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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Oona is getting spayed on Jan 14 and I'm somewhat nervous about managing her recovery.

Stairs: Our situation is that it is pretty easy to keep Oona off the long staircases in our house, as we already have gates blocking off the basement and the upstairs. But there are small sets of 5-6 steps to get outside either in front or back. Oona is 54 lbs and big, and it's possible for me to lift her but it might be hard for my short arms to carry her in a way that protects her belly. My husband will be able to do it more easily but probably won't be able to do it every time she needs to potty for 2 weeks. In your experience when did it seem safe for them to slowly manage a few steps?

Sleeping: Oona likes to sleep on the back of the sofa. This is probably not safe for her when recovering because she often flips on her back and uses the space between the back cushion and the sofa like a hammock. It can take some effort for her to extract herself from this position which is fine when she's not recovering from surgery. She should probably not be getting on and off the sofa at all, but if at some point this seems safe, I can at least remove the back cushions. I don't know what she will be happiest with if/while she can't have sofa access, maybe the dog bed next to me on the sofa or a mattress on the floor.

I'm considering a surgical suit because if she does need to be crated there is zero chance she will be happy having a cone hitting against the sides/top of her crate. Does anyone have any recommendations or features to look for in a surgical suit? I'm currently looking at the ones that look like vests where their legs stick out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is a ramp an option? If you’ve got a place to store it, you might find it’s useful again at some point. Even for the humans.

Peggy hopped onto the couch herself the day after her spay. I completely freaked out. I even posted about it here as I wondered how to get her down. :ROFLMAO: I ended up sticking her bed in front of the couch, with a bunch of blankets on it, and she stepped down, no problem.

She also regularly did a single step in our backyard, to get up to her preferred grass patch. She did this from the day of her surgery.

We purchased this surgical suit:

And this inflatable collar:

But had no use for either.

We let Peggy gently explore the area around her incision, but if she got too close, we gave her a little ah-ah. That was all she needed. It helped that the incision was the best I’ve ever seen. It healed super fast and clean.

The first night I slept in the living room, on a cot, with camping pads and blankets spread all over the floor for her. She vomited the whole night and it was traumatic for both of us. She was very out of it. We absolutely could not have managed 5-6 stairs together.

For a few nights after that, she slept in the human bed with a leash looped around my husband’s wrist. My husband had no trouble lifting her on and off the bed.

Then (much to her relief) it was back to the crate. No suit, cone, or collar.
I don't think a ramp is an option because there is not enough space on our property for it to extend into (it would go across our neighbors' driveway). So I think we will have to carry her in and out for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Winnie had a surgical suit for her spay and it was wonderful but I only had the one and didn't think about having to wash it before she was out of it (Duh!)

I went to the local supermarket and bought a pack of cheap baby romper suits and cut the feet off them. She wore them backwards so the poppers were on her back and her tail could stick out at the end. It was really easy to flip the back legs off and let her poop and pee. If I had known they were going to be so effective I would have just bought these instead of the suit. So much cheaper.
I think I'd need a romper/PJ for like a 12 year old to fit my clydesdale of a poodle! But not a bad idea to check out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good to hear that standards may be able to manage stairs slowly sooner than I thought. Lifting her is totally possible in the short term with my husband's help (and certainly we would make it work as long as she needs) but my arms are too short and not strong enough to be confident carrying her myself, I worry it would be more dangerous than having her go slowly herself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok poodle friends, Oona’s spay is tomorrow. She’s had her last supper and I will bring her to the vet’s tomorrow between 8-8:30 am and will pick her up later in the day when they’re done. I have a surgical suit for her and I think I will sleep with her on the main floor for the first night at least. I practiced lifting her and I’ll be able to do it for in and out of the car but I don’t possess sufficient size or strength to do staircases safely. I hope tomorrow isn’t too rough on my sweet girl. Hold our hand/paw!

Dog Comfort Carnivore Dog breed Grey
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Heard from the vet at 11:30 am, and everything went great - she is sitting up and looking around. They'll keep her till 4 so the anesthesia wears off, so that's when I will go pick her up. Luckily I had extremely boring performance review documents to put together for my yearly review, so that helped distract me most of the morning. The vet tech says stairs will be fine as long as she goes slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
How’s she doing tonight?
Night 1 was pretty good. In the evening I could tell she was uncomfortable because she had a hard time trying to lie down but was almost falling asleep standing up. Sh kept sitting half on me as if to ask for help and I would rub her back. We had her rest in her crate so she would not be tempted to get up too many times (which is her normal thing to do, be a busybody and follow everyone around). At bedtime I set up a mattress on the floor and she settled pretty well with me, though she did wake me up at 2:30 to go out and pee. Pooping was a little uncomfortable first thing morning but after her morning metacam she had a loose poop which was probably for the best in terms of not having to strain. Today she’s trying to get on the couch, bark out the window, and play a little with her squeaky ball. She’s managed the stairs most times but I have lifted up twice when I was too impatient to wait for her (it is like -20 c out). Thinking that tomorrow or Monday we can let her back on the couch with the back cushions off, because she settles best there, it’s pretty low to get on and off, and we humans want our furniture back. Picture is last night on our floor bed/couch substitute.
Comfort Light Automotive tire Grey Wood
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I’m glad she’s doing as well as can be expected. That photo looks very cozy. :) When you’re ready, you could try putting the back cushions on the floor in front of the couch to create a step for her.
Current view: enjoying our all day sleepover/floor bed: long underwear day for humans and a pajama day for poodle. Tomorrow I’ll roll up the floor bed, lay the back cushions flat in front and give her couch access back. She’s already gotten up there once to peek out the one window she can see out of in its current position. Even with the chairs on there. So I think she will be ok to get up and down soon.
Shoe Vertebrate Comfort Black Textile
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Today was no pain meds, return of sofa privileges (no sleeping on the back cushions though) and a snow day. I explained to no avail that she was not supposed to leap and zoom so our compromise was that she could briefly run/bounce around me on leash like I was lunging a horse. I chose a plowed path for our afternoon walk only to be forced to the side 3 times by plows - we had to clamber through 2 and half foot snow drifts to get out of the way. Frustrating, but Oona seemed to be happy to have found a loophole for the “no bouncing” rule. We will try to take it easier tomorrow and hopefully more people will have shoveled so we will be able to walk more easily. For those interested, a pic of her incision (this is day 3 or 4 depending on how you count it) - a little bruising that was there since she came home but that is fading, and very little swelling. And a pic of a brief moment in the snow between opportunistic attempts at mitten thievery.
Black Creative arts Comfort Woolen Wool

Snow Vertebrate Parka Tree Jacket
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Oof, two weeks can’t come soon enough. Oona is absolutely full of beans from not being allowed to run, in spite of a long midday wander and added training/shaping sessions. Her harassment of the child has amped up in the house and she is reactive to everything out on walks - if she’s not bounding around trying to steal our mittens, or climbing to the top of snowbanks to poop, she’s looking around suspiciously for things to bark or lunge at. I can’t wait until she can run some of this pent up energy off. We will need to do some aggressive counter conditioning and training tune up, and I am doing what I can now, but it will be much easier when she’s allowed to blow off steam physically, so I’m kind of white-knuckling it through the rest of the week.
 
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