30 Days of Grizzy’s Post-Operative and our Lessons Learned about Home care – The need to have therapy

Published April 19, 2018

As discussed in earlier posts, the need to have rehabilitation available post-op is huge.  If you don’t have that resource coupled with a large breed, you will learn very quickly that you don’t have the tools, skill, and resources to help your furry friend.  This was very frustrating to us and looking hindsight knowing what I know now, our Griz would have never come home post-op in the condition he was in to suffer 4 months of immobility and gone straight to an inpatient rehab facility.  There are few facilities able to take a large breed but thank God I found one in Lathem, NY.  We took Griz to 2 other “rehabilitation” vets and they said they could “treat” a mastiff and they could not.  We went to one in Connecticut that took our intake over the phone, said they could treat and when we got there after renting a van, they said they could not.  Keep in mind with all of these false starts, we had to rent a van, use a human hoist to get Grizzy into the van and moving an already injured dog was very difficult on all of us, particularly Grizzy.  I looked all over the tri state area.  This is a skill and specialty that is not easy to find so you really have to do your homework on the facility that is going to do surgery on your animal and ensure they have post operative treatment and a good reputation.  Our surgical center was a huge very reputable place but they lacked in rehab resource even though they pushed it pre-op we found out the hard way.

I can’t tell you the amount of hoists, harnesses, supplies, and handmade moving gurnies that we used.  Again, I would do it all over again, we certainly have no regrets but I would ensure this important resource was available.  Grizzy is not the only dog that I know now that has come out of this facility and is now getting rehab outside.  Unfortunately I can bet some dogs have been euthanized because of the lack of this resource and the difficulty with home-care.  If I help any family get there animal the correct care through this blog or learn/understand the complexity I will be happy.  That is the reason why I’m doing 30 days of post-op posts.  Attached is a video of a hoist that we purchased by referral from the surgical hospital.  It was roughly $300.00.  You can see it did not work whatsoever and my husband tried to compensate by putting a life jacket on Grizzy to protect his skin, muscles from pulling up dead weight using a hoist, etc.  We were told “get him up,” “touch his feet to the floor so he feels his feet” “do it every day, etc.  I get a headache thinking about it. He was in no condition to attempt to feel his feet and we were trying everything.