Saturday, May 23, 2015

Caring for your dog after surgery.

In reference to my post in April about Blacky my 8-month-old puppy that had to go through surgery for his hind knees. Well on May 20 he was scheduled for surgery on both knees.

I didn’t get any sleep the night before the surgery wondering if I was taking the right decision for him. Surgery was inevitable Blacky couldn’t walk anymore. He was dragging his hind legs as he tried to run after the birds. It was heart breaking to see him try to run just to give up in the end because of the pain. You could see he was exhausted as he collapsed on the grass panting.

He looked so helpless with those dark black eyes staring at me. I would pick him up and bring back into the house.

When I picked him up at the Vet’s after his surgery he was laying on a mat, the Vet said they preferred not to put him in a cage in order not to traumatize him. They know him well; I’ve been to the Vet’s so many times with Blacky that he’s become some sort of Mascot at the clinic. 

Poor thing, he looked like a poodle that had been trimmed, no fur on his belly and legs, just a strip on his back and on his paws. You know those punk style haircuts when they shave their heads and leave a strip on top of their skull, just like the Iroquois Indians. (See a few Google images on Iroquois)

                                                           Poor baby, all wrapped up.

The first night he slept on his mat in front of the couch in the living room. I slept on the couch so I could keep an eye on him. Neither of us slept much. He was in pain even with the painkillers the Vet subscribed. Check out this link, Post-Operative care for Pets. There’s even a picture of a dog that had knee surgery like Blacky, and that was shaved in the same manner.

I believe the worst problem was that he couldn’t understand what had happened to him. Why he was in so much pain, and why he couldn’t get up to pee?

That night I ended up sleeping on the carpet with him. He calmed down as I petted him when he got nervous and tried to move in vain. I’ve had many animals; domestic and not that I have cared for in the past 30 yrs. An animal needs to feel safe when it’s sick, otherwise it feels threatened, it’s an innate reaction for men and animals alike. If you are sick and weak, you ‘re easy prey, so you panic.

Last night after taking the bandages off his legs as the Vet had subscribed, I decided to put a mattress on the floor. It was much more comfortable for me, and I was right next to Blacky. He slept pretty well through the night but a 4am he was wide-awake and barking. I picked him up and switched him around, thinking maybe that he was tired of being in the same position. 

Finally, he stopped barking as I spoke to him with a soothing voice while petting him. At 6 am here we go again, he gets fidgety and barks repeatedly. Okay, now I try hard to figure out what  he wants? I noticed he hadn’t peed on his absorbent pad underneath him as he had the night before.

I delicately pick him up; go on the balcony, prop him up by holding his butt up in order for him not to stand on his hind legs. Not easy I must say, he weighs 12 Kg. There you go, he finally pees, what a relief, I bring him back into the house and set him down, he falls fast asleep, and so do I.

Today, he’s doing a lot better, in fact, he wants to stand on his own, and I can’t have that. He’s a puppy and he wants to play, my husband says not to worry and that he won’t get up. I insist I have to be near him to avoid that he stand on his back legs, the consequences could be disastrous; it has only been two days since he has gone through surgery. The Vet insisted that the dog not stand on his hind legs before his check up next week. I intend to follow his advice no matter what.

 Blacky on my mattress on the floor, guess who gets to sleep on the couch tonight?

Good thing is that he has a good appetite and drinks as well. The only problem is that he hasn’t had a bowel movement since the surgery. I will have to find a way to hold him without him standing on his hind legs go to the bathroom; it won’t be easy for either one of us.

I will keep you posted.

Do you have a dog that has been through surgery like Blacky? Did he have to go through rehabilitation afterwards? Was he able to run, play, and jump as other dogs naturally do?

Please let me know, I would love to hear from you.
Take care now.
I’ll be back next week