My Little Monster

As you all know, Sadie is a full bred English Springer Spaniel with an excellent pedigree.  She has all of the best traits of a springer spaniel and (fingers crossed) none of the obvious genetic problems.  But, she is still a puppy from the sporting group.  She requires exercise – daily exercise.  I’m not sure if you have ever noticed the little symbols in dog breed books that denote exercise requirements, but Sadie’s breed falls under High.  It wasn’t until this week-long rest (for her spay recovery) that I truly realized what High means.  Under normal conditions, Sadie and I spend a lot of time outside.  She is generally a very well-behaved puppy and quite happy.  This “rest week”, I saw a different Sadie… my little monster.  🙂

I’ve never understood why someone would give a dog to a shelter.  How can you say you can’t handle a dog?  Now, I know.  I would never give Sadie away!  But, I can see how, if you do not give your pet enough attention and exercise, they become unmanageable.  Sadie was feeling better as the “rest week” went on, but she wasn’t allowed to run, jump and play because of her stitches.  And, she did not like that!  Twice (when she wasn’t on her leash – Mom’s fault) she took off running around the yard and opened up her incision.   I knew she had to rest, but she wasn’t tired.

Sitting in the shade only worked for the initial days home from surgery.

So, I tried mental stimulation.  More long-lasting cheese chews.

They helped… but only for part of the day.  Sadie was a lot more nippy, barky and she even tried to be a little destructive!  She has never chewed anything that wasn’t a toy before, but suddenly she was trying to chew things that were not toys.  She was a little bored and wanted to exercise.  But, I knew rest was important, so I managed her the best I could and waited her out.  We had a few long days.  🙂

But, eventually the week was up and I celebrated with a nice neighborhood walk.  Sadie loved it!  Later that day, we went out for a short frisbee session.  I wanted to ease back into exercise.

She really opened it up in the yard.  Tearing around the corners with the wind blowing back her ears!  Heaven.

And, with the return of exercise,we have seen the very well-behaved Sadie return, too.  It really showed me how humans cause all the dog problems, one way or another.  Give a dog her basic needs and she’ll be a joy to live with.

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Rest & Recuperate

Sadie has been doing very well recovering from her spay and dental surgery.

We did not need the cone at all.  She has left her incision alone and it is healing nicely.

Sadie has been resting well most of the weekend.  The weather was warm and sunny and she was content to just lay in the shade.  She would get a spurt of energy and want to run or play, but I think her soreness kept her in check.  I would bring her outside a few times a day to potty and lounge around and that seemed to work well.

Sadie had these two yummy cookie treats to enjoy this weekend, too.  She loves cookies as much as I do!  But, these are from the doggy bakery in town.

Sadie is still teething a lot, despite the oral surgery.  Chewing helps tire her out during this recovery-rest period.  She spent a while chewing this rawhide and then slept for a few hours.

The doggy bakery suggested this Himalayan Dog Chew as an alternative to rawhide and bully sticks.  The owner said it would last longer than both and it was healthier, too.  It is made from Yaks milk… smells like cheese.

As you can see, Sadie loved it!  She spent an hour chewing it and then I took it away from her to give her teeth a break.  She was bleeding a little from the teething and surgery (which is normal & expected) and I decided an hour was long enough for today.  She slept like a champ after that session!

The only down side to this chewy is it is messy.  I moved her from the couch to the floor to outside to enjoy the chew.

I had to wash the blanket on the couch because it smelled like cheese.  🙂  And, I had to vacuum the floor because there were little shavings all over.  It may be just how Sadie enjoys it… either way, what began as an indoor chew became an outdoor treat.

I will buy another chew for her.  She loved it, I like the short ingredient list and it lasted 4 long chew sessions over the weekend.

There are wicked storms in STL right now, so we can’t sit outside.  Sadie was starting to get a little stir-crazy earlier today.

After her breakfast nap, Sadie took all of her toys out of the basket to relieve some energy. It worked, but as she continues to heal, I think it may get harder to keep her resting.

Currently, Sadie is sleeping next to me, oblivious to the thunder.

Two more days of rest before we can start walking and playing.

Post-Op

The morning went well today.  Sadie got up at her usual (6 am) time for breakfast.  I took her out to potty and then back up to our bedroom.  I decided it would be mean if I ate breakfast and she couldn’t.  Kinda cruel.  So, I decided sleeping was a good distraction.  🙂

I let her lay on my bed and turned the TV on.  She whined a little and then jumped down and went into her crate.  We slept until 7:45!  Nice surprise!

I dropped Sadie off at the vet a little after 8am, as planned.

I went back home and enjoyed a quiet breakfast.  Then I felt a little worried about Sadie, so I decided to go shopping for a recovery toy for her.  I also needed to return the plastic cone.  The technician told me three things about cones;

1.  it works best if it is longer than her nose, so she can’t reach her body parts (the one I bought was a bit too small)

2. some dogs don’t need one, so don’t waste the money unless you need it

3.  the comfy cone is the cone they find is the best

So, I returned the plastic cone and decided I’ll wait until tomorrow to see if she needs the comfy cone.  I can bring her into the store to get the best fit, if she needs one.

The Vet called at 3:30 and said she did great and was recovering nicely.  He went on and on about what a great dog she is.  Preaching to the choir!  🙂

When I went in to pick her up, the technician told me that the Vet carried her around all day, gushing over her.  Funny, but easy to imagine.

Sadie ended up having 2 surgeries.

1. Her spay went as planned.

stitches will dissolve - no return visit needed!

shaved arm for her IV

she went right to the couch when we got home

2. She had a puppy tooth removed that did not fall out properly when the adult tooth started to come in.  Sadie had a sore on her top gum that I was watching for a month or so.  We knew, if it wasn’t cleared up by the spay, the vet would x-ray her mouth and we’d see what was going on.

The vet gave me copies of the before and after photos.  This surgery went well, too.  And, we saved $300 by doing it today because she was already under anesthesia for the spay.

They sent her tooth home, too.  Gross, huh?!?  It’s about to go in the garbage.  🙂

She will get one of these syringes each morning with breakfast.  It is an oral (no needle) medication for pain and swelling.

And, I have to keep her calm and quiet for 5-7 days.  We’ll see how that goes.  I have a trick up my sleeve that I’ll show you tomorrow.

For now, she is out cold. I’ve NEVER seen her this quiet.  She made almost no noise when I greeted her.  Strong drugs… I’m glad she isn’t in any pain.  This vet was worth every penny!!!

Pre-Op

What did you say we are doing tomorrow?!?

Sadie has her spay tomorrow.

I’m a little nervous.  I’ve done this before with Daisy and know it’s a routine surgery, but it’s still surgery.  And, keeping a ‘high energy’ dog calm and quite for days on end to recover is a little challenging.

I bought a cone today at Pet Smart.  We had one for Daisy, and of course, I can’t find it anywhere!  I’m assuming I donated after Daisy died… but I also have a nagging feeling I’ll find it in a month or two!  🙂

I ended up with a traditional cone.  I spent some time looking at the new, soft cones and inflatable donuts.  While comparing items, a Pet Smart worker came over and offered his two cents.  He said they get a lot of returns on the donuts.  He said they are more comfortable, but don’t prevent most dogs from reaching areas at the lower end of their body.  He said Sadie would most likely still be able to lick her incision site.  He also told me I had 60 days to return the cone, even if used.  So, I decided to start with the traditional cone and see how it goes.

Sadie didn’t love trying out the cone.  I decided not to push my luck.  You’ll be seeing photos soon enough.

The Vet called today and went over what to expect tomorrow and what to do tonight.

Sadie was allowed dinner today and then no food after 8pm tonight.  She can have water all night and tomorrow morning.  No food tomorrow.  I fed her dinner 1 1/2 hours later than normal, hoping to buy some time tomorrow morning.  Sadie loves breakfast and I don’t want to hear her whine for 2 hours tomorrow morning.

I need to drop her off between 8 – 9 am tomorrow.  I also need to bring a comfort item for her.  I’m going to bring Ellie, her stuffed elephant.  She sleeps with Ellie and it was her first comfort when we brought her home from the breeder.

They said I can pick her up between 4 – 6 pm.  The surgery will be over in the morning, but they will monitor her all day and keep her on IV fluids and pain medication.

Sadie played a lot today.  We went on our usual neighborhood walk and played in the back yard several times today.  Marcus came home for lunch and she got a bonus session.

I also took Sadie to the dog park for a little socialization.  Sadie was a little overwhelmed by the number of large dogs at the park.  She was good one-on-one, but didn’t really get into the group play. I need to take her to the dog park on a more regular basis after she heals from the surgery.  I think mornings are a little calmer at the dog park, too.  Better puppy play.

She is currently sleeping  passed out on the couch next to me.  Here’s hoping a few days of jam packed exercise will roll over for the next few days of recovery!

Sleepy Monday

Ah, yes.  Proof.  Sadie went into her crate yesterday morning to chew on her bed sheet.  She is chewing because of her teething.  {Sigh.}

Yesterday was a big day at the vet.  Sadie got her DHPP, Leptospirosis, Lyme and Rabies vaccinations.  We have to go back in two weeks for the second Lyme vaccination, but other than that, she is good until December.  Sadie weighs 14 pounds!  Growing girl.

I did discuss the spay with the vet.  He suggested waiting until Sadie is close to 6 months of age.  Some research has shown links between early spaying and incontinence in females later in life.  But, you want to do the spay before the first heat to reduce cancer risks (and dealing with a heat).  Sadie turns 6 months old right around the time we are taking a vacation up at the cottage.  I want Sadie to have a blast playing in the lake and not worry about stitches and taking it easy.  I am going to push the spay until after the vacation… it is only a couple of weeks and the vet says it should be fine.  {lets hope the heat doesn’t come early! 🙂 }

This is how Sadie spent the rest of the day…

Do you mind?! I'm sleeping here!

The vaccinations really knocked Sadie out.  She barely perked up for Dad’s arrival home from work, which usually is a huge, hyper production.

Sadie woke up this morning with all the energy in the world!  Ready to go!  It is supposed to be a beautiful day and we have our first puppy class this afternoon!  I’m off to Pet Co to buy treats for class!  🙂