Nobody Tells You About The Poo!!

The IVDD “experience” throws up a lot of unexpected events and challenges for both dogs and pawrents and they keep coming even after surgical recovery. There is plenty of advice: from the vet, the specialist vet, the hydrotherapist, the masseur and the people whose dogs have been there before yours, but none of them – not one! – Tells You About The Poo!

And there’s plenty of it. It starts when you get your dog home after surgery. One of the good signs the dog is recovering is that they can properly do a poo. So you are waiting for it. You carefully take your fragile dog out of the crate for a toilet break and they do a wee and a lot of sniffing. Very good, but no poo. You say to yourself “That’s ok, they haven’t had much to eat yet what with the surgery and waking up and the pain killers.” So you keep doing the right thing taking them out every few hours.

In the middle of the night you hear a lot of scrabbling around in the crate. Coz it’s in your bedroom isn’t it, coz you are so worried about them. You leap out of bed and that noise is the cone of shame banging about on the bars of the crate. The dog, that’s just home from surgery, is trying to bury something with her nose, in her blankets.  It’s poo! The dog is mortified, because she knows to do that sort of thing outside. And she’s missed the wee pad completely and got it all over the blankets.

So you get the dog out of the crate, get the blankets out of the crate, fling the poo in the loo and the blankets out the back door coz it’s 3am and you are in your jammies. Remake the bed in the crate, replace the pad, get some nice clean blankets and pop the dog back in and shut the door. Aaaahhh! You are almost too excited to go back to sleep Coz She’s Done A Poo!, but you are also exhausted because it’s all been such an ordeal.

And so it begins. The dog is healing nicely and progressing satisfactorily through her rehab. Because the nerves have been damaged by the herniated disc and are still recovering themselves, the IVDD dog has less control over their bowel movements. They give you the “I want to go out” face, but it’s too late to make it outside coz the poo is already coming and once it’s coming it keeps on coming. In the crate, on the carpet, on the couch!!! How much advance notice you get is all about when the dog becomes aware it’s going to happen, which, in turn, is all about the degree of recovery. I am writing this over 12 months since surgery and successful recovery, but the nerves giving this important advance notice are still a bit lackadaisical about their job. “She’ll be right” they seem to be saying.

I’ve got quite prosaic about poo. As long as she does it, she’s ok. If it’s in the wrong place I just clean it up. I never say anything coz I know the dog knows where she’s supposed to do it and would be happier if she could get there in time. Often I’m picking it up on the way to the back door. She also doesn’t necessarily stay still to do it, but poos on the move. I try not to snigger – it’s quite a skil!

Liz & Poppy