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And what about Gretchen?

Posted by maryo_nh z5 SouthernNH (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 18, 10 at 13:00

With the arthritis in her spine, she walks so poorly now. She has a hard time going down stairs - she fell down the stairs last week, good thing I was walking in front of her or she would have hit the wall and the heater. Almost everyday, at least once, she can't get up, her hind legs don't want to get under her, her hips look all wrong... It breaks my heart. So of course she can't get into the RV (see retirement post below). Daddy lifted her in and lifted her out once, but I tried and I can't get her up in my arms.

She is failing rapidly as it is. Four different meds. Maybe she won't even last until after Thanksgiving.

But, if she does, does anybody have any building plans for little ramps or other useful ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: And what about Gretchen?

Aw, Mary, sorry to hear about Gretchen. It is so hard to watch your loving companion go downhill.

We went through that with Mickey before he died in the spring and now w are starting to face the same problems with our little Laddie Boy. Luckily he can be carried, with effort on my part, but I can still do it.

I don't have any ramp plans or other suggestions to help, sorry.

RE: And what about Gretchen?

Sorry to hear that age is catching up with Gretchen! :-(

MOST dogs I know refuse to use ramps but will readily go up steps. If possible ... try to make each riser for the steps about 1 standard brick high (when laying flat on the side not straight up and down) and fairly wide. In most cases this will take up lots of room but Gretchen will be able to get around much better. If you do go the ramp - route .. make it as easy a slope as possible. Going up a steep incline is often more stressful than low steps.

To assist her you can use a bath towel and use it like a sling under her belly / near the back legs to give moral support and take most of the strain away from the steps / ramp experience. It will also help her to stand if she needs added support then too.

We have a portable doggie ramp that I have lent to several clients over the years with very mixed success.

Does Gretchen like a bath? If you have a shower massage on a long hose ... put the shower head on a pulsate kind of setting and run the warm water over her back and joints that give her the most problems. This GREATLY imporves their comfort level!!!

Hope this helps.

RE: And what about Gretchen?

Anne and Chicka, you're so sweet. It's like a virtual hug! Thanks for the great tips, too. I'll definitely go with the towel, we can practice on the back steps. She hates baths but maybe I can use the corn-filled baggie for warmth? I'll experiment with 30 - 45 - 60 seconds in the microwave to make it warm but not hot. She's already wearing her pure wool sweaters, to the merriment of the relatives, but I don't care!
DH is planning to do some construction with a friend, I'll tell them to think steps instead of ramp. They might try to use a fold-up ladder as a base. We'll see how that works...

You're the best.

:) Mary

RE: And what about Gretchen?

Sounds like big changes for you! Best wishes.

I haven't personally tried one of these (link below). But saw an ad for one the other day and thought it would be easy to make one. A towel works great but sometimes they get bulky to handle. The only downfall to this one is that you have to get their legs thru the loops. I thought using straps with quick release snaps (like many collars have)would be better.

Maybe someone has tried one??

Here is a link that might be useful: Rear End Support Leash

RE: And what about Gretchen?

Well! Today I thought I'd try the dog cookie method. It worked on the second cookie. I was holding the sweater at its bottom edge, but it didn't take much help. Sarah, I'll have a look at that website, maybe I can rig up a strap of just the right size for my elderly pup.

And I'll go and have a cup of tea in the RV everyday I guess. With a pocket full of cookies.

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