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 Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs

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KahnTheIncredible
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2015-06-24

PostSubject: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:37 am

Hi all,

Sorry for the panicked threat topic, but I really do need some advice that I'm not getting with the usual Google searches.

Kahn, my incredible husky, is roughly 15-17 (he was a stray), and can't get up and down (especially down) the stairs on his own. I'm wondering if anyone has some advise for the very best device I can use to carry him up and down from my 2nd floor apartment in Chicago.

Right now, I'm using a cheap-but-well-padded carrying harness for his front that wraps around his chest and front legs, along with a sling-type thingy that wraps around his rear-most torso--just in front of his hind legs.

The problem is that he fights me every time I pick him up, and I can't tell if it's because the carrying hurts him, or if his dementia (CCD) just makes him really sensitive to being handled. And it's getting worse.

Some details about his condition:

  • He's about 50lb, which is somehow within a few pounds of his normal healthy weight when he was much younger, despite the fact that he is visibly gaunt--I don't know how this is possible (he has never been anywhere close to obese).

    He has the expected problems with arthritis, muscle atrophy, and possible nerve damage to his hind quarters, which has made stairs a struggle, but doable, for the last year or so.

    He is just recovering from a bout of idiopathic vestibular syndrome, which is what initially caused the need for me to carry him on the stairs. But because of that, he refuses to even attempt going down the stairs, and it's a 50/50 chance he'll even try going up. That may never change.

    He has various skin/fat tumors/lesions on his body, especially around his arm and leg pits, which makes me worried about installing full-time carrying harness on him.


Now, I wouldn't blame any of you for wondering why in the world I'm prolonging his miserable life. But here's the thing: I need to make absolutely sure I've explored everything to make him comfortable before I make a "final" decision that is admittedly looming.

He's still eating, he holds his pee for walks--which he still gets excited for sometimes, he's on pain meds (deramaxx) and glucosamine/condroitin, and while he's clearly struggling, there's not enough evidence yet that he's ready for me to end his life.

Ugh, sorry for the novel on my dog. I really just need some advice for the very best (to reiterate) carrying harness so I can take him out to pee with minimal pain and panic.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.



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MiyasMomma
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Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:11 am

Welcome to the forum......I wish that I could give you some great advice, but I am stumped, I am here for moral support. It is not easy taking care of your senior pet/friend, I have been there. Out of curiosity......is it possible to use ramps? I know some apartment buildings that would be impossible, but that is the only thing I can think of that would ease his difficulty. I am not sure, but, perhaps someone else here would know, but perhaps a company that makes personalized harnesses? Where they could put extra padding and such?

I wish you luck on this, many of our regular members will be on in the morning, hopefully someone else will be able to give you more than myself.......hugs, I know this is difficult.
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MiyasMomma
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Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:14 am

Also, wanted to ask how are you carrying him? Maybe you could carry him differently, to ease his pain or panic?
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KahnTheIncredible
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2015-06-24

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:37 am

Thanks MiyasMomma,

Unfortunately, ramps aren't an option. I live in a 3-story Chicago brownstone (on the 2nd floor), and the stairs are just too steep for ramps. Even if it was possible, I'd need some pretty huge pieces of wood coated with a high-traction surface.

You asked how I was carrying him. He's got the padded front harness and rear sling, both with carrying handles. I pick him up with both handles and rush, as smoothly and swiftly as I can, down or up the stairs. Perhaps I should include a picture of the harnesses, but even with all that surface area supporting him, he fights me hard. Writhing like i'm trying to kill him. And it kills ME every time.
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wpskier222
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Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:20 am

Would it be possible to modify the harness to allow his feet to be closer to the ground, or even able to touch the stairs as you go up or down? So you're supporting his weight, yet he 'feels' as if he's walking? It sounds like maybe he's not necessarily in pain, but just doesn't like having his feet so high off the ground. I know my young 50 lb boy just hates to be picked up, and I can imagine if I tried to carry him up and down the stairs all the time, he would be quilt annoyed with me. I hear you on those stairs. We just moved out of a brownstone in nyc to an elevator building (cue angelic choir) and it's so nice! We were on the 3rd floor as well and I can imagine how difficult it would be to carry him up and down those stairs!
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wpskier222
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Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:40 am

This site has some great options that you might be able to rig as I was suggesting earlier. I know it will probably take you a lot longer to go down the stairs, but it sounds like his comfort is the most important thing to you, and I think taking a little longer, supporting his weight, but allowing him to 'walk' down the stairs with your help might make him happier. You could also try a t-shirt under the padded harness, that might make the tumors/lesions near his elbows less irritated by the harnesses.

http://www.seniorpetproducts.com/dogs/mobility/lifting-harnesses/
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MGoBlue
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Join date : 2012-06-13
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:01 am

It's a bit pricey and I've never used it, but this harness from Ruffwear has good reviews about lifting dogs with it: http://www.ruffwear.com/DoubleBack-Harness?sc=2&category=1131
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aljones
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:00 pm

Sara, while I hope it's going to be many years before I'll be needing one that DoubleBack harness has excellent reviews!! Of the roughly 50 reviews I looked through there were only 3 who would not recommend the harness.

Now mind you, I don't think I could ever find myself rappelling down a mountain side with a 75 pound Weimaraner but just knowing that it has that quality would definitely make me consider it for when mine get older.  Excellent find!!

Since a couple of the comments mentioned it, I went to look at the WebMaster Harness. Not quite so pricey and seems more appropriate to the current needs (assistance in moving about) as opposed to lifting/lowering a dog from a cliff or helicopter.

I must say that even considering that it's a company sight and one expects better than average comments virtually all the comments I read were well above "Great!!" which is a pleasant surprise.
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MGoBlue
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Join date : 2012-06-13
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:18 pm

Al-I have the Webmaster and while it is useful for lifting over obstacles quickly while hiking, etc...it's not one I would use to carry a dog a significant distance, including up stairs. It would be useful for just some extra support if the dog is still walking slightly on it's own, but I wouldn't fully carry using the Webmaster. Just doesn't seem as supportive or comfortable for that purpose.
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jbealer
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Female Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:53 pm

I would go with the doubleback harness over the webmaster for the added chest support around the ribs.
We use the webmaster as it is park of their pack system and yes it helps getting the dogs over boulders but would not be great for distance carrying.

Sierra being 12 i ofter wonder what we will do when she gets older and can not get up the steps in the house, she HATES being picked up.

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KahnTheIncredible
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2015-06-24

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:11 am

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, and sorry for the long delay. I decided not to order a ne harness because what I've been using is pretty similar, and I don't think It'll help the real carrying problem, which is that he has zero tolerance for any attempt to handle him--and that means he'll fight me no matter what harness i use to carry him.

Shortly after I posted, Kahn took turn for the worse. His breathing is bad, his muscles and joints are terrible, and I can only pop him double-dose pain killers for so long before I introduce even more problems. The time has come, and I want to give him another week or two of pain-free living. I'm thinking a steroid injection, morphine--anything really to make him comfortable in his last days. I'd welcome any suggestions.

This hurts.

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amymeme
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Female Join date : 2013-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:45 am

I am sorry to hear the time has come...this lurks in the background for all of us and is no less painful even though we know it is inevitable. In an ideal world, our pups would live as long as we do but that is not in the cards.

Know that our thoughts are with you.
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sibhus
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2013-10-02

PostSubject: Re: Urgent help needed: Carying my husky up and down stairs   Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:05 pm

Very sorry to hear what your going through, given the others have commented about the brace, ill chime in as im going through something similar with my 11 yr female although ive been able to semi manage her arthritis and neuropathy(shes diabetic, has cancer and severe arthritis) with nsaids(rimadyl, metacam deramaxx etc etc) and tramadol, along with adequan shots, vitamin B12 methyl pills(targets nerve related pain). Accupuncture can help in cases and gentle massages around the hip area.

For now, I can only think of accupuncture, massage, tramadol and giving the recommended dose of deramaxx ( I believe a 50lb dog should take 50mg of deramaxx daily) to manage the pain. The steroid shot will reduce the dogs immune system significantly but again it can help with arthritis and hip pain. If your up for it, I would use K9 immunity or large doses of fish oil/ green lipped mussels to boost the immune system.

Again really sorry to hear what your going through but your not alone...
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