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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't even know if it's possible, it just came from a brainstorming session on my drive to work this morning. I know a neighbor that could help us make it and I figured we could make the ramp section only half the width of the steps so people and Kacey could still take the steps, but Otis could use the ramp.

But I think it would be too steep. What do you think? Here is our staircase - you can't see the floor, but the post on the left is the final post.

 

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I think it's very doable. May have some stop bar thingies on the ramp plus good traction footing.
 

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Definitely doable, I think. I would have some kind of rubber traction strips put down, or something like that.

Poor Otie. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was thinking of getting a carpet remnant - something coarse with good grip, but you guys might be right about rubber strips instead.

He will start to come up the stairs, climb up the bottom two stairs with his front paws back paws still on the ground and just stand there looking up. Then he'll change his mind, come off the stairs back up, turn a circle and do it again. And again. And again. =( I don't know if he gets confused, if it hurts, if he's afraid he can't make it...

Last night as he was changing his mind and trying to put his front paws back on the ground he fell. He cried, or squeaked or whined... I don't know, but it was terrible. And he didn't get back up. He just laid his head down and stayed there. We finally got him back up, but Jason had to lift him up - he never did pick himself back up - and then Jason carried him upstairs. And then I cried. I just don't know what to do.
 

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I think that would be too steep a ramp for an older dog who isn't 100% steady on his legs, even with rubber strips. The way down, especially, would be too hard on his shoulder joints. :(
 

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I'd say it's doable, but I can't help but thinking an incline would be more difficult to manage than a single step at a time. I'm thinking this one over for a little while...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The problem is that all our bedrooms are upstairs. I know he wouldn't want to stay downstairs by himself. Even if starts off downstairs, he always comes upstairs to join us. I won't leave him downstairs by himself anymore because I don't want to worry about him trying to take the steps by himself later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Although, I don't know what good it does - I was right there on the steps with him and he still fell.
 

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Can you use a sling under him to help him walk up the steps? We did that when Kona had knee surgery.
 

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I feel it would be too step for him unless you have a large area in front of the steps and can make the ramp longer and a more gradual climb. Can you carry him up at night and back down in the morning?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Can you use a sling under him to help him walk up the steps? We did that when Kona had knee surgery.
This was my other thought.

No, there's really not any extra room in front of the stairs to make the angle less sharp. I thought of that as well, but in that picture, just to the left is the front door. With the door open there is not that much space between the door and the stairs - you couldn't add much length without the door opening into it.
 

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Last night as he was changing his mind and trying to put his front paws back on the ground he fell. He cried, or squeaked or whined... I don't know, but it was terrible. And he didn't get back up. He just laid his head down and stayed there. We finally got him back up, but Jason had to lift him up - he never did pick himself back up - and then Jason carried him upstairs. And then I cried.
My heart broke reading that. :(

I don't suppose there's a spare room on the 1st floor that you guys could move into? If not, I think I would just carry him up every night and back down in the morning. Just keep the bedroom door shut, obviously.
 

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Oh 'lissa.. i'm so sorry.. i can't imagine how heartbreaking this is for you.. Otis is a sweet boy.. i hope you can figure something out, i know leaving him downstairs would be so sad for you. =(
 

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I'm not exactly sure of Otis' issues but after reading your post I wanted to tell you about the harness I recently got for my dog Reggie. Reggie is having mobility issue with his back legs and has started to have a little trouble with stairs. He is still doing okay but I wanted to get him one before he absolutely needs it (if you know what I mean) Here's the link below.

http://www.hartmanharness.com/

It's called the hartman harness and is made for dogs that have rear end mobility issues but I think it would work very well for any mobility issue. It has a great handle that sits over the rear hips to help with walking or lifting. There is also a strap that runs right down the back which can be easy to grab when going up and down stairs. There is a snap the connects the front and back parts of the harness too. Right now Reggie has been wearing only the front part and it is easy for me to grab him and give him an assist up the few deck stairs or to help him stand up if he has an issue. It is a bit pricey but I really like it.
 

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Great idea, RM!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm not exactly sure of Otis' issues ....
Otis has the same problem as your Reggie. In addition to that, he also has dysplasia and arthritis in his hips.

One of the saddest things? His tail doesn't wag as much anymore. Not that he's losing his tail-wagging attitude, but everything back there is failing him.
 

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While a ramp is great idea, like some others have mentioned the stairs are too steep, especially for an elderly dog with health issues. I loved having **** sleep in our room, but when his health stopped him from being able to get upstairs safely anymore, I made him sleep downstairs. No struggles- I just put a baby gate up at the bottom of the stairs. **** was fairly easy- it only took a couple of nights with the gate up at the bottom of the stairs before he stopped trying. He actually seemed relieved that I made him stay downstairs.
 

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Oh, Melissa. That brought tears to me eyes when I read your post. Poor sweet Otis. I don't have any advice other than what's already been offered, but wanted to send good thoughts.
 

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Otis has the same problem as your Reggie. In addition to that, he also has dysplasia and arthritis in his hips.

One of the saddest things? His tail doesn't wag as much anymore. Not that he's losing his tail-wagging attitude, but everything back there is failing him.
I hear you Melissa. One thing I noticed about Reg, was that when I went out on the deck and called his name, he would come running up the yard to me. Now he no longer runs, he fast walks. It's a little thing, I know.

Sending lots of good thoughts for Otis.
 
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