Many people treasure their canine companions dearly and regard them as integral members of the family unit. A big part of being a responsible dog owner is knowing when something isn’t quite right with your furry friend and taking action to fix the problem.
Dogs can suffer from a range of animal health issues that may require surgical treatment. After surgery, just like humans, canines will need to undergo rehabilitation, often with a canine rehabilitation specialist, to make a full and correct recovery.
Unlike humans, however, dogs can’t simply follow a doctor’s orders or understand the need to take it easy for a while, and simply forcing them to rest in a cage for a few weeks will only result in misery, both for the dog and its owners.
Therefore, it’s up to both specialists and dog owners to provide post-surgery care for dogs to help your pup fully rehabilitate and gradually resume their regular activities. While canine rehabilitation has the same basic end goal as rehabilitation in humans, it requires a unique and specialized approach to cater to a canine’s unique anatomy.
Benefits of post-surgery care for dogs
Reports and studies show that when carried out correctly by an experienced and certified canine rehabilitation specialist, the post-surgery care for dogs process can have many positive effects. After surgery, dogs that receive rehabilitation tend to make faster recoveries overall, building up their strength and stamina over time and ultimately being healthier.
Here are just some of the benefits of post-surgery care for dogs:
- Reduce inflammation and post-surgery pain in affected areas, such as knee or hip joints.
- Strengthen the supporting tissues around damaged or weakened bones and joints.
- Reduce the risk and prevalence of back pain and muscle pain.
- Help to reverse the process of muscle atrophy and strengthen a dog’s muscles.
- May help with weight loss, which can improve a dog’s health in the long term and reduce the risk of repeated injuries in the future.
- Promote a safe and rapid return to regularity for both the dog and owner.
- Provide mental stimulation for pets that may otherwise be bored or stressed due to the circumstances they find themselves in.
- Helps with coordination and balance.
Cases where post-surgery care for dogs provides benefits
The help of a canine rehabilitation specialist can be useful and recommended in a range of cases, such as the following examples:
- Orthopedic — Rehabilitation after surgery is very commonly required after orthopedic cases that affect the bones and joints, including surgeries on hips, elbows, and so on.
- Neurological — Post-surgery care may also be required in neurological cases, such as tumor removals or IVDD situations.
- Oncology — Dogs treated for cancer can also benefit greatly from post-surgery rehabilitation with a canine rehabilitation specialist.
- Soft Tissue — Dogs that have had to be operated on due to sudden injuries or open wounds can also be treated this way.
Post-surgery care for dogs rehabilitation goals
- Post-operative care with a canine rehabilitation specialist has several goals in mind:
- It’s designed to reduce discomfort for dogs that have undergone surgery and help them have less reliance or need for pain medication.
- It helps to strengthen their bodies and raise their mobility levels, ready to resume their regular lives.
- It helps them make the fastest and most complete recovery, reducing the risk of further injuries requiring additional operations.
Dog physical therapy exercises after surgery
There is a range of exercises and movements involved in the post-operative rehabilitation process. The precise exercises for each dog will depend on the specifics of the case and the patient’s needs, and it is often possible for owners to help their dogs recover by practicing some of these movements and exercises at home. Examples include:
- Toe squeezes
- Massages of the major muscle groups
- Passive range of motion exercises of the limbs
- Rolling from side to side
- Moving a treat up and down above and below a dog’s head helps them bend their neck.
John Green has profound experience in the veterinary field with years of experience. Now he handles content at Pet Health Hospital. In fact, John pays close attention to sharing vital information about pets to most pet parents across the United States. Certainly, John loves and cherishes animals and owns two dogs, Marty and Lou.