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Nutrition Team Blog

Trouble with Cider

Published: Friday, January 21, 2011

Hi, I am Rebecca and am one of the nutritional advisors for Burns. I have been working here for over 8 years (will be 9 years in May).  I began life wanting to be a veterinary nurse and decided I liked the operating side of things.  I then changed career to become an Operating Department Practitioner working for the NHS.  After many years I returned to working with animals as a nutritional advisor for John Burns at Burns Pet Nutrition in Kidwelly.  I have a 20 month old Springer Spaniel, Cider, who takes up a lot of my time. I also have a very lazy Ginger rescue cat called Cwrcyn, which means tomcat in Welsh, a Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoise called Diesel and two gold fish!  I used to have a horse until recently and am fighting the temptation to get another one!

I get as worried as any other owner if one of my pets has to go to the vets for any reason and last week was no exception.  As a responsible owner I  had arranged to have my young Springer Spaniel spayed, but I knew that her temperament would make life ‘interesting’ to say the least!

I took last week off as annual leave to look after my dog. I had booked her in to be spayed on the Monday (10th January) and it really made me feel sick!! That morning I dropped her off at the vets, they were kind enough to give her sedation whilst I was there but I then had to bundle her into a cage which she really was not impressed with! Then I left. I was told to call at 1pm to see how she was. I was told when I rang she was fine and to collect her at 3 – 3.30pm so I replied ‘3 o’clock, ok!’ I could not wait to get her out of there. When I did collect her she was very pleased to see me in a wobbly sort of way but I was told that she was quite frightened, wouldn’t you be left in a strange place with people you don’t know who stick needles in you??

We arrived home with a list of rules;

1 - No jumping up
2 - No climbing on and off furniture
3 - No running up & down the stairs
4 - Very gentle lead walks only and…
5 - Keep her very quiet for the first few days.

Monday night was bliss! She slept all night, felt very sorry for herself and made me feel very guilty!

Tuesday morning (day 1) – Oh my, I opened the kitchen door and there was a very excited spinning top! It was Cider, awake from the anaesthetic and feeling much better. That was rule 1 & 5 broken on the first morning! I spent the day around the house whilst Cider entertained herself with her toys and chews. As I was cleaning out the fire, I heard footsteps upstairs!! Cider had jumped over the barrier blocking off the stairs and gone up, that was rule 3 broken!

As hard as I tried, trying to keep this dog quiet for 3 days was not going to be easy.

Wednesday (day 2) Cider was bouncing with energy. I greeted her in the kitchen and then ‘crash’ she had gone out through the locked cat flap and into the garden! The day continued with me trying to keep her occupied, trying to keep her quiet and trying to stop her breaking all the rules!! By the end of Wednesday, it was no good all the rules had been broken on several occasions but now Cider didn’t seem to be able to jump off of the furniture so I investigated further. There was a lump under the suture line!

I took her to the vet as she was due her post-operative check and he said she had strained herself or a stich may have opened. I was to continue with all the rules I has been told on day 1 and hopefully this would heal itself. The worst scenario would be that she would have to be sedated opened up and the stich replaced and I would have to start the recovery process all over again!!

Over the next few days I tried my hardest to stick to the rules but each day 99 – 100% of them were broken and all I could worry about was her having to have another operation!

By Sunday (day 6) Cider had had enough of this stupid lead walk stuff. She is used to 3 – 4 hours per day off lead running in a country park – she had spent 6 days on a lead and was bouncing! Out on our Sunday afternoon walk we met a gentleman with a lovely, lively Patterdale Terrier and this little terrier took a shine to Cider as she did to him. He was running round like a mad thing wanting her to play and she was trying to run and hang herself on the end of the lead!!! I had no choice… I let her off! The pair had a great run together chasing each other round and round for the following 15 minutes until they had both let off a little steam. I then decided to put Cider back on the lead and take her home, had she done any damage to herself running wild?

Monday, 1 week later and I had kept Cider on the lead as I was returning to the vet to have her stitches out. He took the stiches out and said as the lump was still there, I would need to keep her on the lead for another week!!!! I explained that she was desperate to run and the vet replied ‘ she can run…….with you on the lead!’, I do not do running and this was not going to happen! Monday evening arrived and I was trying to settle Cider so I could watch Silent Witness. Cider had other ideas, I could only describe her like a child on speed! She was hyperactive, bouncing around and probably frustrated that she could not run and burn off her energy. By 10.15pm I was exhausted and she was still going!!! I decided enough was enough and as from Tuesday morning there would be no more lead walking.

Tuesday morning I took her out and she ran mad for 1 1/2 hours!! I met my colleague, Karen and her dog KT, Cider went into overdrive! I walked the circuit again with Karen in the hope of Cider running off all of her energy and becoming calmer. This was not going to happen.

Today is Friday and it’s the end of week two, Cider is having her regular 3 – 4 hours off lead running and has been since Tuesday morning. This is all against what the vet said as she is still meant to be having lead walks for another 2- 3 days!! Well I am sorry for breaking all the rules but Cider is a 20 month old Springer Spaniel with attitude and more energy than you could imagine, the lump under her suture line has gone down a little and so I hope that given another week this will no longer be an issue. Cider is back to her normal self and has really shown no adverse reaction the being spayed in anyway. I was hoping for a nice quiet week off but this is something that just did not happen! I am pleased Cider has taken this so well as she is the first bitch I have had and spayed and I was the one with all the worries!!

Burns Pet Nutrition Team

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