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Keeping a Dog Quiet and Entertained Post-Surgery

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Baxter

I love my- friends!
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 27, '08 12:57pm PST 
Baxter will be having surgery next Thursday to correct a luxating patella. (In a few months, he'll likely be having this surgery on the second back leg.) Following the surgery, he will have to be kept quiet (on crate rest, basically) for four weeks. For four weeks following that, he will still be having limited activity.

I've ordered a large wire crate (28" x 48") to give him some room to move around without being able to jump up. I'll put a large, comfortable bed in that crate so that hopefully he'll have plenty of padding. I also ordered a stroller so that after the first few days, he can still go outside with me for "walks".

I wondered if anyone who has been through this post-surgery quiet period with their dogs might have advice about ways to keep Bax entertained during the healing process. He'll have some things to chew and plenty of attention (someone will be with him pretty much round-the-clock), but I know he will miss chasing his favorite ball and running zoomies!

We'd appreciate any ideas you might have. Thank you!
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Mister- Jagger

YIP YAP I love- Rock and Roll!
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 27, '08 1:00pm PST 
What about puzzle cubes?
Try to find some "mental" work for your little sweety so he'll still be pooped at the end of the say. Some sort of hide-and-seek maybe? Sorry I have no real suggestions for that... thinking
Good luck with the surgery!! hug
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Diesel

I'm innocent, I- swear!
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 27, '08 5:16pm PST 
Does your pup like peanut butter? A little bit of that frozen with maybe a treat peice or two in the KONG, can really help. After Diesel was neutered and we had to keep him calm for about a week that's what we did. Lots of treats, peanut butter in his KONG and doggie bones definitely help. Best of luck!!
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Gunner

All legs and no- tail
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 27, '08 5:27pm PST 
I agree with the frozen Kong idea. There's all kinds of great snacks that you can put into a Kong that will keep a dog busy for a while. On top of that, I would try bully sticks, deer antlers, and other edible chewies. From my experience, deer antlers last the longest.

Another thing that helps is short training sessions. For 10 minutes or so, practice his basic obedience. It'll be great to refresh his memory and keep him occupied.
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Zoey

A little love is- all I need!
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 27, '08 7:01pm PST 
I'm surprised you say its only 4 weeks kept confined post surgery, most surgeons require 6-8 weeks fully confined. However, Zoey had her first luxating patella surgery Jan 5th and her second one Feb 5th and still has a couple more weeks restriction due to some set backs with the second knee. It's a long tough recovery for sure. It was harder for Zoey because she has a sister always trying to play with her all the time. We used an ex-pen in the living room with plenty of toys and chews and would crate her for plenty of naps in between things. To be completely honest, nothing really keeps them completely content and you're gunna feel so bad when they cry because they dont want to be in their crate/pen anymore. Its more about you being tough and not giving in, I think thats the hardest part. A lot of times I would put one of their beds on the couch next to me, with a heating pad under neath the bed to keep her comfy and close.

I have a blog that is dedicated to Zoeys surgeries and all the ups and downs throughout the process (to keep friends and family up to date). Theres no recent pics or posts unfortuantely because I've gotten lazy but check it out- maybe it could help you get an idea on how things went for us! http://sarahstrickland.blogspot.com/

(The most recent update is that she got the pin out of her left knee because it shifted and caused irritation. And it went super well, only took 10 mins or so to do. So in two weeks she gets complete freedom)

GOOD LUCK!!! wishes

Edited by author Thu Mar 27, '08 7:02pm PST

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Zeppelin CGN

Mellow is the- path to- happiness
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 28, '08 6:42am PST 
Aww poor Zoey! Hope you feel better real soon!

I agree with the short training sessions. Especially if you can find some new tricks that don't require too much movement (paw, give kisses, look at me, touch my hand, etc). Learning will really tire out a pup and wow will they be smart when everything's over! BOL snoopy
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Rosalita Lola "Rosie"

Love is never- being told you'- naughty!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 28, '08 7:07am PST 
Sending you big hugs Baxter hughughug
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Baxter

I love my- friends!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 28, '08 7:26am PST 
Thank you all so much for the input!

Jagger, puzzle cubes are a great idea. He has one of those and also a Leo puzzle toy that he loves to play with. Those would be great for tiring him out and keeping him occupied.

Diesel, he's a peanut butter fiend! I'll get him a new Kong and let him eat frozen pb from it. Great suggestion; I think he'll love it.

Gunner, the training sessions are a good idea. He loves to do training, so I bet he'd enjoy that. He has some chews to work on, but we might look into some others like you suggested.

Zoey, you're right; I didn't express the timing well. After the first four weeks, he'll see the physical therapist and get some activity with her and suggested by her, but he'll still be mostly confined the rest of the time until the 6-8 week mark. Your blog has some good photos; the wound doesn't look as gnarly as I expected, which is comforting. I'm glad Zoey is doing well now but sorry she had setbacks with one of her knees. She's a cutie, as is her sister.

Zeppelin, those are some good suggestions. He'd do especially well with touch my hand, I think, and I think he'd enjoy learning it.

Rosie, thank you our sweet friend for the hugs. Baxter sends pup-hugs right back. hug

Thank you all! hughughug
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Zeppelin CGN

Mellow is the- path to- happiness
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 28, '08 11:20am PST 
Yay!! We hope at least the first few weeks won't be too terrible for you. It's gonna be hard for you to say no to such a sweet face! frown
When Zeppelin got neutered, we also had his rear dew claws removed, so we really had to keep him calm (and dry) for 2 weeks. He really enjoyed chewing on a frozen washcloth (wet a cloth, wring it and freeze it), I'd stick a treat in there too sometimes. Since he could still move around, I made him do doggy-sit-ups a lot : sit-down-sit-stand-sit-down-sit-down, etc. It tires him out real quick (and I think he gets sick of it too! BOL)

For the Kong, here's a few ideas: baby food (onion-free), bananas, almond butter, kibble, wet dog food, plain yogourt, any kind of pureed fruits and veggies (except the bad ones) and the list goes on. I usually mix in kibble+peanut butter+chicken baby food. It keeps them busy for awhile and it's a nice way to lengthen dinner time. wink
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Zoey

A little love is- all I need!
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 28, '08 11:53am PST 
Baxter- When things first start out it seems like its going to be foreverrr until theyre free and happy again, but honestly its so worth it in the end! As for the 4 weeks/6-8 week discussion, I have heard some other surgeons will do 4 weeks confined than start puppy rehab and things, so I totally didnt think about that when I responded! Sorry! Either way its definitely a long time for them to be confined but bully sticks, and other real beef treats and chews helped Zoey a lot.

Two weeks after the first surgery I started to put doggie beds around the house (yea, we have a ton around here!), so Zoey could be near me when I was in a certain room. So when I was cooking in the kitchen she'd lay in her bed out there and although she had never perfected "stay" before her surgeries, she now understands it a LOT better haha. I'd tell her to stay and I think she just understood because she knew she wasnt 100% well. But the bed concept helped us a lot. Because she doesnt like to be left alone if we're home.

And to be completely honest, I spent a lot of time carrying her around with me. Even if I went to the bathroom/shower I'd bring her with me (she has a pad in there too right now) and she could go to the bathroom herself or just lay on the rug. But that worked for us because if she doesnt have her sister egging her on she can be a very calm girl, and would happily just lay there and wait for me to finish my shower, etc.

I'd recommend the website bestbullysticks.com to get good deals on some free range bully sticks and other natural bones! I recently placed an order and tried out a lot of different bones and the girls are loving them!

And I think the training idea is a good idea, but just be careful, I would wait at least a week and a half and even then, its sometimes awkward and uncomfortable for them in general, so dont push too hard. Zoey still doesnt do her roll over quite as well as she could before surgery haha...But it all depends on your pup too. Since he's young and such a small dog its GREAT because he'll heal really quickly--and he'll feel like a million bucks in no time--which will be hard on you to keep him calm! haha

As I keep rambling, ugh! Sorry! I just want to throw out one more thing, the first week will be easy on you, hard on him. He will be uncomfortable and wont be trying to run and jump around so you can easily keep him with you on the couch, etc. After that dont be too worried if he walks faster than he's supposed to, or stands up on his hind legs in his crate when company comes over, etc. As long as he isnt running or jumping or pushing off those hind legs in general he wont be able to do damage. Zoey wasnt as confined and calm as she probably should have been for the first knee, yet it healed beautifully. For the second knee I learned my lesson and tried to confine her more, and she had a harder time/some set backs! haha--so go figure! None of the set backs had to do with her level of activity tho. The second knee was just more subborn--hurt her more--and the pin shifted--but didnt cause any damage, just needed to be removed when her boned were fully healed..

OK I'm officially rambling beyond belief. Basically if you have any questions or concerns or worries feel free to message us!
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