When can bassets safely go down stairs. I was told to wait until he was a year old but I can't see him ever being able to. He is so short and long there is not enough stair. He can get up them fine. Any ideas veterns?
Moe has learned to come down stairs sideways, but we don't encourage it. We prefer that he don't go upstairs at all after seeing him take a tumble a few times (very frightening!). Unlike Tally, he's much too large to carry, so if he must go upstairs, I walk behind him (or in front of him if he's coming down). As he's gotten older he's learned to be content downstairs. Tally goes upstairs just fine but will not come down on her own (she's had a few tumbles of her own). She sleeps upstairs in my daughter's bed so we carry her down each morning.
Several years ago I read an article in our local paper about a Basset who suffered a spinal injury - it was presumed from trying to navigate stairs while home alone. He was temporarily paralyzed and needed a specially made cart to get a round for quite a while. Fortunately he recovered from his injury and has full use of his legs today (our vet treated him - I asked about him one day). A happy ending and an important lesson about the dangers of stairs to a short-legged dog.
Stairs are tough on Bassets and their spines. With their heavier front end, the going down compresses their discs according to out vet. Also it puts tons of stress on their front leg joints, which aren't great anyway due to the dwarfing of the breed, and the crooked joints.
We have stairs and our bedroom is upstairs. Bogie goes up at night to sleep by our bed and down in the morning. Otherwise we have a baby gate across the stairs and he is down stairs otherwise.
We got him at eight months, and carried him up and down, and waited unitl he was 10 months, and heavier, and started letting him learn the stair routine. Took about a month of keeping him on a leash and going very slowly for him to get proficient. The coming down is the tough part for them to get co-ordinated and Bogie's is kinda of a hopping motion with both front legs together and the two rear legs together. Pretty funny to watch, but works for him.
Our other Basset, Bubba, we lost to cancer in December developed disc problems at seven years. The vet said it was due to the jarring of the spine from stairs, and jumping up and down from couches and chairs. Bubba would make every trip we made up and down all day long. So Bogie has a ramp to get in SUV, stairs only one time a day, and no furniture.
Hope this helps. I'm sure others on the forum can answer better than I have.
Duncan has to go down about 6 steps to go outside. I was thinking about building him a ramp, the kind that petpigs have to use. He is not allowed on the furniture either, I think if he went up there and tried to get down on his own he'd hurt himself.
Lucy has to navigate a full staircase everyday. Her stumps (legs) are too short to go down the stair, so she goes down each step sideways and seems to not have any problems. It also doesnt appear that she is twisting in any bad positions. When she goes up the stairs she goes one step at a time and takes her time.
George thunders up and down our deck stairs several times a day and has never had any problems. He has a sort of sideways loping way of doing it, but the speed is full tilt boogie. However ... I bought him a set of those doggy steps to help him get onto the bed, which is too high for him, and he flatly refuses to use them, yet I know he wants to get in the bed! We have a footstool he will use, but it's not as steady as I'd like and I don't want it to topple over with him, so that's why I bought the doggy steps.
I don't allow Tess and Hugh to go upstairs in our house. Our bedroom is on the first floor so there really is no reason for them to navigate the stairs. Occassionally, one of them will get curious and go up, but not often. Tess will come back down, but Hugh is afraid and will wait for somebody to carry him down.
We do have stairs to our back yard, but we had them built very wide. Each step is about about 2 and a half feet wide so it would be easier on them. Oh, the things we do for these little guys...
Vanessa follows Snoopy everywhere and figured out going up the stairs in about a day and the down part not to long after that. The only stairs that Vanessa is still scared of is the basement ones. Vanessa will use Snoopy as a step stool for getting down from high spots. Sometimes I wonder if he is coming to her rescue because he allows her to step down on him. We do have to watch Vanessa closely, because she believes that she can fly.
Stairs are much more dangerious to puppies than adults, Damage to growth plates which are soft can cause crippling orthopeadic conditions. Growth plates can close as early as 9 months and as late as 18 months. Spaying/and nuetering delay closure of growth plates. The 1 YEAR recommendation is a rule of thumb but not by all means without some risk even though greatly diminished then the risk in younger pups.
Daisy does our back steps one step at a time, usually, even after a year of navigating them. She's very careful on steps, she fell down our basement stairs a few times--not a long fall--just a couple of steps, but it scared us both half to death; but it isn't surprising, every single member of our family has fallen on those darn stairs for some reason at least twice since we moved in two years ago. They're "man-eaters".
I do not encourage her to come downstairs, because it appears to me that she is mentally not comfortable with it, from the expression on her face; it seems just one to two journeys down the stairs a week is more than enough for her.