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Keeping Remy Calm While Injured


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Remy had an unfortunate accident two weeks ago at a lure coursing event on Long Island. He tore all 5 tendons that make up the Achille's Heel, in two places, and had surgery to repair the tendon. He is to be kept at a very low activity level during recovery. I have moved the day bed and couch from the dogs' room and put just the mattress on the floor, and dog beds. I do not want to crate my boy who was a blood donor for 4 yrs before being retired at 6 yrs old. I imagine he lived in the crate at the vet hospital 24 hrs a day, except for potty breaks and donating blood. When I adopted him, he had never been in a house and didn't know what a couch was. It took a full week to get him to come on the couch. Once he realized what he was missing out on, he abandoned his crate, and I gladly put it away in the shed. He's been with me 3.5 yrs and has never been in the crate since his first week. I know he wouldn't mind sitting in it, but I do not want to lock him in it for 7 hrs/day. He has learned to go potty whenever he feels the need, as I've always had a doggie door and fenced-in backyard.

 

I don't want to force him to hold it, and I don't want to force Leyla to hold it either. He has a full leg cast/splint but he can still get in and out thru the doggie door. He only goes outside to potty. I am concerned that he may see a squirrel and try to chase it. Might be a silly question. but does anyone have any ideas/suggestions on how to curb his interest in chasing squirrels while outside? As I said, I do not want to crate him or lock the doggie door. Interested in other creative ideas I haven't thought of.

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I had a cat once that broke her pelvis twice. Each time she had to be put into a cage to heal. She was lively little spitfire of a cat who had never seen a cage, and was in fact an in/outdoor cat (we live in England) but while I felt for her, I had no hesitation in doing what the vet ordered and putting her in that little confined space for her own good.

 

Your Remy has what sounds like an extremely nasty injury. It may heal well, and never bother him again, but if it does, you'll be very, very lucky. Badly torn tendons can be tricky, and take a long time to resolve. If you don't take the vet's advice and restrict his movements severely, it may never heal properly at all - you have one chance with this.

 

Just my opinion, but my advice is to bite the bullet and at least block him away from the dog door (maybe with a baby gate) and keep him indoors.

 

As to his history ... do you know for certain that's how he was kept? Some staff at the vets make pets of their donors and they have a fairly free run of the office part. He still wouldn't know a couch, of course, because I doubt they have those in vet's office! Either way, it will be totally different living in a crate with you, than living in a crate while working as a blood donor - and you may not actually have to crate him if you can confine him in a small enough room. Unless the vet disagrees, if he's not the sort to go mad playing by himself, it may be enough.

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Please believe me when I say that you MUST obey doctors orders with an injury of that magnitude or risk permanent damage,

 

My last dog tore his ACL and had a TPLO (which involves cutting the tibia and plating the leg bones) and was on NO EXERCISE for 12 weeks. Leash walks to relief himself only.

 

The vast majority of cases with that surgery that fail to heal properly are people who ignore the vets orders.

 

I suggest you gate him into the kitchen, put down some piddle pads, and remember its for his own good.

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You don't have a choice, you have to restrict him with no dog door access. As soon as the pain lessens he will start running in the yard and ruin the surgical repair, almost guaranteed. X-pen Remy and let Leyla have dog door access when you are gone. He can hold it for 7 hours. Put the dog door down when you are home. So sorry your boy got hurt.

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I'd have to echo all the other comments above. You need to restrict him by either crating or gating into a small room if you want him to have the best chance at healing properly. And as silverfish mentioned, tendon injuries are very serious and sometimes don't heal well even with the appropriate restriction. What you or he 'wants' is irrelevant when you're talking about what's needed to allow a serious injury to heal.

 

A dog who has access to a yard +/- squirrels is not going to understand that he is not supposed to run, especially when he starts to feel better, and this applies to whether you're there to supervise or not. When you are there with him, he needs to be on a leash in the yard (it takes less than a second for them to take off even when you're right there, and a dog's reflexes are faster than ours). And when you're not, he can't have access to the yard at all.

 

As to the restricted life that you imagine for him as a blood donor, I don't know of any vet clinics that keep large dogs in crates for extended periods of time. Most large dogs are kept in kennel runs, and while he wouldn't have known about home life or couches, dogs are usually completely fine and happy living in kennels. It's the human perception of kennels and crates that's the problem.

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Guest Wasserbuffel

Like the others said, crate the dog. If you're sure he won't even mind it, I don't know how it could be a question. My dog is crated for about 7 hours when DH and I work, 8hrs when we sleep, and any time we're gone, she'll sometimes even snooze in there on her own accord. Crates aren't bad things for all dogs. They are wonderful tools for situations like you're facing where the dog's healing depends upon the dog's activity being restricted.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Stop being so dramatic! He will be fine crated. You are the one that has the problem with the crating, not him. If you dont listen to the doctors orders, you will be RESPONSIBLE for him re-injuring himself or worse, not being able to ever heal. That seems to be much worse than a few weeks in a crate. sheesh.

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Agree with what the others have said. You're really sentimentalizing the crate issue rather than thinking rationally about it.

 

One another option might be to day-board Remy at your vet while you work, if they offer that and leash-walk hospitalized/boarded dogs. He'd be in a kennel but would have people around and could get taken out a couple of times. That's what I did when my dog was on crate rest during the healing of an injury (mostly because I was so stressed out and needed a break during the day, and she loves being doted on at the vet's).

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Stop being so dramatic! He will be fine crated. You are the one that has the problem with the crating, not him. If you dont listen to the doctors orders, you will be RESPONSIBLE for him re-injuring himself or worse, not being able to ever heal. That seems to be much worse than a few weeks in a crate. sheesh.

 

I ASKED FOR CREATIVE IDEAS NOT YOUR JUDGEMENT. DIDN'T YOU LEARN: IF YOU HAVE NOTHING GOOD TO ADD, ADD NOTHING AT ALL? "SHEESH!!! " THE NERVE....

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Stop being so dramatic! He will be fine crated. You are the one that has the problem with the crating, not him. If you dont listen to the doctors orders, you will be RESPONSIBLE for him re-injuring himself or worse, not being able to ever heal. That seems to be much worse than a few weeks in a crate. sheesh.

 

I ASKED FOR CREATIVE IDEAS NOT YOUR JUDGEMENT. DIDN'T YOU LEARN: IF YOU HAVE NOTHING GOOD TO ADD, ADD NOTHING AT ALL? "SHEESH!!! " THE NERVE....

 

It probably wasn't the nicest way to make the point, however the actual point itself is valid (just could have been worded more tactfully). A couple of weeks in a crate is better than a serious lifelong problem down the road because his activity wasn't restricted.

 

I get dogs with intervertebral disc disease that come in to the clinic. I stress to the owners that they NEED to crate the dog. No walks. No running. No stairs. No jumping up or down from furniture. No walking. Carried outside to pee and carried back inside and into the crate. If they allow that the dog may deteriorate and require spinal surgery or may be permanently paralyzed. And then 2 days later I call and they're telling me how Fluffy is feeling so much better (because of the pain meds) and is running and jumping just like his usual self. I cringe.

 

I know it sucks to have to totally change his routine but trust me, it's for the best. The better you can restrict his activity for the next couple of weeks the faster he will heal. The faster he heals the sooner he can go back to his normal life and activity, and the lower his chances are of having complications. :) I know you were hoping for some other solution but there really isn't one. If you don't want him in a crate could you baby gate him into a room with no furniture and just put dog beds down for him?

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:( I'm really sorry Remy's going through this. We also have a fence and dog door, so I can't imagine what a pain it is to go back to crating and leash-walking. We ended up installing a dog door because one of my guys has severe crate anxiety. He would pee in his crate and bite the bars until his mouth bled. How does Remy do in the crate? If he doesn't seem to mind it, I would probably crate him, at least for the first week or so. If you can't, then it would probably be best to restrict him to a confined area where he can't go up and down steps. Would it be possible to restrict your yard to a smaller area? Maybe set up a run for him somehow?
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Would it be possible to restrict your yard to a smaller area? Maybe set up a run for him somehow?

 

That's a good idea I hadn't thought of...

 

 

The dogs' room only has their dog beds and a twin mattress... not bringing the crate into the house as Remy's ENTIRE leg is in a cast and he has a hard enough time sitting down and getting up with this cast... he's finding it very difficult to get comfortable... I do not want to add to his stress...

 

This week, he's going to day care because he has to get his meds every 8 hrs... next week and the rest of his recovery time might be spent with the doggie door locked so they can't go outside unsupervised... leashed walks for potty breaks... Thanx for the posts... MOST people can state their concerns & opinions without being jerks...

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Would it be possible to restrict your yard to a smaller area? Maybe set up a run for him somehow?

 

That's a good idea I hadn't thought of...

 

At GiG, they use construction fencing to set up lanes for the speed run. Even though it would look like hell, it's cheap and would probably work as a temporary solution.

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Would it be possible to restrict your yard to a smaller area? Maybe set up a run for him somehow?

 

That's a good idea I hadn't thought of...

 

At GiG, they use construction fencing to set up lanes for the speed run. Even though it would look like hell, it's cheap and would probably work as a temporary solution.

 

I know it... will see how they do next week and may shrink the dog run with this plastic fencing... will have more poop in smaller area to pick up (more often) and I can certainly deal with that... Thanx again for the idea :nod

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Sometimes the truth is a hard pill to swallow. Not trying to make friends here, just looking out for the interest of your hound. Which you ARE putting at risk if you do not follow the doctors advise and restrict all activity, yes that means a crate.

 

Chad

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Would it be possible to restrict your yard to a smaller area? Maybe set up a run for him somehow?

 

That's a good idea I hadn't thought of...

 

At GiG, they use construction fencing to set up lanes for the speed run. Even though it would look like hell, it's cheap and would probably work as a temporary solution.

 

I know it... will see how they do next week and may shrink the dog run with this plastic fencing... will have more poop in smaller area to pick up (more often) and I can certainly deal with that... Thanx again for the idea :nod

 

No problem! Good luck with everything. I hope Remy boy makes a fast recovery.

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Sometimes the truth is a hard pill to swallow. Not trying to make friends here, just looking out for the interest of your hound. Which you ARE putting at risk if you do not follow the doctors advise and restrict all activity, yes that means a crate.

 

Chad

 

I think you made your point. No need to press the issue. She's just looking for advice, no need to be so nasty. It's answers like this that stop me from asking for advice here sometimes.

 

I hope Remy feels better soon.

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If you are considering reducing the size of the dog run and still leaving the dog door accessible, please think carefully, before you do.

 

Are there any steps (even little ones) for him to negotiate? If so, don't do it.

 

Have he and Leyla EVER tried to get through the door at the same time, or bumped while going through it? If so, don't do it.

 

Is he likely to do his business and then RUN into the house and through the dog door? If so ... you get the picture.

 

Think this through very, very carefully before you let him have any kind of unsupervised freedom. Is he likely to turn quickly on wet grass? That could be disastrous for the tendons. Could he come in with wet feet and slip - even slightly - on a hard floor? Ditto. Try to imagine every possible accident he could have, however minor, and ask yourself if it's worth it.

 

We are not joking or exaggerating when we say that tendon injuries can be nasty, hard to heal, and give lifelong problems. I'd rather have my dog break his leg than do what Remy did. Simple broken bones tend to heal more quickly and more thoroughly than badly torn tendons. And that's a fact, sadly.

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If you are considering reducing the size of the dog run and still leaving the dog door accessible, please think carefully, before you do.

 

Are there any steps (even little ones) for him to negotiate? If so, don't do it.

 

Have he and Leyla EVER tried to get through the door at the same time, or bumped while going through it? If so, don't do it.

 

Is he likely to do his business and then RUN into the house and through the dog door? If so ... you get the picture.

 

Think this through very, very carefully before you let him have any kind of unsupervised freedom. Is he likely to turn quickly on wet grass? That could be disastrous for the tendons. Could he come in with wet feet and slip - even slightly - on a hard floor? Ditto. Try to imagine every possible accident he could have, however minor, and ask yourself if it's worth it.

 

We are not joking or exaggerating when we say that tendon injuries can be nasty, hard to heal, and give lifelong problems. I'd rather have my dog break his leg than do what Remy did. Simple broken bones tend to heal more quickly and more thoroughly than badly torn tendons. And that's a fact, sadly.

 

Steps from doggie door to outside have been removed and replaced with a 12 ft ramp, and covered with a heavy duty rubber matt to prevent any slipping, even in wet weather. Both dogs are navigating it well.

 

I found the temporary fencing and will be installing it this weekend. With much more limited space in the dog run, there won't be room for anyone to turn around and run anywhere.

 

Indoor flooring has been replaced with heavy duty rubber tiles, with a carpet layer on top, No slipping indoors either.

 

Raised furniture has been removed, dog beds and twin mattress directly over rubber carpet tiles.

 

Doggie door only fits one dog at a time. Leyla has no interest in the outdoors, and only uses the door to do her business and come back in. No danger of them trying to go for it at once.

 

They've had a good week of this new configuration, I've been home with them due to SANDY, and watched them closely. They don't interact much together, they're no bonded. This weekend I'll put up the temporary fencing. I've made all changes with Remy's safety at the forefront of my mind. I don't forsee any accidents for the remainder of his recovery. I love this boy as much as parents love their skin kids. You can be sure I wouldn't do anything without ensuring his safety first.

 

Thank you again for the suggestions.

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Steps from doggie door to outside have been removed and replaced with a 12 ft ramp, and covered with a heavy duty rubber matt to prevent any slipping, even in wet weather. Both dogs are navigating it well.

 

I found the temporary fencing and will be installing it this weekend. With much more limited space in the dog run, there won't be room for anyone to turn around and run anywhere.

 

Indoor flooring has been replaced with heavy duty rubber tiles, with a carpet layer on top, No slipping indoors either.

 

Raised furniture has been removed, dog beds and twin mattress directly over rubber carpet tiles.

 

Doggie door only fits one dog at a time. Leyla has no interest in the outdoors, and only uses the door to do her business and come back in. No danger of them trying to go for it at once.

 

They've had a good week of this new configuration, I've been home with them due to SANDY, and watched them closely. They don't interact much together, they're no bonded. This weekend I'll put up the temporary fencing. I've made all changes with Remy's safety at the forefront of my mind. I don't forsee any accidents for the remainder of his recovery. I love this boy as much as parents love their skin kids. You can be sure I wouldn't do anything without ensuring his safety first.

 

Thank you again for the suggestions.

 

Good job, Claudia! I am trying to mentally picture Remy's "doggie hospital." I give you a lot of credit for putting together all these accomodations for him.

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