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Old 08-25-2006, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default basset hound and stairs

We are considering adopting a bassethound; but live in a three storey house -lots of stairs. Is this only an issue when the basset is growing or will it be a problem all his life?
Would a basset - beagle mix have the same problem.
thank you for any advice.
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Consider a lightbuild, grown-up basset fra a rescue -
a fullsize basset will need to be carried for the first 9-12 months,
and may even as an adult get back problems due to jumping down
furniture and stairs.
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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stairs are more likely to pose a problem as a pup or a geriactric hound. Just as people when they get older have more problems with stairs than those that are less mature.

Beagles even though they do not look the part are chondrodystrophoid just like bassets making then more prone to back problems than the average breed from

Canine Intervertibrate Disk Disease
The word \"chondrodystrophoid\" literally means faulty development or nutrition of cartilage. In humans, chondrodystrophoism is recognized physically (phenotypically) as dwarfism, where individuals are smaller than normal and whose parts (especially limbs) are disproportionate. Certain breeds of dogs, such as dachshunds, show their chondrodystrophism by having disproportionately short and angulated limbs. However, phenotypic characteristics alone can not be used to identify chondrodystrophoid dogs. Other breeds, such as miniature poodles and beagles, have been histochemically identified to have chondrodystrophoid disks and yet do not appear outwardly to be chondrodystrophoid.

...Biochemical differences between chondrodystrophoid and nonchondrodystrophoid disks are apparent shortly after birth and explain the differences in the types of degeneration that occur. The degeneration that occurs in chondrodystrophoid disks is called chondroid metaplasia because the nucleus pulposus is gradually replaced with cartilage. Degeneration takes place rapidly and begins as early as 6 months of age starting at the periphery of the nucleus pulposus and progressing centrally. A dramatic and rapid increase in collagen content, as much as 30-40% by dry weight, is seen between 6 and 12 months of age. In addition, total glucosaminoglycan content will be 30 to 50% lower than age matched nonchondrodystrophoid dogs within the first 3 years resulting in a great loss of water content in the nucleus. When this happens, the nucleus loses its elasticity and no longer acts as an efficient shock absorber. Eventually the hyaline cartilage which forms calcifies, leading to almost complete lose of elasticity intervertebral the nucleus pulposus. The overall result is that of placing more of the \"workload\" on the annulus fibrosus while it is simultaneously undergoing degeneration. Disruption of the annulus fibrosus eventually occurs, especially at its weakest point, the thinner dorsal area lying just below the spinal canal. This allows nuclear material to escape, usually dorsally into the spinal canal or dorsolaterally to impinge on the nerve roots exiting the intervertebral foramina.

In comparison, nonchondrodystrophoid disks degenerate by fibroid metaplasia with the process becoming clinically significant at 8 to 10 years of age. Fibroid degeneration involves a gradual process of dehydration, and therefore loss of elasticity, of the nucleus pulposus with the incorporation of increasing amounts of collagen and polysaccharides (chondroitin sulfate and keratin sulfate). This causes a gradual diminishing of the border between the annulus fibrosus and the nucleus pulposus, and thus a weakening of the disk's overall biomechanical abilities. Partial rupture of the annulus fibrosus may result allowing the nucleus pulposus to bulge into the annulus and possibly the spinal canal.
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Old 08-25-2006, 05:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Or do as I did, build a ramp. Half the widht of the staircase is covered by the basset ramp and it works perfectly. It is removable, but will stay there as long as Mr. Runcible is alive (forever). He has no problems with it, and it's much easier for him then having to jump his way down the stairs.
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When we lived in Germany we lived on the third floor of a stairwell apartment. We had 2 bassets Charlie and Anna(GA). Neither had any trouble with the stairs. And Lewie was basset puppy who would come play and he never had any trouble either. Charlie is now 11 years old and stairs are more of a challenge it depends on the width of the stairs etc. Our Brandy does fine on stairs, but she is only 5. I think if the dog grows up with the steps you will be okay. We don't have stairs the dogs have to use anymore. Just a few going out of the house. We built Charlie a ramp right now he is using the steps but I imagine come winter he will need his ramp again. Good Luck
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Our first house in Bassetchusetts (Massachusetts) was where we lived when we got Ruby as a puppy. She had to be carried up and down all the time. It was a pain in more ways than one!

As she grew and was able to get up and down the stairs on her own she fell and dislocated her hip/leg. That was the end of her going on a couch too and her stair climbing had to be monitored at all times.

Because of the stairs (they were steep), she developed a muscular chest for her size. (Ask Marcia, as Ruby **is** little like her nickname- ha!).

In Florida, the house was one story and she had no problems with that.

Stairs were a problem when we moved to CA becase we were renting a second floor apartment. Aggravated the osteoarthritis and made it all much worse.

Once again in a one story house.....we looked at a zillion homes to buy just to find a decent one story house for Ruby and me.

Janice and little Ruby
Take a basset hound to lunch today!
--Bassets rule....and drool!
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Old 08-28-2006, 04:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Not all stairs are created equal. My previous house had scary steep linoleum basement steps so Josť never ever went down there. Now my house (just down the street so it is the exact same model) has carpet on the basement stairs. He will only go on those in very rare occasions - if a lot of people go down there and leave him. But for laundry purposes he stays upstairs.

My parents have a new house with two flights of stairs - carpeted, nice and wide, not steep. He has never had a problem with those, even at a few months old he would be on them.
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Old 08-28-2006, 07:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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thanks everybody - the jury and the architect is still out; hoping for a verdict that are long, droopy and low to the ground.
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