Post luxating patella surgery – week 2

Post Surgical Care

Post luxating patella surgery – week 2

By DANIELLE BECK

Week 2

The first week flew by; Spock spent so much time sleeping and just wanting to be cuddled. We had a brief issue with meds, but resolved that early on as he didn’t like the taste so a quick delivery of sausage or cheese worked great.

I recommend not putting it into their food bowl, as some dogs can develop a bad association and think all food is poisoned and stop eating. This can be avoided through co op care training, though treats are a good second, theres more details here with a video.

In week two he was clearly feeling better, he wanted to move and was confident about using three legs, much to my annoyance. Even though he was capable of putting weight on leg it is not advised. This is a difficult week medically, as the outside scar has healed. Though the internal scaring most likely hasn’t. Too much movement could cause him damage, so crate rest for another week is needed.

In the crate or out the crate

In the crate

In the crate is the safest place for them, they can stretch their legs when going on lead to the garden for the toilet. They need the rest. Ensure they have chews available. These help alleviate boredom and give them something to chew other than their bed and their leg. The fur growing back will get itchy, as will the scar now its healing. We decided to upgrade his fabric crate to a larger round one, so he has the space to stretch out.

If they’re staying in the crate or a small enclosed area, ensure they can stretch out fully. Give them toy time, where can investigate something. Lickimats, snuffle mats, food filled toys will be a daily routine for them. Try 3 times a day, varying the item and food. It gives them something to look forward to in between the naps. Try to avoid anything that requires movement, treat balls and wobble toys for example.

Out the crate

This week he was allowed to spend more time out of his crate; but he was restricted on his house line. He wasn’t allowed to move around much, but he appreciated being able to completely stretch out.

He was lifted onto and off the sofa, as he wanted cuddles…he’s a very tactile dog, many aren’t. The choice to let them out the crate is personal, they need to keep their leg still, short trips to the toilet only. You’ll notice that they can compensate on the other leg really well.

Top Tips For Week 2

  • Routine – Build them into a good routine of toilet, rest, activity, rest, toilet, rest, rest, activity, rest. 
  • Food – As your dog is recovering food is really important for them. Please give them a good portion of their food in a bowl. they need it and they may be too sore or tender to ‘work’ for it.
  • Food based toys – Theres are great but have them as a small part of heir diet or extras. For this week, as last week and part of next week stationary feeders are best
  • Guarding – Many dogs in pain and restricted may become defensive of their space, even more so if they have an item. If your dog growls give them space. Trying to shout or continuing to reassure them will only escalate. stop and move back.
Image shows a variety of dog toys, chews and lickable matts with cheese spread, yoghurt and chicken wet food

Tip keep hold of the line! 

When someone leaves the room the boredom, and curiosity might make them more inclined to follow… Spock got through the baby gate, as it was left open  and nearly got upstairs. Huge management failure on our part and something to be aware of, baby gates don’t always close behind you.

Other dogs / children

Your dog will be feeling better but still tired, try to keep other family members calm around them. Utilise house leads for other dogs to stop them trying to initiate too much play. Ensure children aren’t running around and playing excitedly too close to your dog. They are still in pain and will be more likely to snap or guard themselves or objects as they’re feeling vulnerable. Keeping their crate out of the way, but near the main family is useful, for example by the side of a sofa

Free Time In The House

It’s best to not let your dog have free movement around the house and definitely no walks yet. On a lead or in a crate only. This is a huge ask as it’s a societal norm to take your dog out everyday. They will be ok, they’re resting and need to heal, the chews will help them….Sometimes offering them a selection and letting them choose can be good stimulation. However, keep as much as possibly stationary.

Allowing your dog choice can keep them mentally stimulated and build confidence. Currently your dog is unable to control so much of their life, which can make some dogs anxious. This will help a little for them. CAUTION – If your dog has guarding tendencies this is not advised.

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