Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  When do you let dogs play post surgery?

    Posted 12-16-2021 03:16 PM
    Hi everyone- so we have experienced a new phenomenon here recently where we got very ahead on surgery (versus working reactively after pets are adopted) and that brought on a new question we haven't had to address before. How long post spay/neuter are you keeping pets out of play group? What about meet and greets with potential sibling dogs? General playing and ball-chasing?

    We tell adopters to not let them run and play for 10-14 days post-surgery, but what about in shelter?

    Thanks for any feedback anyone can provide!

    Alexis Pugh
    Director, Memphis Animal Services

    Organizational Management
    & Pet Support Services Specialist

  • 2.  RE: When do you let dogs play post surgery?

    Posted 12-28-2021 12:53 PM
    Our standard policy is no play yard and or running for 10 days, but we may adjust that based on a particular dog's needs. For example, if an incision is has had complications, it may be extended, or if a young, hyper dog is healing quickly and really seems to need to run in order to prevent behavior challenges, they may have that restriction lifted a couple days early.

    For dogs meeting possible housemates during recovery, we usually do it on-leash (unless the dogs are mellow, and not likely to start chasing each other around.) If the adopters really want to see them off-leash, we'll allow it for a short period, but explain that they will need to continue restricting play at home until the recently altered dog has recovered. Usually people understand that, so it's a good time to talk through what the dogs can and can't do together during recovery, and come up with some strategies they can use when play gets too rough.

    We would generally keep them out of play group, but sometimes there are work-arounds. For example, if they can go for paired walks with other dogs, or if they have a playstyle that is heavy on bitey-face games instead of chasing, or if they are responsive to frequent interruptions and can play a gentler version of their normal play.

    Emme Hones

  • 3.  RE: When do you let dogs play post surgery?

    Posted 12-31-2021 11:48 AM
    Our protocol is 7-10 days. That time drame can be extended depending on the condition of the animal. There are some cases where extra recovery time is needed so we will extend the "rest period".  Those special cases could be a female that may have had a pyometra or maybe bled a little more than than what the vet is comfortable with, or  the pets weight could have caused a concern and we want to extend the rest time. 

     I have found this time frame to be acceptable for our pets and gives them a good amount of time to recover. There have been times where we have shortened the 7-10 day rest period and ended up with more rechecks and open incisions than we were comfortable with so leaving at a minimun of 7 days  has worked for us. I think with all animals you have to make adjustemtns based on that pets case, situation and environment.

    Marissa Reid
    Clinic Director
    LifeLine Animal Project

    Access To Care Specialist
    Clinic Management Specialist