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My Pet World: What could cause an eight-year-old dog to stop using the stairs?

Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

I have a 30-pound, eight-year-old mutt. He can walk up and down the stairs to the second floor with no problem. In my bedroom, we have a little dog step so he can get up on the bed, which he's used for years. About three weeks ago, he stopped using the steps to go up. I now have to lift him onto the bed. What could have caused this?

— Paul, Merrick, New York

Dear Paul,

If you are unaware of any injuries, it may be pain from arthritis. Over-the-counter supplements with glucosamine and omega 3 are available in different strength levels. If you don’t think the supplements are helping, schedule a trip to the vet to discuss stronger medication.

Dear Cathy,


You had a recent column about whether dogs are psychic. In 1976, I was coming home from Navy boot camp having been gone for 67 days. My two dogs lay by the front door three days before I got home. My mom said they just stared at it until I got home. "It wasn't like we cleaned your room or gave any sign you were coming home; they just knew!" my mom said.

— Dave, Kingman, Arizona

Dear Dave,

I love your story. And it certainly advances Rupert Sheldrake's theory that pets may have psychic abilities. Thank you for sharing.


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