I am one of the most paranoid dog mom's out there. With Jasmine before her, and now with Cookie's health challenges, I watch her every move and every other thing makes my hair stand on end. As far as I see, there are dangers to smooth recovery lurking everywhere. Slippery floors. Wet grass or mud. Squirrels and bunnies. Holes. Loose rocks. Tempting furniture. Doorbells ...
Since I see all these things, I try really hard to minimize the risks.
We are using ramps. We cover floors with rugs. We use ToeGrips. We keep Cookie on leash at all times when outside. We try to avoid challenging terrain. We keep furniture low or easily accessible. We make sure everybody calls before showing up ...
The bottom line is that one cannot control every move their dog makes however hard they try.
Knowing that and accepting that isn't the same thing.
I have friends freaking out because their dog, recovering from a knee surgery, jumped on the couch and many such things all the time. Yes, they shouldn't be jumping on and off the furniture. Particularly not off it, as jumping off is actually more dangerous than jumping on. Yes, one should do everything in their power to prevent that.
But it can still happen.
Dogs are dogs and they will jump on the couch when nobody's looking, they will lunge after a squirrel ... Yes, you can try blocking the couch off so the dog cannot get on it. Depending on the dog, though, that may or may not be a good idea. I've had a dog barge through or over barriers when they really wanted to get some place. So the question is whether blocking things off makes the situation safer or even more dangerous.
I think the best thing is to allow them access to the places they want to be at but make it as safe as possible. You can put a ramp to the couch or bed and teach your dog to use it. You can make a "step" to it, such as we did with Jasmine. We've put a mattress in front of it so it was easy to step on and off.
As it seems, though, no matter how hard you try and how many precautions you take, something will happen that should not. Given my experience I can almost guarantee it.
The good news is that not every mishap equals a setback.
Yes, one unfortunate jump off a couch can bust a TPLO plate. Fortunately, this will not happen EVERY time.
That doesn't mean you should be cavalier and let your dog do whatever they please. But it means that should something like that happen, your dog can still be perfectly fine.
On the other hand, sometimes your dog might not have done much at all and not be fine.
After Jasmine got surgery on her left knee, we were watching out not only for the knee that was operating on but also for the other one which wasn't great either and we were trying to keep it healthy enough to get he through the recovery so it too could be operated on later.
We took all the above precautions and then some.
And then, a Jack Russel came at Jasmine from behind a corner, barking and lunging in her face. She gave only a small lunge and bark to tell the little dog his behavior was not acceptable. And her knee was done. That's all it took.
While rehabbing from her iliopsoas injury and right after she was diagnosed with a partial tear, Cookie had a major mishap. We are using a ramp for getting in and out of the truck. She normally waits nicely until the ramp is in place and uses it gladly. This time, though, too much was happening and she was trying to jump out before the ramp was in. She was verbally corrected so she tried to not jump but her body was already on the way. So she kind off fell out instead. My heart was in my throat. It looked terrible. And yet, nothing bad came of it. She was fine. Everything was fine.
Two days later she suddenly was limping on the left leg without anything weird or crazy happening that day at all. What happened? We'll never know. Fortunately as it seems it was just back muscle spasms and it resolved quickly.
At the beginning of the year, all I did was take Cookie potty. She decided she really had to have some zoomies. And even though on the leash, and in spite of my trying to calm her down, she did a few crazy jumps around me. That night she was limping heavily and the lameness remained for a long time.
When Jasmine's neck went bad, she hasn't done anything that day or the day before. And yet woke up in the middle of the day with her neck out of wack.
You never know what might happen and what might come of it.
There is only so much you can do. Sometimes the worst looking mishap doesn't result in any damage. Sometimes it does. And sometimes nothing happens and things go wrong anyway.
All you can do is try your hardest and hope for the best.
But know that not all the bad things always happen. Though our girls might beg to differ.
Surviving The Post-Op: After Your Dog's ACL Surgery
Cruciate Ligament (ACL/CCL) Surgery Post-Op Care: Example Plan
Best Practices After Your Dog’s Surgery
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot?
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed
Putting The Easy Back Into Walking
Cookie's Ears Are Still Not Happy
The Threat Of The Bulge Is Always Lurking
Today Is Cookie's Three-Months Adoptoversary
Cookie Meets The Electric Horse Fence And Her First Chiropractic Adjustment
Why Examine Your Dog's Vomit?
Why Is That Leg Still Not Happy? Cookie's Leg Keeps Getting Sore
Cookie Too Is Insured With Trupanion
Does Being Insured Mean Being Covered? Our First Claim With Trupanion
Is Cookie's Leg Finally Getting Better?
Is Cookie Going To Be Another Medical Challenge Or Are We Looking To Closely?
The Project That Is Cookie: Pancreatitis Up Close And Personal
Pancreatitis: Cookie’s Blood Work
Another Belly Upset: Pancreatitis Again Or Not?
Happy Birthday, Cookie
Incontinence? Cookie's Mysterious Leaks
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something? Cookie's Mysterious Bumps
Cookie's Mysterious Bumps Update
One Vomit, No Vomit
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
Cookie's Leaks Are Back: Garden Variety Incontinence Or Not?
Cookie's Leaks Update
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is
The Continuing Saga Of Cookie's Leeks: Trying Chiropractic Approach
Cookie's Minor Eye Irritation
Regular Wellness Exam: Cookie's ALT Was Elevated
Cookie's Plantar Paw Pad Injury
How Far To Take It When The Dog Isn't Sick?
Cookie Has Tapeworm Infection
Cookie's Elevated ALT: The Ultrasound and Cytology
Cookie's ALT Update
The Importance of Observation: Cookie's Chiropractic Adjustment
Sometimes You Don't Even Know What You're Looking at: Cookie's Scary "We Have No Idea What that Was"
Living with an Incontinent Dog
Summer Dangers: Cookie Gets Stung by a Bald-faced Hornet
To Breathe or Not To Breathe: Cookie's Hind Legs Transiently Fail to Work (Again)
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Process
Figuring out What Might Be Going on with Cookie's Legs: The Diagnosis
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Trazodone
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Other Medications
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury Treatment: Laser, Hydrotherapy and Chiropractic
Cookie's Recovery from Iliopsoas Injury: ToeGrips
It Never Rains ... Cookie's New Injury
Mixed Emotions: When What You Should Do Might Not Be What You Should Do for Your Dog
Cookie's New Injury Update
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: The Symptoms
Cookie's Iliopsoas Injury: Battling the Zoomies
Cookie's Muscle Injuries: What Else Is Going On?
Theory and Actual Decisions for an Actual Dog Aren't the Same Thing: Cookie's Knee Injury
Does Your Vet Listen to You? Cookie's Post-Sedation Complications
Would I Ever Treat a Symptom Directly?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment for Cookie's Bad Knee(s)
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Cookie's Bad Cruciate Update