Rehab for Pet Surgery – 3 Steps

Spaniel dog with plastic Elizabethan collar on her
Jicky the Spaniel in the E-Collar after FHO

A quick bit of info for you after your pet has had surgery.

I do work on lots of cats and a variety of other animals. If you want to know more about cat specifics now (because I haven’t finished developing the cat pages), please search for cat in the search box 🙂

For more specific info on a particular surgery or diagnosis, please refer to the menu (and drop-downs) at the top of the page. If you do not see what you are looking for, please use the search box on each page.

If the injury is a torn knee ligament in your dog, and you have been told surgery is necessary but you have not yet taken your dog to surgery, then please click here to read more info about that condition. After that, please go to the instructions on this page!

 

“My pet just had surgery…
…and now that I’ve gotten them home, I realize I’m not really sure what to do!!”

First and foremost:  pay attention to the discharge instructions your veterinarian has given you if your pet just had surgery or you have received instruction about an injury.  Please pay special attention to the part about no running, jumping, or playing. If you follow my booklet instructions, you and your pet will be doing work proper for recovery and should not be causing any harm.

If your veterinarian did not say so, please note there should not be any flying over couches, no galloping on stairs, no jumping into or out of cars and trucks,  no jumping onto couches or your bed, no jumping off of couches or beds, no twisting very fast in tight circles, no sliding on ice or slippery floors, and no freedom in and out of doggie doors.  No owner jumping out from behind things to scare the dog into running crazy funny around the house like you sometimes like to do.

No running really means no running…

…to the door when the doorbell rings, no running away from Halloween costumes, no running from one end of the house to the kitchen every time the fridge or a plastic bag is opened, no running to you when you yell to ask the dog if it wants to go outside, no kitty running from anything right after surgery, and no running inside after the ball, which is very similar to no running outside after the ball. No, no swimming until at least 8 weeks after surgery and then only if no lameness is present at a slow walk.

DO work on the protocol below and the info contained in the instruction booklet.

1) Here are guidelines to follow for the first four weeks after surgery:

Right now I only have one book published with information about helping your pet through four progressive weeks of functional therapy and recovery after any surgery. Guidelines for Home Rehabilitation of Your Dog: After Surgery for Torn Knee Ligament: The First Four Weeks, Basic Edition

This book is specifically addressing surgery after a torn knee ligament, yet until I am able to publish the books I am working on that deal with hip issues, other knee issues, elbows, spinal issues and more, this book will be very helpful to you for the first four weeks of recovery if your dog has had one of these other surgeries.

This book has the information, restrictions and advice I would give after almost any orthopedic surgery, so if you follow the restrictions and the practical applications in the booklet, your pet should do well and recover progressively if there are no additional issues.  These restrictions will match a lot of what your vet surgeon gave you to follow after surgery.

Additionally, these instructions incorporate information for functional recovery, my specialty, so there is a LOT more structured and guided info in the book. The links to the book I made for this page will take you to Amazon U.S. and if you would like the links to Amazon in other countries, read below the picture of the book.

I also have info elsewhere on this site about cats and surgery. Cats aren’t small dogs. Unless your cat will walk on a leash, which some do very well, I recommend looking at this page for now.

So, the following book will help you calmly and methodically approach the recovery of your pet’s surgery, and the book will guide you about establishing a functional base of activity. After the base is built, then there are more strengthening programs and other drills to be done to return your pet to a rambunctious lifestyle.

A good recovery plan helps guard against future or further injury, especially in the opposite limb! I am very happy to report that people and dogs that follow both this and the non-surgical program for 12 weeks do not end up with the other knee ligament tearing. It’s all a matter of balancing the work, my experience with exercise physiology recovery principles, and people being connected to their pets!


Amazon for USA, CA, DE, ES, FR, IT, & UKMy booklet with instructions to follow after dog knee or any orthopedic surgery
Amazon in other countries 

Books are also available on Barnes and Noble and you should be able to order them from any bookseller, especially if you use the ISBN.

Instructions for first four weeks for dogs after FHO (hip surgery where the ball of the femur is cut off):

Instructions for first four weeks after surgery for luxating patellas (flopping kneecaps):

and there are a few more homework pages to be found by following the links in the menu at the top of the page or by using the search feature.

2) In addition to thoroughly reading any of that info (some of which now includes exercises available in book form), please watch > this video < twice, and begin to do this massage daily for a month:

Please watch the video to see my recommendations on method of use for massager unit AND so you will hopefully have success introducing the massager.

There are written instructions under the video on the linked page.
Here is what the massager looks like, and if you click on the picture, you may buy it on Amazon if you choose:

Homedics brand hand-held massage unit with four feet

3) If your pet is still limping 5-7 days or more after surgery, please read this > pain post < all the way through!

There is more on the topic of pain within the books-

Check out other resources under the “Rehab Resources & Tools” link in the menu under the website title at the top or by clicking here

 

Blessings-
Rehabdeb

(Original Post March 17, 2015. Updated March 3, 2018)