The Ramp

One of the first things we needed to do in preparation for Georgia’s senior years was address the stairs she needs to take to go outside.

As you can see she has a drop down to hit the first stair.  She would have to jump over the landing and fall on the first step.  All of that changed after her IVDD incident.  For over a month now we have been carrying Georgia up and down these stairs.

We contacted several local contractors and they all considered the job too small.  We were fortunate to find a contact with a set designer for a local theatre company.  He has been out of solid work for some time and was eager to take on the task.

After some discussion we decided to build out the stairs level with the door and have a ramp constructed.  The ramp is completely removable if needed.

Today everything came together and the stairs/ramp were installed.  We bought some cheap outdoor carpet to provide traction.  The ramp supports humans so we are able to use it as well.

We knew the only way Georgia would take it, is to cover the whole stair set with the ramp.  Sure enough, with no choice, she took to the ramp like a pro.

GeorgiaRamp     

So now Georgia can come and go freely between inside and outside.  It’s amazing sometimes the things we will do for our dogs.  Our princess now has a new throne.  Thanks for reading.  I hope to have a post up soon about our recent therapy experience!!!

Putting in the work

It has officially been a month of crate rest for Georgia.  It has been a very long month and has been awful for Georgia.  She has been very vocal about her situation.  We have to keep a sharp eye on her because she will jolt if given the opportunity.  The whole month seems to have been spent saying “Georgia No!” or “Georgia Stop!”  Despite it all, we made it through.

Through the whole month we experienced 4 incidents of vocalized pain in her neck each lasting less than a minute.  Each incident was a result of Georgia sleeping in her tight donut for a long period of time and being roused suddenly by us to either eat or go potty before we went to bed.  Upon discovering this fact we no longer force her awake when she has been napping for long periods of time.  Instead, we have found that the sound of opening the treat container in the kitchen will usually pull her out of her slumber and allow her to wake up without issue.

On Wednesday February 3, we had our follow up appointment with neurology.  Her rehab appointment after that had to be rescheduled for February 12th due to a scheduling error.  We were pretty confident that despite those few incidents, that we had made progress through medical management. We were looking forward to allowing her more freedom.  We know that things won’t go back to how they were, but were ready to get into the new normal.

We purchased a ramp for getting up and down off the couch.  It is a work in progress, but she is getting the idea.

 

We also have someone coming to our house on Monday to look at adapting the stairs that she has to take to get outside. She currently has a bit of a drop going from inside to outside.  We hope to get the stairs built up to eliminate that first drop.  We have been carrying her up and down these stairs for the past month.

We were looking into pre made ramps for our existing stairs, but found that the angle coming from the house, turns the ramp into a slide.  The angle is too steep.  We are hoping we can incorporate a ramp somehow into the rebuild of the stairs.

Needless to say we are getting ourselves prepared as best as we can for Georgia’s future as a senior dog.  We are also excited to give her more freedom.

Going into Wednesday’s appointment we felt like we had a plan.  We were confident in her recovery. We even had a cake made to celebrate Georgia’s freedom from the crate.

The neurology department seemed to focus their questioning heavily on the 4 incidents reported.  As with the last appointment we were unable to be present due to Covid restrictions for the exam.  They acknowledge that Georgia has improved with medical management, but feel it appropriate to continue crate rest/exercise restrictions for 4 more weeks.  We will be continuing the Gabapentin schedule.

Georgia is also overweight.  Pill pockets, peanut butter, and no exercise caught up to her.  This was not a surprise to us as lifting her had become increasing difficult.  Going forward we have reduced her caloric intake.

So here we are.  Faced with the prospect of 4 more weeks of crate rest based on 4 incidents that were totally instigated by us.  Georgia is overweight but not allowed to exercise.  Georgia is miserable.  We are miserable as her jailers.

We went ahead with the cake, though extremely limited quantities.  She deserves something nice.  It is a lot of cake, but I’ve got lots of dog walking clients that will be getting pieces as well.

To say we’re frustrated is an understatement.  How can she lose weight successfully while laying around all day?!? Starve her?  We have been having conversations about how far we want to go with this.  We opened up her potty area so she has access to the whole yard.  We let her go outside when she wants, but we still carry her up and down the stairs.  This evening was her first day on the couch and she seemed so happy to be a part of the family.

So what is the right thing?  We are inclined to try to strike the balance between the personal and the professional.   We certainly agree she needs to lose weight, but the rest of these restrictions at this point seem extreme.  We are not professionals though.  Im not a vet.

All I know is that when I tell Georgia to go lay down, she looks so defeated and I feel like all the snuggling in the world can’t cure those blues.  Im just not sure we can do crate rest for another 4 weeks without completely breaking her spirit.

Thank you so much for taking the time.  I can be pretty long winded when it comes to my girl.