Visit year-old puppy at the hospital?

sweebyAugust 23, 2009

We're going through a rough patch with our almost one-year old female lab puppy and I need some guidance. The back story:

A few weeks ago, she started limping intermittently - then she looked and acted fine. Later, she'd avoid putting any weight on her leg -- then fine again. Anyway, after a few days of watching, wondering and researching, we took her to our regular vet, who examined her, took xrays, diagnosed a 'Medial Patellar Luxation' -- or basically a 'trick knee' and recommended surgery. She had the surgery, and was fairly well at home.

But after a few days, she staretd feeling a bit better and kept going after our other dog to play. We tried keeping the dogs separate, confining her to just one room, never lettting the two dogs outside at the same time, kept the e-collar on her, tried to keep her drugged and sleepy. (With the big e-collar and her leg stiff-bandaged, she couldn't turn around or lie comfortably in her crate, so confining her to one room seemed to be the best we could do.) But 5 days post-surgery, somehow both dogs were let into the yard at the same time, and she took off running and jumping after our other dog at full tilt -- which tore up the inner stitches, requiring another surgery to fix. This was a few days ago, and now she's staying at the vet's -- probably for two weeks.

So to my question -- I'm wondering if it would be better for her if we visit, or if we stay away until she's ready to come home? What do you think would be most distressing for her -- not seeing us at all? Or having us 'leave her' repeatedly? I don't want to assume she'd react like a human, but I have no idea how a dog would feel... Her usual temperment is confident, friendly and high-energy, and she's still all puppy.

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Visit her as often as you possibly can, & leave a tee-shirt or pajama top each day for her to sleep on.

Isolation/hospitalization is very hard on anybody, & familiar things/people/scents are very comforting.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 2:46PM
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I'd vote for visiting her at the hospital. My dog misses us in only a few hours, and I knows yours does too. This way with regular visits, she'll know you're still a part of her life.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 3:56PM
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First you might want to ask the vet if it is okay for a visit. Remember your dog really really really needs to stay inactive, another jump while you visit and you are back to square one again....

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 8:14PM
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"Remember your dog really really really needs to stay inactive, another jump while you visit and you are back to square one again...."

Agreed -- And she would, too.
Asking the vet is clearly the best advice.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 10:28PM
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I agree with checking with the Vet first. If you get the OK, then I would visit regularly. Dogs can get depressed when in the hospital and a visit can help.

I remember when our Bessie (RIP) was in the hospital after her neck surgery. The Vets thought it best that we did not visit her for the first several days. After the 2nd day, they asked us to come in to discuss her prognosis as she was not improving. We were allowed to see her at that time and she lifted her head up for the first time since her surgery. In her case, it turned out that the visits were therapeutic for her.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 8:24AM
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I would not "ask" the vet;
so often, vets/doctors/lawyers/everydangbody will give you the answer that suits *their* agenda.

A vet might figure, healthy pup, he'll be fine, & we don't want clients in the kennel area.

I'd show up with my slept-in tee shirt for my pup, & if the vet doesn't want me back there, he/she needs to give me a *very* good reason.

whose momma gene has been diverted to her pets

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 3:17PM
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Love it! and agree with Sylvia entirely.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 10:53PM
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