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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks.


I’m looking for some advice if you could.

I have a 12 year old black lab that is a properly sweetheart, good as gold.

We live in a bit of a upside down house with the living room upstairs.
She’s always taken on the stairs without a problem. Then recently in her excitement to get up stairs she’s trip a bit.
Now, however, she won’t do up or down them at all. She squeaks and groans at the top or bottom but no matter how much encouragement we give she will not budge.

She’s always with us so the thought of her being down stairs on her own seems unfair so I have started picking her up and carrying her up and down and she’s terrified - although she doesn’t struggle until I’m about to put her back down and she is always happy to be up with us or down when we put her to bed.
Last night before I picked her up I could feel her shaking. It’s heartbreaking.
I’ve taken to giving her a treat at the end of the lift to try to help and am thinking of only picking her up every other day so not to stress her too much.

She is booked into the vet to have her eyes looked at, get her claws clipped, discuss her recent problem with the stairs and a general mot as we think that maybe she has fallen down them at some point with us not around.

Can anyone offer any advice on how to somehow take the fear away from her so she can tackle the stairs again - the only thing shes done similar is when she was a pup she accidentally flipped her food bowl over, clonking herself on her nose and since then she won't eat from a bowl (but will drink water) only from a plate..?

Thanks
 

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There could be two possible problems, firstly eye problems which I think you have already thought of. Cataracts, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy are two conditions which spring to mind.

But again it could be joint problems making it painful. Obviously discuss these possibilities with your vet. He/she might suggest using painkillers if it's joints.

Obviously your safety MUST take priority. Carrying a fully grown Labrador on the stairs is fraught! I seem to remember seeing a harness with a handle on the back, which would allow you to hold with one hand, taking some of the weight off of her legs.

Found it! It's not expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that John,

Yes she's suffering from Cataracts which is one of the things we are getting a update on.

And your right, thankfully shes not heavy, but I want her to feel safe, which obviously at the mo she doesn't - I'll take a look at those harness'.
Also I only carry her up stairs on my own, going down, there is always someone else in front, as I say she's pretty good until we're near the floor, then she wriggles like a excitable toddler!
To be honest shes in great shape for a 12 year old, apart from her lumps shes our 12 year old puppy!
 

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Actually, if you can see the cataracts then it's unlikely it's the usual sub capsular hereditary cataract. There are two kinds, early forming, often present as early a 9 months, which often progresses to blindness. But with this a dog would normally be blind by 3 years old. The other kind is late forming rarely present before around 7 years old and almost never progressing to blindness, just a mark on the suture lines, like an inverted Y

But there are other kinds of cataract, normally a by product of something else. Sugar Cataracts in the case of Diabetes for example. Another is a cataract which is often seen with dogs suffering from PRA. Cortical Cataracts are becoming more prevalent in Labradors, and I know are being watched by the health sub committee of the Labrador Breed Council.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks John,

Her eyes are certainly cloudy and I'm sure the Vet mentioned to his trainee about an inverted Y.
I'll keep you posted on what he says.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Morning folks.

Just to give a quick update.
So we took our Grumpy Lumpy Lab to our vet who gave her a full Mot.
Her cataracts have got no worse which is great news and her nails have been clipped (do dogs have manicures or pedicures or are they pawicures 🤔)
He did note she is in some slight pain in her rear legs and has prescribed her painkillers.
We are a few days in and there is a visible change in her. She seems a lot happier and defies her age even more.
She is still not coming up stairs yet but we are giving her the full dose of painkillers first and have made the decision to carpet our bare wood stairs to help her (hopefully) feel more secure under-paw. Once all that is done we will start to try and break her fear of the stairs, slowly.
I’ll keep you posted.
In the mean time, here’s a pic loving life with a pot of cream.
26366
 

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What pain killer did your vet prescribe? Thinking possible Metacam? I used this with my Amy. As a suggestion, I gave the full dose as a loading dose for the first week, then gradually reduced the dose to the lowest which did the job. Eventually Amy was doing well on about a third of the full dose.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi John the vet has prescribed her Onsior 40mg.
8 days in and it’s like our 12 year old puppy has had a new set of AA’s installed!
Best of all today we had a break though. - she’s back upstairs with us! All on her own she just bounced up the stairs like they are nothing.
Cant believe it - one thing we are going to look out for was she used to grumble and groan which we put down to her being old and not wanting to move etc but now we are wondering if she was uncomfortable with some pain.
So pleased she’s back with us though - hopefully now she’s done it once she’s sorted.
 

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Onsior is a NSAID, (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.) I presume you are on one 40mg tablet per day? Ideally there should be a regular liver enzyme check. Although I sometimes wonder if they are worthwhile. The facts of the matter are that if the emzyme level rises then what are you going to do? Withdraw medication and go back to pain? Or say that you would settle for a shorter pain free life. I know which option I would settle on
 

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Sorry, I see you have already said 40mg! Old age and failing eyesight is taking over!! 😁 😁
 
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