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Hi all,

My baby is 5 months old, a Norwich Terrier, weighs 10 lbs. She fell off a step and landed just the wrong way to wrench her knee two days ago at someone else's house. We spent all yesterday at the emergency vet, our regular vet, and an orthopedic specialist. Besides inflammation, there's a remote chance that she chipped a bone (2 sets of x-rays and the docs still aren't sure, it's that small).

The good news is an orthopedic surgeon doesn't think my puppy's situation is "that bad" and wants her to be on full crate rest till Monday (today is Thu), then take more x-rays. He said if the new x-rays show nothing has moved around in the knee area between now and Monday morning, she may mend okay on her own. If things have moved by Monday then she may need surgery.

In the meantime, it's the full crate rest stuff I'm not dealing with very well. She's a wonderful happy puppy but she's also a puppy that wants to run and play and jump and wrestle, and this mandatory 24/7 crate stuff is HARD on both of us.

I mean this nicely, but please don't suggest I read the sticky about crate games. I have memorized it, and we do that. But she has the attention span of a gnat, so all together we may spend about 45 minutes in a full day on crate games, training, eating, walking on a leash just for her to pee. It's the other 23.25 hours I'm not dealing with very well.

Has anyone out there survived this sort of situation with a 5-mo-old puppy)? Do you have any suggestions (beyond crate games, training, and puzzles, which I'm already doing as much as possible) on how to get through it with most of my sanity still intact?

Even just stories about how you survived would help me feel better -- right now I'm looking at 2 weeks of this unless she needs surgery then more than 2 weeks of this. I'd just like some support (I feel like a horrible human not letting my sweet puppy play and be a puppy -- I hate not being able to explain this to her).

Thanks!
 

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@CobbersMom you got another dog!!! Pictures!!

Theo was on crate rest after getting neutered @ 6 months. I unfortunately have no advice, other than what you're already doing. It was really difficult to keep him calm. My only suggestion might be to ask the vet if there's any herbal/natural treat remedies that would keep the puppy more relaxed. I wish I would have asked that of our vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
@CobbersMom you got another dog!!! Pictures!!

Theo was on crate rest after getting neutered @ 6 months. I unfortunately have no advice, other than what you're already doing. It was really difficult to keep him calm. My only suggestion might be to ask the vet if there's any herbal/natural treat remedies that would keep the puppy more relaxed. I wish I would have asked that of our vet.
Now that you mention it, Cobber was too when he was neutered at 6 mos, but honestly, I let him get away with a lot more than I can let Merlee get away with. I let Cobber out and about in the cabin where we went for his recuperation week. He couldn't really run because there wasn't enough room, but he could play a little. Merlee can't jump up, she can't push off at all with her bad leg, she can't do anything. So it's like the post-neuter week but even worse. Anyway, thank you!! I will see if there are any calming OTC treats I can try -- that's an excellent idea!!

Here's a pic I took of my new pup the day I got her, back when she was 8 weeks old :)

 

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It's not easy but it is doable if you keep reminding yourself that it's the best way to let her heal. I got a field bred Lab pup (off the chart energy) when she was 4 months old. She had a broken rear leg and her owner told my vet to euthanize her because he couldn't deal with the 6 weeks of crate rest required.

Yes, it was an ordeal for both of us. She was in a cast and even on lead, she would bang her leg into objects. I had to get creative and made a PVC sleeve to fit over her cast for extra protection. She did adapt to the crate rest. I used a lot of interactive toys and frozen Kongs.

Hang in there. You'll get through it and so will she.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's not easy but it is doable if you keep reminding yourself that it's the best way to let her heal. I got a field bred Lab pup (off the chart energy) when she was 4 months old. She had a broken rear leg and her owner told my vet to euthanize her because he couldn't deal with the 6 weeks of crate rest required.

Yes, it was an ordeal for both of us. She was in a cast and even on lead, she would bang her leg into objects. I had to get creative and made a PVC sleeve to fit over her cast for extra protection. She did adapt to the crate rest. I used a lot of interactive toys and frozen Kongs.

Hang in there. You'll get through it and so will she.
Thank you! I may have to "get creative" in a similar way. I just went home for lunch, found her all keyed up because the morning sitter had forgotten to stop by (not her fault, he dog was just put down last night and she's not really coherent right now).

So when I took the puppy out to pee, she kept jumping up in excitement of seeing me and trying to run around, just being energetic and happy to be out of the crate. I kept picking her up to stop her from doing those things, and then as I set her back down the last time, she squirmed out of my hands and ended up landing on her hind feet. SQUEAL then a couple more squeals as she tried to walk a step, looking up at me like "Why did you hurt me, Mommy?!? I'm so happy to see you!"

I could just cry that I've caused her even more pain, possibly did more damage. I'm not sure I can actually deal with this for the weekend let alone for 2 weeks. I have a rather frantic call into the vet's office asking if they can't immobilize the leg somehow or maybe help me with some sedation (for the puppy, although I could use some, too).

I know this isn't about me, but I'm feeling like the worst puppy owner ever right now, causing her more pain than she's already in.
:(
 

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Oh gosh don't beat yourself up. You are not a bad puppy owner!

That same pup I told you about had to have TPLO surgery to repair a torn ACL. She was 11 years old and had to have complete crate rest, no jumping, no running. This was major surgery and the oldest dog the ortho surgeon had ever done this type of surgery on and he warned me to not let her do anything that might be the least taxing on that knee. Three days after surgery and she's barely putting that foot down, just the tips of her toes. I come home at lunch to take her out (she was in a large ex pen) and I see she's knocked over the pen and is sleeping on the couch. She didn't cause herself any damage. She healed fine. I, on the other hand, almost fainted more than once during the healing process.

Sorry to digress from your situation. Just wanted to let you know that dogs will be dogs and young dogs are hard to keep calm. I would try not letting her out of the pen when you first get home. Let her settle down a bit first from her initial excitement. Maybe even give her a super high value chew to gnaw on for a few minutes. Stay very low key in your greeting and when you get her out, stay low key and maybe she won't be such a whirling dervish.
 

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Ah mandatory crate rest is so hard! When my Aussie was neutered I was told he needed two weeks of basically no running, jumping, doing stairs or vigorous playing. Well try telling that to my crazy puppy.
I felt so terrible, we went from tons of outdoor playing, running, fetch to inside all the time. Every time he looked at me I could feel the guilt wash over me. BUT as @Grabby said, it was what he needed. And I tried to remind myself of that often. We used a ton of puzzle toys, kongs, frozen kongs, and I also worked on cues like "Watch me" "speak" and "Settle" since he couldn't really go anywhere :p You'll get through it, sending lots of good thoughts your way. :)
 

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Thanks very much! I had an older dog years ago who blew out both ACLs (different years). The second surgery, we put him in a nice safe area on the ground floor, blocked it off with a baby gate. He jumped the gate and took the stairs because he wanted to be with us up in the livingroom. He also ended up messing up all his stitches, so we had to go back and have him glued. But in the end he was hunky dory :) I guess the biggest difference with this situation today is that I caused the pain by not putting her down gently enough vs. the little booger jumping and hurting herself. Just made me feel inept and awful.

I think going forward I will not use the wire crate (I wanted her to be able to look around and out the window so as not to be SO bored) but put her in her carrier crate, then I can carry her outside and sit down on the ground before I even open the crate to let her out -- should help alleviate her desire to jump and my clutziness at picking her up and putting her down. We'll see... Thanks again for the replies. I will just be *that* much more careful and hope for the best!
 

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@CobbersMom she is adorable!! How do she and Cobber get along?
Thanks!! They actually get along really well, at least under normal circumstances. Right now, the puppy wants to play with Cobber so badly but obviously that's out too. But once she's healed, they will go back to doing zoomies together and wrestling.
 

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Here's the update from my vet after a new set of x-rays: probably no surgery needed (the orthopedist still has to look at X-rays), so 6 to 8 WEEKS mandatory crate rest.

Pardon my drama but O.M.G!!

Wtf am I supposed to do for 6-8 WEEKS? Esp given how stir crazy the puppy is after just 4 days of this? I'm starting to think surgery would be easier (I know that's terribly wrong, and I don't really mean it, but jeez!).

So here's my next question: having the pet sitter in 2x daily then I come home at lunch costs $34/day (full-day day care is $21/day by comparison).

Since I know the puppy can hold her bladder 4-5 hrs at a stretch, would it be cruel of me to nix the sitter and do only my lunch break during the days when I work (Tuesday,Thursday,Friday)? She's 5 months old. I'm home all day the other 4 days of the week.

I have savings to cover health emergencies (each X-ray costs $150 min., every 2 weeks till this is over plus the $300 ER visit when the injury happened)), but the pet sitter will start adding up over 2 months. But I don't want to be any meaner to Merlee than she already thinks I am for crating her so much...

Advice? Suggestions? Anything to give me strength would be very much appreciated ...
 
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