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Uncoordinated Going Down Stairs?

July 16th, 2009, 11:04 AM
Our 6-year-old Jack Russel Terrier has in the past month or two suddenly started pausing at the top of the stairs, and its like he has to stop and think where to put his legs to go down the stairs!?

He's done stairs ever since he was a puppy. Though 3 or 4 years ago we moved to a farm where the stairs are wooden so can be a bit slick at top speed ;)

It doesn't correlate with his just waking up (he's NOT a morning dog!! LOL) nor does he pause everytime ... just every few trips down the stairs, he'll suddenly pause ...

He is completely 'sound' at all gaits, I can poke and prod the snot out of his entire body with no signs of pain or discomfort. He's completely coordinated at all other times and is in complete control of his body to do some crazy sharp turns at high speeds! I also was testing all his joints to see if he had a touch of arthritis in any of them and he seems completely fine ... and honestly, this dog is a WUSS so he tells you the minute something is bothering him.

He's UTD on all vaccinations, heartworm, is in top shape -- lean, mean JRT-machine! ;) -- he weighs in at about 17lbs which for his height/build the vet said is freakin' perfect. When you touch him, all you feel is lovely muscle from chasing those darn barn cats!

He lives with a rather excitable golden retriever, who is a few years older than him and she keeps him running full tilt outside (we live on a horse farm, so they get to go for several long runs daily) I always supervise him around the horses, so I know he hasn't been kicked/stepped on in the last few months ...

I keep picturing the worse case scenario, so I figured coming here would hopefully put my mind at ease ... any ideas guys?!

July 16th, 2009, 02:00 PM
Did he maybe take a tumble at some point? Maybe he's just decided he needs to be careful.:shrug: You say he's utd on everything, so it doesn't sound like a medical issue. Maybe it's just psychological.

Perhaps some of the dog folks can give you some clues. Sorry, I'm not much help.

July 16th, 2009, 02:35 PM
Hard to tell what's going on, zztop. He might have slipped at one point and pulled a muscle or his back, or taken a tumble as AG suggests, and is just being more cautious now. To be absolutely certain, next time he goes to the vet have them check his back.

July 16th, 2009, 03:30 PM
Thanks guys.

Thats a good point that I hadn't thought of! My golden tends to plow through anything and anyone to get where she's going ... it is common for her to run the poor JRT down when they are playing outside and it has happened while going up/down the stairs. Maybe he got caught up in the golden's wake as she was plowing down the stairs and he got taken for an unplanned trip downstairs?!

I have our animal chiropractor coming to look at the horses in the next week or so, I'll ask her to check out the JRT to rule out any pains/strains, etc :)

July 16th, 2009, 03:40 PM
Great timing on the chiropractor visit! :D

Goldens do like to rush through...little guy maybe just got caught in her slipstream on the way down one day. :goodvibes: that he checks out just fine!