Preparing Lincoln for Surgery - desexing
Linc is a nervous and suspicious boy, so I wanted to make sure I set him up for success.
In the month prior to his desexing date, I really increased our focus on his husbandry training. This included things such as preparing him for restraint - for both IV placement (cephalic vein), and blood draw (jugular vein), and exposing to various equipment.
I ensured to always expose him in a fun way, and ensured he had a choice to engage or not engage with the equipment that he was likely to see. This included clippers, syringes, needles (I used a paperclip), Muzzle (he has his own), Elizabethan collar, Thundershirt, smell of alcohol swabs, crates and tables (most restraint and procedures in small dogs will be carried out on a table).
He loved learning and practicing his sustained chin target, rolling on to side (in preparation to check wound post op), wearing his muzzle and especially his Elizabethan collar.
You can check out our video below.
On the day of surgery he wore his Thundershirt sprayed with Adaptil pheromones and another canine calming spray. These were sprayed on the Thundershirt 15 minutes prior to putting in on him.
We timed his admission for minimal cage time, so basically he went in, had blood taken and tested almost immediately, and within 1/2 an hour we had our results and he had his premedication injection preparing him for his anaesthetic.
He handled every bit of this like a little pro, and made we one very proud puppy mum.
While he would asleep his also had his tear ducts investigated and I chose for him to have a special implant - not usually used in desexed dogs, however it appears it may help keep luteinizing hormone more stable (it can increase up to 30x higher in some desexed dogs). Changes in lutenizing hormone have been linked to increased risk of joint changes (more in large breed dogs and this should be minimised if allowed to complete their growth), and behavioural changes such as fear aggression in some dogs. The implant will last for 12 months and at this point I will decide if I continue its use.
Once he had recovered post op and was able to swallow, stand and walk, I packed him up and took him home to spend the afternoon sleeping in his crate.....however he had plans of playing fetch within just a few hours. So he was redirected to a sniffy toilet walk and visit with the neighbours.
I also ensured that I set him up post op to have minimal surgical complications by keeping him calm and quiet. He wore his cone anytime he wasn't under 100% direct supervision. We removed the water sources that he usually sits/swims in.
We used enrichment items including snuffle balls, snuffle mats (check out Snuffle 'ems), LickiMats, long lasting chews including dried pieces and fresh raw bones. We did start walking day 3 post op, and ensured he had plenty of time to sniff his world.
For more information on preparing your dog for Vet Visits check out this page, and if you would like to enrol your dog in the online version of Ready Vet Go!, check out the Cooperative Care Online course - currently only $75 for 12 months access (1/2 price due to Covid - I appreciate that many do not have job stability at the moment).