Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to prepare your pug for your surgery

Liam the pug sleeping on a pile of laundry

Tomorrow morning, I am having surgery on my shoulder to repair a very old injury. After the surgery is complete, I'll be required to keep my left arm in a sling for up to 2 months. While this has serious implications for me (how in the world will I wash dishes?), this sling also has serious repercussions for Liam.

Like most pugs, Liam is a one-person dog. I am that one person. Case in point: See how comfy he looks in this photo? He's sleeping on the clothes I took off before I got in the shower. (And notice that he brought his ball in with him. Silly guy.) It's ever-so-slightly blurry because I had to run out and get the camera in the 30 seconds I had before Liam came to follow me. He is truly a Velcro pug.

And taking care of Liam takes time. He expects me to give him baths, hold the leash on walks, carry him around when he's nervous and wrap him with hugs when he's upset. With one arm in a sling, most of these tasks will be beyond my capability.

My husband can tackle these tasks, of course, but we haven't yet convinced Liam to accept the substitution. My husband has been bathing Liam, holding the leash on walks, giving him treatments and petting him when he's nervous. But if anything, these switches have made Liam even more nervous and now he will hardly allow me out of his sight.

I am doubtful that I can convince him to change his ways in the next 24 hours. I can only hope that he'll realize that something has changed when I come home from the hospital in a slung up and groggy state. Otherwise, the next few weeks are going to simply crawl by.

(As a side note, I will also take a short hiatus from the blog while I heal. I should be able to type again by Monday, and then I'll return to a mostly daily blogging existence. But until then, I'll be resting the old arm.)

If you're heading in for surgery, it might be wise to talk with your vet about your pug's prep needs. Medications might help to soothe overactive anxiety, as might a few sessions of pet acupuncture. If you know you absolutely will NOT be able to walk with your pet, hiring a dog walker is wise. After all, a tired dog is a good dog. You'll want those regular walks to continue. Finally, ease up on the laundry for awhile, and line your pet's beds with your clothes. Your pug might be a little less stressed during your procedure with your scent in the air.

Wish me luck!