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Older Dog suddenly very fearful of stairs : General Dog Health Problems -Questions and Answers
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Older Dog suddenly very fearful of stairs

Dogs like humans may have health problems to which you have questions. You are the one that has to identify the issues, symptoms and get solutions. Share your views here.

Older Dog suddenly very fearful of stairs

Postby originale » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:00 pm

Hi all: I'm just out of ideas. I have a lovely 10 year old Lab who has suddenly diveloped an awful fear of our stairs to the second floor. I noticed it beginning last summer when she must have lost her footing and fell. She continued to go up and down but cautiously. Now, she is terrified to go down them- and won't. I have had to block the stairs but I feel badly, because for 10 yrs she has slept under my bed. NOw she has to be locked in the kitchen with the cat. She got upstairs last night and i had to drag her from under the bed when she wouldn't respond to coaxing. She was so terrified that she pooped on t he floor. She is too heavy for me to lift so I had to force her to go down the stairs-which she successfullly did. But this will repeat over and over- even though she can make it.

I wonder if her eyesight is getting bad. Could it be depth perception. She was afraid to walk across someone's shiny linoleum floor the other day. She was going from wood to linoleum and was petrified and wouldn't budge. I'm not sure what to do about it. Perhaps there is nothing that can be done. But wondering if there are any ideas.

Thanks so much

deborah
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Postby suebgone » Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:24 am

I am sure her eyesight is failing at her age, but what does your vet say. He certainly can tell about cateracts.

If your stairs are not carpeted, can you put those rubber treads on them or get them carpeted? If they are carpeted, can you add any lighting? Or put some contrasting tape on each step. From the top it probably looks like one long runway to her. Good luck
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Postby originale » Sun Mar 12, 2006 1:46 am

Thanks. Haven't gone to vet yet because I assume there's not much you can do for cataracts in dogs. Doubt I'd have surgery- too costly. I will try carpeting although she is afraid on some carpeted steps. She is won't go across floors that are shiny or have linoleum- or if the linoleum pattern changes. guess the vet is the next stop.

Thanks for the reply
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Postby suebgone » Sun Mar 12, 2006 3:43 am

Try seeing things from her perspective. It all probably looks grey to her so she can't see where one step ends & the next begins. She may also be having some arthritic symptoms that make her unsteady when she walks. The bright tape on each step should help her
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Postby HMZ » Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:41 am

My 9 year old dog started viewing all non-carpeted floors with suspicion and eventually wouldn't go near them. Dogs are location-phobic, which was confirmed by my vet. My dog fell down on the floor and that was the problem. Some of the problem was mental and I could see her freeze up whenever she had to go from one area rug to another -- and of course then she would fall down. But she was fine walking on the carpet. It could be due to your dog's eye problems but it might also be joint pain or fear of falling. I think its great you are considering carpet on the stairs -- it might help.
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Postby Guest » Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:41 am

Thanks- vet checked her eyes. All ok. Doesn't seem to be pain because she runs fine in the park after her ball. Vet thinks she is just getting frightened-and tentative due to the previous fall. She is just more nervous since she lost her footing on the stairs months ago. So, I have blocked the stairs and unfortunately, she can no longer sleep under my bed. She's not happy about this but there is no option.
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