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My dog is giving me (more) grey hairs


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This morning, I wake up and see my senior dog Ritz (almost 19 years old) walking around the bedroom. [said bedroom is on the 2nd floor, and we have to carry her up and down the stairs several times per day as she will NOT stay on the main floor - especially during the night.] She is blind (maybe can see shadows), deaf (can hear very loud noises) and has not been able to descend stairs for about a year and finally lost her ability to ascend the 4 steps up the porch about 4 weeks ago - but she still enjoys being outside and walks around fine and will even 'run' around a little bit.

 

She wasn't frantic, but she was ready to go outside for her a.m. bathroom break. I saw that she started to climb back into her bed so I figured I didn't have to scoop her up and rush her outside. If she was going back to bed, she should be OK for a couple of minutes - enough time for me to hit the bathroom and to put on some clothes.

 

Uh, WRONG! Approx. 30 seconds later while I was in the bathroom, I heard a series of loud noises which I quickly realized was 'someone' falling down the stairs. OH $H!T !!

 

I went running down the stairs to find her in the LR peeing on the floor. I think the 'fall' down the stairs probably made her lose control.

 

I scooped her up and ran her outside as she did not seem to have any bruises/broken bones/ whatever from her 'fall' down the stairs.

 

My theory is that she decided not to stay in her bed (as I thought she would) and decided to walk out of the bedroom to the top of the stairs, where she lost her bearings and tipped down the stairs. I don't know how she did it, but she had enough presence of mind and body to stay upright during her descent.

 

I am so glad she did not hurt herself, but she sure gave me a scare.

 

I need a single story house!!

 

What do your dogs do (or what have they done) that give you grey hairs??

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Oh gosh!

 

I think it would take me all day to calm back down to normal if that happened! Glad she seems okay after that!

 

Hmm, grey hair situations, that would be the time Kipp ate rat poison and I couldn't do a thing to stop him. We were at SAR training and thankfully someone had peroxide in their car.

 

And also the time he went across the ice on the river. And was just fine. But when I was those paw prints I panicked

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Hmm, grey hair situations, that would be the time Kipp ate rat poison and I couldn't do a thing to stop him. We were at SAR training and thankfully someone had peroxide in their car.

 

That would totally throw me over the edge. I am glad your compatriot was well supplied.

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That sounds terrible! I'm glad Ritz is o.k.

 

All my grey hairs come from Natasha eating things she shouldn't. The first time it was carpet fibers (I have a nice bald spot in the living room), the second time it was a kitty toy, and the third time it was the head of a flamingo stuffed toy.

 

The bald spot on the carpet wasn't discovered until after she got sick and I realized what she had tried to eat. Natasha put her head under the ottoman to get to the carpet so I didn't find it until I moved the ottoman. I have no idea where she got the kitty toy. I really thought I had found all the toys and tossed them in the garbage before we brought Natasha home as a puppy (because I was worried about her trying to eat one). The flamingo head was something that had been around the house for a while. Natasha had ripped the head from the body and loved to race around the house with the head in her mouth (all the stuffing was removed). Natasha never showed any signs of attempting to eat it and it was too big to swallow.....or so I thought.

 

Thankfully, all three times she got sick. I was sick at the thought of what could have happened.

 

Natasha is only allowed to have toys when 100% supervised and nothing that she can attempt to kill herself with.

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Tilly, my old gal who recently died at just shy of 18, fell down the porch stairs (all 9 of them) twice. I saw her go -- she just lost her balance one time went ass over teakettle and the other just kind of slid down and landed on her face. It was such a sickening feeling watching it happen and knowing there was nothing I could do to get to her in time. She also fell up the stairs a couple times. Not as serious, but still cringe worthy. Amazingly she never seemed to get hurt.

 

After the second tumble down the stairs I put a harness on her and helped her both up and down every single time. She wasn't happy about it but I just couldn't bear for it to happen again.

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Keeper jumped off of a 6 ft. ledge when he was 3 months old. Landed right in the middle of the cement stairs. He was more than fine, I was not.

 

The retaining wall lines our stairs heading down the the barn. It would have taken him about 3 extra seconds to go around, but to this day he has a "THIS WAY SHORTEST, THEREFORE FASTEST" mentality. I called him onto the couch today where he went up and over the back of the couch instead of running around like a normal dog.

 

That jump was a wake up call for me, I didn't realize just how little sense of self preservation some of these dogs have.

 

Then there was the time I walked in on him chewing on my roommate's reed knife...

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After the second tumble down the stairs I put a harness on her and helped her both up and down every single time. She wasn't happy about it but I just couldn't bear for it to happen again.

Yes, after this tumble, I am keeping our bedroom door closed at night so she can't wander.

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Gentlelake- a specific harness with a handle or just an ordinary one? I really want the 'handbag dog' harness Terrierman featured once. Sure, it looks ridiculous, but if I could heft my dog when needs be by carrying her like a 60lb handbag, I absolutely would. Would be great for stairs.

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It was just a regular harness. At first it gave her enough support when I just needed to support her front end. Later when her rear end was giving out I ordered a mobility assistance harness, but the first one didn't fit (wrong sizing info provided) and by the time the second one arrived she had just died. :(

 

This is the one I'd ordered: https://www.petedge.com/zpetedgemain/catalog/productDetail.jsf?wec-appid=PEDM_WEBSHOP_TR&page=72A214C22827430A9795247F1BF064D6&closeLiveSearchOverlay=TRUE&itemKey=005056A633791ED2B59143B7ED9DEFB3&menuLinkSelected=none&wec-locale=en_US

 

I've got a brand new one, size Medium, if anyone in the US wants it. $27 plus what it costs to ship. PM me.

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Omg, falling down stairs! Even I have nightmares about doing it, and I see perfectly fine. Just a bit clumsy lol.

 

Kieran hates going to the vet. Of course, he recognizes the place from the parking lot. I decided it'd be fine to try to walk him into the lobby. Big mistake. He's a bit of a Houdini when it comes to harnesses (no matter the style), so he popped out of it right before the door. He took off down the parking lot and headed straight for the busy intersection (speed limit 50 mph). I chased after him, completely forgetting there were cars driving around the parking lot. I actually ran right in front of one waving my arms like a lunatic. Luckily, Kieran stopped to smell the bushes before trying to cross the street, giving me enough time to pick him up. The whole thing felt like it happened in slow motion, yet I've never seen a dog run so fast.

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I'm glad Ritz is OK. That would about give me a heart attack. I am glad I have a one story house.

Jester, at 14, now paces around the bedroom for a half hour every night when we go to bed. He has just been out to pee so that isn't it, and I don't know why he won't just settle down. It worries me but I don't really think anything is wrong.

 

I got a few grey hairs the day that Boo got into a Colorado River Toad. ACK! Fortunately I called the vet as I was rushing him to the car and she told me not to come because by the time I got there, half an hour if I stomped on it, he would be dead. Instead flush his mouth with water from the hose for 20 minutes. Twenty minutes later I had a sorry looking miserable wet dog but he was fine. :rolleyes:

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Jester, at 14, now paces around the bedroom for a half hour every night when we go to bed. He has just been out to pee so that isn't it, and I don't know why he won't just settle down. It worries me but I don't really think anything is wrong.

 

I think it's an old dog thing, at least for some of them. Tilly spent most of her waking hours pacing for pretty much the last year of her life. Near the end, she'd pace until she collapsed, then finally sleep. She'd even pace in her crate, where I'd started putting her at night to try to control the pacing. Vet didn't have any answers for it.

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Yes, pacing -- I agree that it must be an old dog behavior. Ritz does the same thing for no reason I can figure out. Like Jester, she has just been fed, watered and outside to eliminate and indicates she wants to come inside. Once inside, she will pace for 15 minutes, 30 minutes or more.

 

Alprazalam has helped quite a bit. She will still pace but it has definitely decreased (from 2 hours at a time to maybe 20-30 minutes). I started her on 1/2 pill per day, but over the past year, I have had to increase the dosage up to 1.5 pill per day. It has also helped reduce her bouts of barking which used to last up to an hour or more (luckily that was usually only during the day, not at night once we went to bed to sleep).

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Logan, now nine, has caused most (if not all) of my "AAAHHHHH!!!!!" moments. He has: drank so much while "swimming" that I thought he gave himself torsion. Ran so fast on a rough surface and stopped suddenly, to look at something that he removed the outer layers of his main foot pads and some of his toe pads. (one time wasn't enough, he has done it three times!) He loves steps and barks and twirls while flying madly up and down them. But has, so far, not suffered injury doing this. He jumped a 4 1/2 foot wall to say "hi" to my uncle. He thinks that no weather is too cold for swimming. Once jumping into a stream to swim with his coat on, on the coldest day of the year. As a puppy he did pluck a bald spot on the carpet, chew a hole in a Navajo blanket (in his sleep) and destroyed a ficus. He also chases leaves like a loon, still attacks water, and whines, twirls, and shakes when he knows he are driving to a park, once he was twirling on the passenger seat and lost his balance falling into the CD player, smashing a CD that I had just ejected. I never did find all the pieces of the CD.

Most of the time when I tell people stories about Logan, they think he is stupid. He's not, he just has no sense of self preservation and I need to keep that in mind 24 hours a day.

My other three Borders never did the crazy, bizarre things that he does and continues to do. They seemed to have a large amount of common sense. Logan has none.

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