Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pug crate rest update: How Liam is coping with confinement

Liam the pug in his crate
About 2 weeks ago, Liam the pug hurt his back. He hopped up next to me in my recliner, just as he has done a thousand times before, and something about that jump changed the course of his summer for good. He was given a prescription--from the emergency vet and from a neurologist--for strict crate rest. I've been following that prescription to the letter, and recently, I discovered a few secret tricks and tips that make crate life a little easier.

Let's start with the basics. Liam is a very social little dog that really enjoys spending time with both pets and people. He is accustomed to touching some other living thing almost every single second of every day. A crate doesn't give him that opportunity for closeness. He can see other creatures, but he can't touch them. I think that's been the hardest thing about crate rest for this loving pug. He misses his family.

My (admittedly imperfect) solution involves very brief visits with the pets he loves.

Liam the pug and foster kitten Patrick

Once per day, I need to clean out Liam's crate and swap out his bedding. He cannot be in his bed when I am doing all of that. So I ask him to down/stay in a bed I can supervise while I clean. And lately, I've been asking other pets to chill out with him while he waits.

Sometimes, he sits nicely with Sinead and they chew on toys together. And other times, he cuddles with my foster kittens. These are short little visits, but they remind Liam that he is not alone in the world. I think that helps.

I am also making sure to open his kennel door and provide him with focused love several times per day. I give him extra cuddles when I am carrying him out to the yard, too. He needs to feel like he is not forgotten, and those mom-time moments really seem to help.

Liam the pug in his stroller

The other thing Liam seems to miss: A daily walk. Prior to his injury, Liam went on several walks with me throughout the day. He had the opportunity to sniff other dog pee, and he had a chance to leave a little pee of his own. Getting outside also allowed him to smell the fresh air and get a little sun therapy. Walks are a huge part of his life. And they had been absent from his crate plan.

With the approval of his doctor, I got this rolling stroller that can help. It has very good shocks, so this is a smooth ride on Liam's back. No bumps and jolts are allowed. I zip it closed, so he cannot get out. And we walk throughout the neighborhood with one break for pee mail. These excursions help Liam to stretch his mind and breathe the fresh air. And I think that helps a lot.

Starting next week, we're going to work on some muscle-building exercises for Liam. And he'll taper away from many of his medications. But he has a long summer ahead of restrictions and strengthening. It'll be hard work, but he's worth it, right?

Thanks for the visit! Leave me a comment so I'll know you were here, okay?


  1. Poor little Liam! I hope the crate rest helps. I'm all too familiar with that. Our pup has had three back surgeries. Whenever we had to crate him (which we never trained him for), he would howl and howl and howl. Love that picture with the kitten!

  2. Wow, Liam, is certainly having to go through a lot of not too fun stuff. That is so great that he can now go out in a stroller and not be stuck 24/7 in the crate. Hope he is up and around again soon. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo