Whether your dog is recovering from an injury, illness or surgery it is important to look after his needs, ensure he has time and space to recuperate and follow the directions given to you by your veterinarian.
Spend some time with your dog on a daily basis stroking and gently grooming, looking for any changes in his skin or coat, unusual discharges or swelling from the injury. Check with your veterinarian to see if gentle massage is OK. This can increase circulation to any wounds and help in the healing process. Monitor his weight and notify your veterinarian immediately if your dog experiences any vomiting or diarrhea. Make sure that you strictly follow the guidelines provided by your veterinarian when giving any medication to your dog, including completing the prescription entirely.
Bandages, splints, casts or other dressings may be required to help stabilize a healing fracture or surgical procedure and protect the wound from infection. Dressings can also provide protection from your dog’s natural tendency to lick a wound. If your dog continually licks at or attempts to remove the dressing, distract him with a toy or treat, or consider a taste deterrent such as Bitter Apple.
Once you receive the go-ahead from your veterinarian, it is time to give your dog the confidence that he can return to his normal routine. Be patient during this process, which can take up to a few weeks.
Walking is great way for you and your dog to reconnect. Twice daily outings, perhaps to his favorite place, will have him feeling better in no time.
Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery County, northern Chester County and eastern Berks County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.