Am I Going to Break My Puppy?
September 30, 2009 11:52 AM   Subscribe

I just took my ~13 week old pit bull puppy to get spayed. The post-operative say to keep her indoors for 7-10 days . Right now, she's outside during the day with our other dog, and she's crated at night only. Can I expect this to go smoothly?

She's been sleeping in the crate since she found us at ~10 weeks old. She's only had a couple of accidents in there, one due to me not waking up fast enough, and nothing over the last week or so.

Normally, she's outside with our other dog (2 year old neutered male beagle/lab mix).

Based on the crate threads I've read, I plan on giving her some activity toys, frozen Kong, etc. But is it unrealistic to expect her to be crated for the same amount of time during the day as at night? Especially when she's used to being outside? And in a single day?
posted by duckus to Pets & Animals (10 answers total)
When I've had dogs spayed, I've never been told to keep them indoors for 7-10 days. That seem excessively restrictive (and even stress-inducing for an animal that is accustomed to lots of outside time). Did you vet give you a specific reason for this? (Maybe he/she was just trying to make sure your dog wouldn't be around other animals who would try to breed with her during her post-op?) I honestly can't think of any reason to keep her from her normal activities as long as she's recovering well and behaving normally. I'd say call your vet and ask.
posted by amyms at 12:36 PM on September 30, 2009

My vet basically told me to watch her and keep her quiet until she seemed like she felt better, which was about a week (much shorter for the male). My puppies were also crate trained (separate crates), but I didn't try to keep them from each other. They basically left each other alone (but again, they were both recovering, so no active dogs yapping at them).
posted by Pax at 12:50 PM on September 30, 2009

They didn't say specifically, it's just part of the post-op instructions. I guess I can ask them when I pick her up.

I'll call my regular vet .. I have taken her to a clinic that spays pits for free. But I still appreciate thoughts about crating.
posted by duckus at 1:11 PM on September 30, 2009

Our dog was spayed only a day or two before we picked her up and we didn't get full instruction in post-op care. As a result, we didn't just fail to restrict activity, we actually started to encourage it after a few days (doh!). She ended up with big pocket of fluid that felt like a baseball under her skin. It had to be drained and then bandaged with an old towel and masking tape to keep pressure on it to keep it from refilling, and of course she was fitted with an elizabethan collar to keep her from fussing with the bandage.

She looked so sad.
posted by Good Brain at 2:06 PM on September 30, 2009

Can you block her off in the kitchen or somewhere where she'll have a little more room, but an accident wouldn't be too difficult to clean up?

I'd be less worried about her being outdoors than what she's doing while she's out there. There's a risk of her tearing the incision by rough-housing with the other dog, running around too much, licking it, etc. They'll likely send you home with an e-collar. I'd keep it on unless you're there to watch her. Also try to keep her from being too active for a few days.
posted by curie at 2:49 PM on September 30, 2009

She will probably come home with a collar on, to prevent her from licking at the site.

The biggest problems with letting her out alone are that the collar will get caught on something, or torn off, or that the other dog will hurt her.

You might try confining her, maybe in a bathroom where she can be securely shut in with a little food, lots of water, and a toy or two and a comfy bed or rug. If she has an accident, it's easy enough to clean, and she'll be fairly safe, although possibly bored after a few days

You'll need to do this for about a week, maybe less depending on if she got stitches or glue.

She won't feel much like playing for a few days, that's fine. Let her take her own pace. Let her be near you without the collar when you are able to monitor her so she doesn't lick, and just love her up.

Do your darndest to get home at lunchtime to let her out for a potty break, or take shorter days if you can for a few days. She should be able to hold it for about 4 or 5 hours, although accidents aren't uncommon at her age.

It's only for a week or so, then she'll be your happy healthy girl!
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 2:55 PM on September 30, 2009

Didn't even think about blocking her off. I guess I got a little 'crate' focused. I think that will work out fine. Our kitchen has two doors that can be closed .. and she can sniff her pal under the outside door.

Here's the little tot the day after she showed up at our house. Someone was afraid of the mange I guess.

Thank you mefites !
posted by duckus at 3:16 PM on September 30, 2009

Aww what a sweet face. Best of luck with her!
posted by amyms at 6:36 PM on September 30, 2009

Another risk is hernia -- my pit/border collie/whatever mutt popped a stitch, one of the inside ones holding the muscle together, and got a hernia, which required a whole nother surgery that was basically the same as the first one in terms of cost and procedures. After that one, we got sedatives to keep her quiet for the week, which made it a lot easier. If you're worried, you could ask for a mild sedative to start with. I will never again spay an active pup or dog (she was ~1 year old) without at least a crate. It was so hard to keep her quiet.
posted by librarina at 9:18 PM on September 30, 2009

Was she sent home with painkillers? Those usually do at least a mild job of sedation. If she's quite the frisky puppy, you could also try Rescue Remedy or some other calming/anti-anxiety herbal sprays. Have never tried them myself, but people have told me they are great.

The reason for confinement of spays is, like people have mentioned, mostly any damage to the stitches (and super easy infection) before the incision heals. Neutering is not nearly as invasive (my boy kitten was up and about the day after), but females should be kept in a quiet place, E-collar on at ALL TIMES unless you are closely monitoring her (playing and feeding)! You never know when they are going to start licking, and worse, biting on the stitches. (On a somewhat related note, one of our doggy patients had a stomach tube. His owner took off the E-collar, but accidentally fell asleep. Doggy ripped out stomach tube.)
posted by problemcat at 12:39 PM on October 1, 2009

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