We are a few weeks out from Bentley’s neuter and I thought I’d share some tidbits of information that we learned in the process!
1) Why He Needed To Be Neutered:
He needed to be neutered!
Bentley is, generally speaking, a very jovial guy and absolutely LOVES other dogs and people.
BUT about a month before his neutering, I started to notice that he was quick to change his tune if another dog wasn’t friendly or was talking “smack” to him. Bentley was feeling that testosterone!
2) When He Needed To Be Neutered
We waited as long as we could because there is recent literature that suggests that waiting might be beneficial for their health in the long run.
Personally, I think it’s still a little too early to tell if this literature is correct, but we decided that it wouldn’t hurt to wait as long as we possibly could to have the procedure and if this helps him, great!
If Bentley had started exhibiting any sort of true and consistent aggression early on or if we weren’t able to ensure that he wouldn’t get out and reproduce, then we would’ve had the surgery done much sooner.
3) Pain Medications
Bentley was sent home with an anti-inflammatory/pain reliever and I would say that even if it seems like your dog is feeling great and not experiencing any pain, I would give them the medications at least for 3-5 days postoperatively.
They might not outwardly show any signs of discomfort, but they DID just have surgery and are most likely in some degree of discomfort.
It is NOT recommended to withhold pain medications in an effort to keep them "quiet". See #4...
4) Keeping Him Quiet!
Bentley’s wonderful vet (a fellow SGU grad) asked if we wanted a sedative to give him to keep him calm and prevent him from upsetting his incision.
Our answer was “no” and it should have been a resounding “YES”.
Pride made me think that we would have it under control and that there was no reason for us to have to sedate this puppy.
And boy was I wrong.
After day 3, Bentley was feeling awesome and was a wild man in the house. We would go into the kitchen and he would try to jump on the bed, the couch, do zoomies in the front room, etc. There was no stopping this puppy in his prime.
He ultimately either chewed his sutures or ripped them during one of his out of control moments in the house.
So, moral of the story… for a young, energetic puppy, go for the sedative!
It will minimize recovery time and make everyone happy again more quickly!!!
I ended up having to glue his incision back together! Don’t tell Heather!!! So embarrassing! Don’t be me! Take the drugs! :)
5) Distraction Techniques While in Recovery/House Arrest
We developed a few distraction/toy techniques that helped to keep the wild pup somewhat occupied and distracted during his house arrest.
And we tried to walk him calmly around the neighborhood as opposed to running him at the park.
We also tried to work on tricks in the house to provide some mental stimulation and help with the "too much energy" situation. And it definitely helped!
6) E-Collar/Incision Protection
We were sent home with a plastic e-collar and everyone in the house was upset about it, so we came up with a slightly different plan.
We got Bentley a Cover Me By Tui post-op “pet garment”. Essentially, a onesie with snaps and bathroom flaps.
He didn’t mind it, actually, and when his incision started itching a lot, we knew that if we stepped out of the room for a minute, he wouldn’t be able to get at his incision!
He basically wore this for two weeks and if he was having a particularly hard time leaving his incision alone, we added a KONG cloud e-collar to the mix to keep him extra safe.
7) Keeping Him Clean after Surgery
In the process of healing and ripping his incision open, he had a little bit of drainage from his incision. So, we washed his bedding and gave him a bath.
I used my own shampoo which is salon quality shampoo and between that and maybe a new laundry detergent, he was itchier than he’d ever been.
His coat was also very dry and coarse where we had placed most of the shampoo, so we gave him another bath and used a different shampoo.
We used a brand called Beautycounter. Now, this brand is meant for humans, but it is so safe, toxin-free, and so effective, that I wanted Bentley to have only the best too!
We used the kid's shampoo on him and his coat has never felt so soft and he is about 75% less itchy than he was after using the first shampoo. We will only be using Beautycounter on him from here on out.
8) Dry Coat and Calming Treats
Additionally, for his coat, we started giving him the Zuke’s Shiny Coat Enhanced Treats and he loves them and they seem to have helped!
I have also given these to a client with a pug with very dry skin and she thinks they have helped!
9) Laser Therapy for Incisional Healing
We used laser therapy a few times on his incision also and it definitely helped with healing-especially before he tore open his incision! Any incision (except for a cancerous mass removal) could benefit from the use of the cold therapy laser to help expedite healing!
10) Back to Normal and Next Stop-Training Session with 2Speak Dog!
Bentley is off house arrest and he is feeling great now!!!
And we can already tell a difference with his mentality and how other dogs respond to him.
He is able to use his brain better without the distraction of the testosterone and he is scheduled for his first at-home training session next week!
Wish us luck! We will let you know how it goes!!!!