Author: John Green
Has your four-legged friend recently gone through surgery? It can be upsetting and stressful seeing your dog struggling to get back on their feet and enjoying their life once again. You’ll want to give them the best chance of feeling themselves again soon after surgery. Just like humans, there should be a plan put in place after surgery to ensure that they recover thoroughly, and quickly.
So, how do you put a plan together to help your dog after surgery? What are some of the key considerations when getting your dog back to 100% health?
The Role of Rehabilitation in Post Surgery
It was once the case that surgeons might recommend that your dog spends a long time resting in a cage after they get ill. However, this doesn’t usually give a dog the best chances when it comes to recovery. Though it is not a good idea to instantly expect your dog to get back to normal, there is a case for gradually building up to normal activities once more.
Rehabilitation is a way to build up the strength of your dog gradually. You can visit a canine rehabilitation specialist and create a plan together that can work on the muscles and joints, so that no excess pressure is put on the joints but that the anatomy is gradually built back up to a normal state.
Effective rehab is not just about actually building up strength, though. It’s about keeping dogs active where possible. If a dog becomes too sedentary then this can be really risky and carry its own problems. You might end up with an overweight pooch once they’ve recovered.
How Long Does it Take For a Dog to Recover From Surgery?
Unfortunately, the recovery time is hard to predict as it can vary so much from one dog to the next, and for each condition or operation that your dog has. Rehabilitation is all about working out what is going to be best for each pup on a one by one basis, which is why it is a good idea to work with the professionals. It could be that a 3-4 week plan will make a big difference, or you might need to continue with a pup’s rehab for months. The general health and the age of a dog will also play a part in just how long this process is likely to be.
Most Effective Canine Rehabilitation Techniques after Surgery
There are so many rehabilitation techniques that can be used! From supplementing diets, to exercise plans, to more complex therapies and even massage for your dogs. Some of the most effective canine rehab techniques have been proven time and time again.
Cryotherapy or heat therapy can be used on dogs. This can help with inflammation, and pain relief, and it can also help with the blood flow around the dog’s body. Just like when a human gets injured, you may apply a cold compress to the area.
Aquatic therapy is another popular solution. The joints are not put under as much stress under water, and some dogs can rebuild muscle without having to worry about the pain that would be caused walking or running on another surface.
PROM or Passive Range of Motion therapy is all about moving the joints to the maximum of their safe ranges in order to help with blood flow and keep the joints healthier, without developing further health issues.
Walking exercises and treadmills can also be used to great effect. Treadmills reduce some of the strain on a dog’s joints, and also allow you much more control over the incline that they will be experiencing. Some walking exercises may involve rails and harnesses, as this can help to allow some joints to rest, or experience less pain and strain while you rebuild strength in other areas.
The truth is that the best rehab plan for your dog will be made up of a variety of different techniques to build up their strength once more.
Effects of Postoperative Rehabilitation
If it is done right, the effects of post op rehab will lead to a happier and healthier dog. Benefits include:
- Helping a dog to recover more quickly.
- Ensuring that a dog doesn’t develop other issues after surgery due to the fact that they are more sedentary, or compensating for other injuries.
- Help to lower the chances of injury occurring in the future.
- General support with a dog’s immune system and health, such as dietary support.
- A happier dog!
When it is done right, rehabilitation can cover a huge range of different types of treatment and methodologies. Some specialists report some transformative changes in the dogs they look after, but this is only possible if you create an effective and bespoke strategy to help a dog with their specific illness or injury.