As pet owners it can be overwhelming when your dog has had surgery and it’s time for you to take them home from the vet and manage their post-surgery care. It is crucial you give your pet the best possible care during this time to accelerate their recovery and assist in prevention of any secondary issues arising.
Talk to your Veterinary Surgeon
Your Veterinary Surgeon has done their part by performing the surgery and they will also explain your post-surgery care and often give you discharge papers and printed instructions on your dog’s post-surgery care. There are no standard post-surgery specifics as these will always vary due to the type of surgery being done and you’re your dog’s age and condition. It’s important you talk to your vet and that you understand the instructions that you have been given. As this can be an emotional time it is a good idea to write down your questions and take notes on what you need such as bandages, stitches or medications to administer. This will avoid any confusion and ensure you don’t forget anything.
Be diligent about your dog’s post-surgery care.
It is imperative that you follow the instructions from your Vet and if they tell you that your pooch requires restricted rest and needs to be on a controlled lead, they mean it! The reason is that your dog’s body needs to heal properly, and additional movement can increase the risk of injury and result in another surgery or other complications.
Post-op checkups at the Vet clinic are very important after surgery as the Vet will make sure healing and recovery is going as planned. Don’t put off or miss any of these checkups.
Confining your dog for post-surgery recovery
Keeping your dog confined after surgery is common as it helps the cut tissue to heal. Your vet may request you to crate your dog and keep them leashed when taking them to the toilet.
At K9 SWiM with so many post-surgery dogs coming here for rehabilitation and speaking to the pet owners I often hear people say, “It’s too hard to keep my dog crated and leashed to go to the toilet” Yes, it can be frustrating to keep your dog crated, confined and quiet during their recovery period from surgery or an injury. But when I hear dog owners tell me that they had just let their dog outside to go to the toilet and have a sniff around off the leash - that’s when their dog has hurt themselves and then their dog is back to square 1.
Here are a few tips to assist you in making confined rest and restricted exercise a little easier and more stimulating for your dog during this time.
Crate train your dog.
It is a good idea to crate train all dogs. So if they do injure themselves in the future and have to be crated for rest, then they will be OK with it. If you know your dog is going to have to have surgery get them crate trained before surgery. Dogs that have never been crate trained may find it stressful when placed in a crate post-surgery and could injure themselves further by trying to get out.
Canine Hydrotherapy for post-surgery rehabilitation
There any many types of surgeries where canine hydrotherapy can assist and accelerate recovery.
Hydrotherapy is non-weight bearing and will rebuild muscle quickly and will add no stress to the limbs. Muscle atrophy will be prominent in pre-and post-surgery cases and by building muscle again will assist in the stability of the limb and the mobility of your dog.
Surgeries such as spinal, cruciate repair and hip replacements, hydrotherapy is fabulous anywhere from 2-6 weeks’ post-surgery. With any rehabilitation program at K9 SWiM our Vet Referral (Link form) form must be completed and signed by your vet. This confirms that your vet has given the OK to start Hydrotherapy. Your vet should always approve any additional treatment or rehabilitation your pet is receiving for an injury they are treating. If you have any concerns during rehabilitation we are happy to liaise with your vet on your dog is progressing.
Other post-surgery rehabilitation options for your dog.
K9 SWiM Hydrotherapy and Wellness Centre specializes in post-surgery rehabilitation with an indoor heated pool, an underwater treadmill. We take a holistic approach to rehabilitation offering services such as massage, acupuncture, photonic therapy and strengthening exercises which are great for recovery and rehabilitation. Our retail shop stocks a variety of aids to assist in recovery like harnesses, braces, toe grips and orthopedic memory foam beds. Herbal mixes and supplements are also available for purchase.
Osteopath – Dr Samantha Sherrington and Alternative Vet – Dr Rob Willis are also available for appointments at K9 SWiM Wellness Centre.
So when you are talking to your Vet, discuss these options and ask when your dog will be ready to start these therapies.
You are welcome to come in and have a look around or call us on 1300 787 064 to make an appointment for your dog’s recovery.
Call Us 1300 787 064
Hi I'm Sharon Osmond the owner and founder of K9 Swim. The Splash Blog is where I share tips and information on dog's health and safety and some fun facts and stories.