Q & A –
Is your spayed pup active? Your newly altered pup bouncing off the walls?
The following question came from a long-time client who occasionally texts to me. My response was given while I was on the road, voice texting concise answers back to her.
After our text exchange, below, I’ll give a few extra thoughts, and here are some more pointers!
“Hey, I have a friend with a 4 mo old pup who just got spayed. She keeps jumping around and opening the wound. Any ideas to get her tired?”
“:-) Hey! Is she using a harness only and keeping her restricted in a crate or a penned area or restricted with the harness?
All walks should be in a harness with a snug leash, no leeway, restricted always, & also potty on tight leash, 5-10 min out (then back in), & follow the recovery for first four weeks after surgery. Do not walk more, not longer & not dozens of times.
Capillaries need to heal and they won’t do that if she keeps getting her blood pressure up (playing). Splitting the stitches or staples is a secondary problem cuz the stitches are in place so that the tissue can heal, and all the activity is going to tear the healing tissue and open up the healing capillaries.”
Her Response –
Response to my response: “She’s keeping her in a crate. She has a donut (e-collar), but I don’t think she’s keeping her on a leash in the house.”
Further Discussion –
This is a question based on a situation I encounter *all* the time. Pets very often tear out stitches and staples, in many ways and for many reasons.
If a pet you know that has had surgery has torn out their stitches, staples, butterfly bandages, etc, then that pet will need to have the wound(s) and incision(s) inspected and may need to have the stitches replaced. That advice is the smartest I can easily give on this website.
There are many different issues a medical practitioner will be looking at depending on the type of surgery the pet had. This means you should probably just go to the vet and not take a poll of your friend’s and family’s opinions first. If your veterinarian told you at the last visit that you didn’t need to return if the pet tore out the stitches again, then perhaps you don’t need to go. However, if you were told that you didn’t need to return yet you see blood coming from any area, I recommend you have the area evaluated medically.
The pet caretaker mentioned in this Q&A text was returning to the vet for care, to my knowledge. So, the question that they came up with was how to tire the pup so she quit busting her stitches.
Pets can get very excited –
This is why my simple post-surgical instructions work. I recommend the harness, etc, as I did in my answer, above. Use restrictions. Follow the four-week post-op plan in my booklet. All of this helps keep your pet from damaging their healing areas and encourages healing.
I recommend, in addition to what I’ve already said, to give all pain medications as the veterinarian prescribed them. Please double-check the medication labels. I do that for people when I am in-person at an appointment. You might be surprised at how often people are making mistakes with the medications. Make a chart or record that details when you give the medications.
Positive Vibes –
Follow the restrictions with a good attitude toward them and pass along a “positive vibe” to your pet. Animals pick up on our emotions. I often need to discuss with clients that their feeling sorry for their pet is rubbing off and they need to switch to praise and encouragement with a “normal” tone and voice. More of a “move along, nothing to see here…” attitude, with empathy instead of pity.
Pets feel the worry and pity that their people feel toward them. Often the pet will worry about their people. That usually makes the pet seem “worse”, and the people worry about the pet worrying about the people. In my experience, dogs and people do this cycle more than cats and people do.
I explain more in my booklets about the positive benefits of restriction plus the right kinds of exercise for recovery. “The right kinds of exercise” includes progressive work that is relative to healing and includes many restrictions. I have found that if people restrict themselves or their pets as I urge them to do plus take their pet on specific outings, for potty or rehab work, the people end up doing a lot more attention-giving activities with the pet. This helps the pet to stop being so crazy or anxious in the house during recovery.
I intend to write more on the psychology of how we humans mess with our pets in other posts.
Bottom line –
In this case, the dog doesn’t need exercises to tire her out. In fact, as I’ve said, that will open healing capillaries. Too much exercise obviously caused other problems, too.
This pup and others like her need to start with a structured recovery plan which includes a lot of restrictions.
Rehabilitation is available for every condition known to mess up our bodies. Every injury and surgery should have a rehabilitation plan. No one needs the water treadmill for most surgeries or injuries, and we don’t want or need to put a newly spayed pup into a water treadmill. What’s can you do? Recovery in a fairly controlled atmosphere and a thoughtfully crafted work program.
Rehabdeb, April 7, 2018