More surgery preparations

Although Sully will have physical limitations after surgery, his Collie brain will still need to be occupied. Having experienced Covid lockdown restrictions, I am sure most people can appreciate how it can affect mental well-being. In preparation I have been collecting smells.

Investigating odour is a really important part of trips away from home, so out on walks I have been collecting items I think will interest him (usually those which Braccy has shown me) but also feathers, sticks, stones, earth, safe items of litter. I tip them out into a unused cat litter tray for him to enjoy while I go out with Braccy and build a new collection.

play time

To prepare Sully for his physical recovery he has been revisiting some of his puppy experiences, He has been confined to his HUGE crate for short periods of time, he has all his meals in there too. Sometimes he chooses to rest in there, often he’ll play in there. So having built on some happy memories I am hopeful that his periods of crate rest will be restful for him.

I have spent several weeks practising walking slowly on his harness around the garden as this will be his only exercise in the near future. He has also learned to walk slowly down and up a ramp as there are a couple of steps to negotiate.

Preparing for surgery

I’ve had 3 weeks to prepare for Sully’s cruciate operation. So I have taught him several useful skills in that time. Firstly to wear the dreaded cone.

He met it when it was flat on the floor, then gradually over several sessions I held it up and then more closed until I made it up properly. Every session meant great treats were handed to him through the cone, he has never had it put on him, he has always chosen to put his head in. Importantly, in the early days he was allowed to pull out of it immediately after his treat, then I started to feed several treats in a row to build up the time. Now when I pick up the cone he comes to me for the ‘cone game’.

This week I have begun to introduce him to moving around wearing it, he had his first ‘crash’ but it was ok as I was there to help him immediately. I have a few more days pre-op so I will continue to build his cone skills.

I am sure that he will still find it difficult to tolerate wearing it for longer periods whilst he recovers. At least when it is first put on at the vets he won’t find it as scary experience as it could be.

This video is useful to watch if you are preparing your dog for elective surgery: