By Emily Hoppmann, DVM
• Your pet must be kept inside in a clean, dry, area with just enough room where he can lay down and stand up comfortably. The ideal place to confine your pet is a small kennel/crate. If that is not possible, we recommend a small space in your home, such as a bathroom or laundry room, where he has no risk of injury and nothing to possibly jump on/off of.
• Absolutely no running, jumping, or playing allowed. This includes both inside the home, in the yard, or
• If you are home and want to let your pet out of the crate, he must be monitored at all times. He cannot have any chance to injure himself and that may mean that he needs to be tethered/attached to you
• During monitored time outside of the crate, you must keep him from jumping on or off of furniture. This can be done by physically placing your pet on/off the furniture with you or by stacking pillows or using a doggie ramp so that he can get on/off by himself.
• If there is any chance of an injury, at any time, your dog must stay in his crate. Examples from previous owners experiences of accidental injury include: having other pets in the house that the confined pet starts to play with, activity occurring outside of the window that a pet runs to bark at, someone knocking at the door or arriving home that a pet runs to greet, and the list goes on.
• When going outside for your pet to use the bathroom, place him on a short leash that does not allow him to run at all (a training leash that is only a few feet is perfect). It is best not to have your other pets outside during this time.
• The best way to support your pet when needed is to use a rolled up towel as a sling. Simply place it under and around the body to offer support where needed. For example, if it is an injured rear limb or back: 1. Place the towel directly in front of the back legs, 2. Hold the towel above the body with one hand to take pressure off the injured area, 3. Hold a short leash with your other hand to prevent pet
• Do not allow your pet to go up or down the stairs. If you have stairs, carry your pet up and down the stairs. If your pet is too big to carry, then be sure to use the sling method to support your pet when
• We know that it can be hard emotionally and strategically, to confine your pet, but it is the only way he can get better. Here are some tips to keep your pet happier and more entertained in his crate (which will hopefully make it a bit easier for you): o Give him an interactive toy, such as a Kong filled with pumpkin, low fat peanut butter or squeeze cheese mixed with his normal dog food, or only give him his favorite toy while he is in the kennel. The right toy(s) can entertain your pet for hours!
o Make ice cube popsicles (without the stick) with low sodium chicken broth in Dixie cups (pets love the taste and have to take the time to lick the broth while it melts!)
o Keep your other pets in another area (out of site out of mind)
o Keep a radio or TV on for your pet to listen to so he does not feel so isolated
• Your pet will feel better before his confinement is over. DO NOT let this fool you. Your pet needs to be examined and cleared from your veterinarian before you allow your pet to become active again. This is why rechecks are so important. If a pet is allowed to be active before totally healed, it can cause enough damage that the entire process has to be started over.
• If you are having any trouble with keeping your pet confined, please call us right away. Often times sedatives are necessary and by calling in advance we can have your medication ready for you to eliminate any wait time.
• Confinement is critical because it directly affects your pet’s health and ability to heal. For example, should your pet become too active any of the following can happen: o An injury that was able to be medically managed, could now have to have surgery (often times even emergency surgery).
o Neurologic conditions can worsen; for example, if your pet has a back or spinal injury he can cause further damage resulting in paralysis.
o If your pet has had surgery, the incision can open internally or externally (or both!) and become infected or even cause organ or bone exposure. This is why you need to check the incision daily. There are multiple layers holding the incision together, but if any one of the layers opens, there will be complications.
– Additional medications will be required to repair the damage and prevent further complications.
– An additional surgery may be required to repair the damage if medical management is not sufficient.
– Some complications cannot be effectively medically or surgically addressed due to the fact they are so severe – meaning that these complications are often fatal.
o The most important point to remember is that the initial medical reason why your pet was confined will not improve without confinement, resulting in life-long consequences that could have been avoided.