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Trouble getting in car, on bed, etc.


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#1 Ninso

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 02:17 PM

I am wondering what others' experience has been with dogs having trouble getting into the car or on the bed, etc. Lok is almost 5 years old, completely blind, on fluoxetine for depression/anxiety most likely related to the fairly recent onset of the blindness and also on phenobarbital for seizures, but otherwise is in good health. He seems to be having more and more trouble getting up on high-ish surfaces. He will usually put his front feet up first, lean forward as far as he can and then lift his back feet up one at a time. He does most of the work with his front legs and avoids any "jumping." He doesn't seem to be in pain and doesn't have any problems running around, playing fetch, or wrestling with my other dogs. He's never been much of a jumper to start with--he played frisbee when he could see, but would never jump for a disc--but it seems like he should not be having so much trouble just getting into the car. Maybe he just doesn't like jumping or isn't built for it?

Is this within the range of "normal" for a 5 year old border collie or should I be worried about hip displaysia, arthritis or some other physical problem?
Tania, Lok & Jun
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#2 Liz P

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:11 PM

I would be concerned.

Did he get on beds like this when he still had normal vision? If so I would be worried about a problem like HD.

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#3 MyTDogs

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:48 PM

Yes, or back/spinal issues.
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#4 juliepoudrier

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 04:15 PM

If he had normal sight, I'd be worried about HD or back problems, but given that he's blind, isn't it possible that he's just not comfortable jumping up onto a surface (bed, whatever) that he can't see? Anyway, my first thought would be that his blindness is affecting his ability to jump. You could certainly rule out HD with radiographs, but if he behaves and moves normally in other situations where his lack of sight might not be as critical, then I would be inclined to chalk it up to him not being able to see where he wants to go, therefore it's easier for him to put his front feet up and then climb with the back end. I know if I suddenly went blind, there are many things I'd no longer be comfortable doing....

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#5 Ninso

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 04:49 PM

Thanks for the replies! I feel like he used to jump onto things a bit better, but seems to have gotten gradually worse. His sight deteriorated gradually over a couple of years as well, and it can be difficult to notice slow and subtle changes and difficult to remember just how it used to be. But he's never really been a jumper and has always dragged his hind end when jumping over things.

Julie, I thought as well that his sight could be the issue. He has no trouble jumping onto the deck in the back yard (about 9 inches?) but seems to have trouble getting into the car even though it is about the same height. He doesn't seem to have any other problems moving or running (though I have no experience with HD and don't know what a dog's gait would look like when affected by these issues) and he doesn't seem to be in pain generally(though I know dogs can be quite stoic about these things).

For those who would be concerned, what course of action would you take? X-rays? Treatment? He is not a sport dog anymore. His activity consists of fetch in the backyard, generally, and running off-leash when we can find a suitable area for that.

I will certainly mention this to my vet next time I am in, but we've spent quite a bit of time at vets recently with all his other issues and this doesn't seem particularly urgent (please correct me if I'm wrong).
Tania, Lok & Jun
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#6 MyTDogs

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 08:29 PM

Thanks for the replies! I feel like he used to jump onto things a bit better, but seems to have gotten gradually worse. His sight deteriorated gradually over a couple of years as well, and it can be difficult to notice slow and subtle changes and difficult to remember just how it used to be. But he's never really been a jumper and has always dragged his hind end when jumping over things.

Julie, I thought as well that his sight could be the issue. He has no trouble jumping onto the deck in the back yard (about 9 inches?) but seems to have trouble getting into the car even though it is about the same height. He doesn't seem to have any other problems moving or running (though I have no experience with HD and don't know what a dog's gait would look like when affected by these issues) and he doesn't seem to be in pain generally(though I know dogs can be quite stoic about these things).

For those who would be concerned, what course of action would you take? X-rays? Treatment? He is not a sport dog anymore. His activity consists of fetch in the backyard, generally, and running off-leash when we can find a suitable area for that.

I will certainly mention this to my vet next time I am in, but we've spent quite a bit of time at vets recently with all his other issues and this doesn't seem particularly urgent (please correct me if I'm wrong).


Yes, xrays of hips & spine & a good physical exam. I noticed that Gilly was more reluctant to jump up on the bed, sofa & in the car about a year before her disc ruptured.
Cindy in FL
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#7 urge to herd

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 12:29 AM

Is he on any pain meds, or anti-inflammatories? If not, and your vet would prescribe them, I'd do a couple weeks on those and see if it makes any difference. If it does, then his problem is probably physical, something with his hips or back.

If the meds don't make a difference, then I'd lean towards behavioral - not feeling secure about what he's jumping up on to.

The reason I suggest the meds try out is that it seems less disruptive and certainly cheaper than being sedated for x rays or other imaging tests. Of course, if he develops any more signs of pain, then you'd have more info to go on.

Good luck, let us know how he gets on.

Ruth

#8 Tommy Coyote

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:13 AM

I take care of a little blind pug. She is very careful about jumping up onto things. She stands up and puts her feet out onto the surface first and then gets up very carefully.

I have to say that she is amazing. She goes everywhere. Climbs up the deck stairs, moves from room to room. But she is careful. She can see light. She is fairyly young and being blind just doesn't seem to be that big a deal for her.

Another blind dog that I take care of doesn't see anything I don't think. She is extremely careful about everything. She walks with little tiny steps and is very careful about approaching things. She is pretty old. I think she stays on the ground. I don't think I have ever seen her up on the couch or bed. That would be pretty scary.

#9 Ninso

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:17 AM

Tommy, the pugs behavior sounds very similar to my dog's. He is the only blind dog I know, so I have no comparison, and since he went blind very gradually it's been difficult to tell how much he can see or what behavior changes have been due to his decreasing vision. As with the pug, Lok gets around really well for the most part, so sometimes it's easy to forget that he might have more trouble in some situations. But I've come a long way in my patience with him.

Ruth and TDogs, thanks for the input. I will discuss those options with my vet next time we are there (probably in the next couple of months). He is on so much medication and has had so many problems already. I hope he doesn't need to be on any more.
Tania, Lok & Jun
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#10 Tommy Coyote

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 10:25 AM

I would think that jumping up onto someplace that they cannot see would be scary.

That little pug goes up to the couch and really checks it all out. Then she stands up and kind of feels it out that way. And then she finally jumps up very carefully.


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