Chris's suggestions above. Helping her up the steps may work well. If this is not possible short of sleeping downstairs I am not sure what you could do.
Are you using any supplements, medications or injections to help with the pain? There are a few things that may help enough to allow her to navigate the steps. Of course nothing will work forever, unfortunately, but I would try everything possible. The day will come when you wish you had the option of going downstairs to snuggle with her.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
Difficult. I moved my bed downstairs for three months after Jasper's TPLO surgery for exactly that reason.
Chris's solution would appear to be the only one .
Personally I would put a bed down stairs and sleep with Lucy, but that is just me
I hope you find a solution that works for you, so Lucy won't be so lonely without you.
Coleman - CGC blk lab 6/02/97-2/25/08 adopted
Tootsie - choc lab 10/19/99-8/03/13 adopted
Bailey - CGC newf/fc 7/12/00-07/15/14 rescued
Ginger - BT 11/16/05 rescued
Sarah - blk lab 6/22/06 rescued
rescued felines - AJ - 8/00 - 1/11, Merlin - 5/20/05, Tucker - 8/3/10, Penny - 7/7/13
Can you try using a towel under the belly and holding the ends, like a sling, to help her upstairs at night? They sell slings like that at petsmart. I used one after my dogs tplo surgery to take her out to potty. It may help to support her backend.
Todd, Yellow Lab, 1/4/13
Mr. Utley, Welsh Corgi, 2/20/02
When my Kasa was 12, she too stopped going up the steps. I bought a sofa bed and slept downstairs with her. You can always get one of those inexpensive air mattresses and sleep downstairs with Lucy. When Mitzi was 12 and could no longer jump up on the bed (she didn't like me to help her up), I put the mattress and springs directly on the floor for her.
Sleeping near their person is very special to them. Mine won't go to bed without me. Especially when they are 12 or 13, every day and every night you have them is a blessing.
Thanks for the responses, everyone. They help a lot.
Lucy is on Rimadyl at the moment. She has definitely been losing control of her hind legs over the last week or two. She is pretty shaky on her feet -- but still as sweet as can be.
I purchased a sling to help me balance her and alleviate some of the weight she'd need to put on her hind legs, and it should arrive in the mail tomorrow. I will keep you all posted.
I appreciate your kind words in reaffirming that I am lucky to still have her, and that nights in the same room with her are meaningful (and limited).
It is so hard to see them like this.
Ernie has monthly injections as well as the NSAIDs. He can't have Rimadyl. On bad day I give him Tramadol. It does make him feel better. It has taken us a few months to find the right cocktail of meds to help him. He also has acupuncture which seems to help.
This is what my aunt got for their senior afghan:
Medium Lifting Aid - rear portion only
It really helps on lifting Glory upstairs and their suv.
We would glad to hear updates about your Lucy, how she feels more comfortable sleeping upstairs with you.
"Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that is how dogs spend their lives." ~Sue Murphy