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congential spinal stenosis post op advice

1783 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  LittleLucy

I'm looking for advice because my puppy's regular vet has no clue what to tell me and redirects me to the specialist and the specialist does not return my calls or emails so I feel pretty lost.

My 15 mo old hound/pit mix had a laminectomy 7 weeks ago to correct spinal cord compression from overgrown vertebrae at T13-L1. She's doing a ton better but still has symptoms. I understand that neurological damage can sometimes take FOREVER to recover and may never recover completely. She's young and extremely HIGH energy and has responded pretty badly to all this bed rest. I have made every effort to spend every moment not at work with her to the detriment of my friendships and provide her with mental stim. We are now walking a lot but she's become stubborn when we turn around to head home even after walking for hours and this never ending heatwave and intense humidity (I live in NYC) make no difference. The vet said jogging is ok but she never liked it before surgery and likes it even less now. I feel she is depressed at home either stalking me or laying in bed and sighing. If I try to just hang out with her and stroke her body she gets up within 30 seconds and walks away from me and will literally lay down 4 feet away from me (she was never a lap dog so this isn't new behavior). I want to know what activities are safe. Is jog-walking safe? Are long walks safe? are there any activities that will strengthen her core and support her spine better? what type of harness is best? she has a freedom harness but I was wondering if a fusionpets whiz harness would be better or worse. She is a masterful puller and we are working on impulse control around distractions. A lot of obedience training has suffered from bed rest and confinement. Before she became symptomatic I was considering agility training since she is food motivated and active or tracking (i have no idea where) because of her hound nature.

So along with her seeming depression in the apartment, she pulls away from home. We have a battle of wills on my block while she pulls in every direction away from home. she will drag on leash when we walk TOWARDS my home even if we are 30 blocks away. If we walk past my building she suddenly sprints forward with joy and practically flips out with joy. Yet, once I get her inside she is calm and walks/runs up the stair happily on her own with no encouragement.

She has also started growling and alert barking while staring into space and even laying down. That freaks me out actually. I wonder if she's just suffering from cabin fever or if there is a bigger issue I need to address that I can't see. I'd have her trainer over asap except $ is an issue after the cost of this surgery.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I know that a tired dog is a well behaved and happy dog. what activities can help us accomplish a tired happy dog?

Thank you in advance.
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Hi there, you obviously care for and have done a lot of work with your girl and I am really sorry you find yourselves in the position. I do not have any experience with her surgery but I owuld think 7wks post is pretty early. My previous dog had a TPLO (knee) surgery and the recovery time for that was several months.
- Is your dog on pain medication? Pain meds and/or experiecing pain can certainly have an impact on a dogs behaviour.
- It does sound like she is bored and possibly depressed. Does she get along ok with other dogs? Could you arrange some time for her to interact with some chilled out dogs?
- One game that can help with "bonding" is hide & seek - so that when she finds you she gets a big reward (food)
- Something we did with my new girl, who we adopted at 9mos and was quite "aloof" and definately depressed (would always choose to be in crate when at home; no real signs of emotion/happiness such as tail wagging, etc)... was Nosework or Scentwork. We did this in a group so there was a cost but you could probably set up a course in your place/at a nearby park. It is about trainig dogs to hunt for a particular scent. You can start off by putting treats in various locations/boxes and the dog has to find them, etc. I am sure there is info on the internet about also is not that physically involved.
Otherwise, I am sorry that I cannot offer more. best wishes to both of you.
- Cara & Lucy
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one other way we worked up excitement about toys was making a "motivational" toy. you can google it. It may help to bring some interest back....
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