4 Month Old Pup Too Active After Spay

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!

Question –

“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?” 

Dog caught by the belly in the window blinds
Didn’t Mean to Get Caught in the Blinds. This is NOT the dog mentioned in this post, btw!

Answer –

“:-) 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 –

small white plastic open top pen for pets
Small Crate for Bedroom

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.

Cheers!

Rehabdeb, April 7, 2018

 

What to Expect From Rehab-

Realistic Expectations From Rehab –

When I discuss what to expect from rehab, the importance of maintaining workouts and scheduled appointments is key to the equation. I urge pet caretakers to continue the work and not put too much time between our rechecks or phone updates.

If you do the work as prescribed, then you should expect improvements.

Formerly paralyzed Sully the Great Dane walking around the block.

People frequently contact me.

People that contact me all have the same intent of finding solutions for their pet’s (and often their own) discomfort after injury, surgery, or prolonged diagnostic challenges. How they respond to my information and to their pet regarding my information all differs. I have made it a point to observe and adapt my work to differences in their interpretations of medical information and my plans. Hopefully my adaptations address a greater number of worldwide people and some broader issues.

Other life happens during the intent to do planned life and plans for rehab work. Some common interruptions to rehab work are holidays, school breaks, and trauma in the human family.

As I was encouraging one client to not postpone our two-week recheck during a school break, I noted the information in the following paragraphs. She rescued her dog, it’s young, it’s her first adult dog, and he had one FHO to repair the pelvic area prior to her rescuing him and after an unknown accident . The other hip seems fine. This was her first rehab rodeo.

About your text and the schedule…

We can meet when you want, however I recommend sticking with two week rechecks for now. 

Part of the benefit of meeting in two weeks is to help encourage your staying on track.

Part of the benefit of meeting is that in two weeks, potentially he’s had three or four workouts of at least two of the three drills I gave you to work. If that’s the case, I will need to change the drills in two weeks to advance him to the next point.

It actually ends up being somewhat of a waste of time if you do the same base-building drills for four weeks. Sometimes people stick on week one when they should advance. Sometimes people advance all the way to week four but they should not have gone forward past week one as per my written parameters.

BUT, if you cannot meet when I propose, by all means, continue the same plan. Don’t stop 🙂

Also, often people get tired of doing the same drills if we don’t meet to discuss results and upgrade the work. In this case they often begin to cut jout certain work or allow too much time to pass in-between drills. 

Don’t find other drills online to do because they are not part of the foundation and recovery we are building.

Follow-through…

So, if you are doing a drill every other day, and you really only get to work on two out of the three drills I prescribed, then you will definitely need an upgrade for your pet in no more than two weeks.

Adaptation to exercise drills occurs in specific amounts of time. Doing the same workout over and over without changes is a waste of time and energy if you want improvement.

If you abandon ship altogether, when recovery is not complete, then the injury will likely resurface or other injuries will occur.

Sometimes people don’t follow through at first, yet they often pick the program back up and begin again and the pet improves again.

The reality is that regardless of what happens to any body, mine or yours or your pet’s, there isn’t a “going back” to a set point; there is a “new normal”.

You have already seen great progress with him, and that’s from your doing the work. When you do the work for surgery recovery, you also strengthen the opposite side without overusing the “good” leg.

In humans or any other animals, disuse leads to dysfunction. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of dollars a person may have spent on clinical rehab; if people don’t go back to doing their exercises when problems arise then dysfunction continues.

Often the problems returning are obvious because lameness and limping return. This is disuse. Sometimes people notice muscle atrophy or weakness before limping begins. This is because of disuse.

You should expect…

My programs work to build muscle to support the body, support the joints, and improve function. They also work to improve proprioception and increase neuro-muscular abilities.

Pets will use the better-functioning body parts and will ignore damaged ones to get to where and what they want.

So long as they are comfortable with drugs (or adjunctive therapies or both), they will use the injured limb more, and I count on that for them to build muscle and to better support the joints. When they are comfortable on their own, they will usually use *all* their parts as normally as possible. Without interventions, animals will not usually use a painful, damaged, or disabled body part very well, and their dysfunction will continue.

After we work more and he progresses, I will give you guidance to return to certain drills. You will also use other drills once or twice a week over the next year just to maintain better function. 

Check out this post on Goals of Therapeutic Exercise for more ideas.

Thanks!
Deborah

Updated February 12, 2018. Originally posted December 8, 2014

Cavaletti (Obstacle) Photos

Some Examples of Cavaletti Equipment my Clients Have Used in their Home Environments –

Since my practice is mobile, I look around the client’s home or workout environment to find cavaletti equipment or tools to get the (obstacle) work done. These drills are for proprioceptive benefit as well as range of motion and isometric strength building.

Cavalettis should technically and scientifically be done only after establishing a base with this program.

First…

I look around the home environment to help people with ideas that are inexpensive and easy to set up the right size and spacing of cavalettis for their pet. Finding options for the right kind of obstacles in the home environment makes it easier for the people and the pets to be compliant with the work. Less time demand and easier access makes for greater compliance. Even if people have to buy stuff to use for these drills, sometimes pool noodles or something from the home supply store, these tools are inexpensive.

Cavalettis Original Design 2-27-14I lined up these bricks along a house to make range of motion and isometric drills for a mid-sized herding dog with non-surgical rehab of torn cruciate ligament.

Cavalettis 3 Cavalettis 4

Later, her person caretaker raised the bar by raising the bar and building a more elaborate brick-scapade across the back yard!

Second –

10-11-14 Cavalettis

This was the cavaletti path for a large Pit/Lab X doing non-surgical rehab for torn cruciate ligament and torn meniscus. She also had a tarsal (ankle) injury that I discovered at the same time!

This client was unable to work her large, happy, strong dog outside with much success. She had great success doing all the advanced drills inside the home.

She also didn’t have the right size and type of items for the drills lying around the home, so she spent a little bit of money on wood. After doing the introductory drills at this height, the client then placed flat 2×4 blocks under the ends of the boards to raise them.

After several successful sessions at an introductory level, pets need to continue the drill at increasingly higher bar levels. For videos of cavaletti instructions, click here!

This client bought wood, nails, and pvc –

Cavalettis 2-27-14

This was level 2 cavaletti height for a Goldendoodle doing non-surgical rehab for torn meniscus and torn cruciate ligament. She also had hip pain issues that after muscle atrophy from the knee injury. This resolved after she started my program for muscle-building and received the proper pain medications from her veterinarian.

The next level for her was to put 2 x 4 blocks under the pvc. You already see that in the picture.

Cavs 2 7-11-14Cavs 7-11-14 These were from the woodpile out front at this mid-sized dogs home. I set them up to help her recover from her neurological event, an FCE (fibrocartilaginous embolism). I directed them to begin this work only after completing my base work of fitness and muscle strength.

BJ Cavs 1 8-8-14

BJ Cavs 8-8-14

Yes, these ARE speaker stands inserted into milk crates. Only in Austin, TX (and maybe Nashville…)

Cavalettis

I DO work with many cats. This one is Kacey, and there’s a vid on this site of her doing cavaletti repeats…

Chile R 6-26-13 Cavs Happy

And this guy is getting a start using his own standard cavaletti equipment he usually uses for agility training. Recovery cavaletti drills are much different than agility training work with jumps. There is no jumping in recovery cavaletti drills.  He was working on this drill to help with his disk disease and degenerative myelopathy.

 

(Original Post November 3, 2014. Updated March 27, 2018)