Spinoff... dogs and car ramps. Is it worse to lift than buy a ramp?
I didn't want to hijack the dog ramp thread. But it got me thinking.
My girl, only 4.5 was hit by a car at 1.5 years old has some lower back/hip/back leg issues. She's seeing a massage therapist/chiro and is on gluc/chondrotin supplements.
As long as she's not allowed to run like a full on maniac (which is hard to stop, she's a boxer) seems to feel okay. But there are days that she just vibrates she has so much energy, usually after this bouts she just can't get in the car (Mazda3..not a big jump) but she'll stand there, look at me, look at the open door, then me again almost a "I can't do it today, lady, you're going to have to help"
She does let me lift her (57lbs) but I can't help but wonder if it's harder on her for me to lift her (my arm around her chest, and the other around her butt/back legs) than for her to use a small ramp? Would it make that much difference?
I think it would if she has any kind of spinal issues. If she walks up a ramp, there's a lot less liklihood of something getting bent out of shape than if you pick her up. Plus, there's YOU to worry about.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
I worry more about dogs injuring themselves getting down OUT of cars than while getting into them. Even old, half-crippled dogs always think they can get out, so they launch and crunch.
Jumping out of cars is a major cause of CCL tears in dogs.
Some people make their dogs use ramps to get in and out of cars each and every time, even when the dogs are young and capable.
keep in mind though that a very steep ramp can be more difficult or unsafe for a dog to get up/down than just jumping in and out, so make sure you get the longest ramp you can possibly manage.
I used a mounting block (2 step plastic one) when my older dog needed one. Taught him to wait for my cue and go up and down very slowly. Not sure if it will work for you if it is hip issues, but it worked very well for us. I could give him a bit of support on the way up and down, but did not have to lift him.
It kills me that she's so active and only 4.5 but practically broken already!
I've been using treats to teach her to step into the floor of the front seat and then up onto the seat and into the back when getting into the car.
She's been doing this to get out, when I don't lift her and it seems like it's way more comfortable for her, so for now we'll stick with this I think.
She had a massage Tuesday and LOVED it (who wouldn't lol) we'll keep going with that and see what happens. The woman who did the massage said she's never seen a dog so tight throughout her hind end muscles. Hopefully we'll be able to get those looser and ease some of the tension.