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Nursing a Dog Back to Health

When we get sick or hurt, who doesn’t want someone we love to take care of us? Whether it is to give us medicine, hold our hand, fluff up our pillows, read to us or make us soup, we like knowing that someone is there who will watch over us and see us through our hard time. The same goes for pets. Yes, as much as we hate to admit it, sometimes our pets need us for the unspeakable things that tear at our hearts when they happen. It can be so painful, but we promise that his pain is worse. All you can do is sit and hope, after making sure your best friend has the very best medical care that you can find. Beyond that, it is in the vet’s hands. From malnourishment to auto accidents, there are many things that don’t bear thinking about but must be kept in mind if you want to help your furry friend when he needs you most.

Starvation is arguably the worst way for a pet or former pet to lose his life. It is a slow, lingering and painful process. But you can help. If you encounter a stray who is malnourished, after you determine whether or not he is sick, you can start her off on small doses of easy food several times a day. You don’t want him to gorge himself, which he will try to do if you overfeed him. This only complicates things. Let him get plenty of rest too, as he will probably want to sleep a lot in order to regain his energy – since most of it went to keeping him alive all this time.

If he is sick with a viral or parasitic ailment, make sure he gets prompt treatment – no amount of TLC and good quality food will make a difference if he’s got parasites crawling around inside him. After a time, when you can tell his health, mood and overall manner are improved, you can start getting him exercise so he can build back up the muscle and mass he lost while wandering the streets. Once he is feeling better, you will be rewarded when your new sweet friend gets a glossy coat and looks at you with those happy, shiny eyes.

For surgery, whether routine or unexpected, once your sweet boy is home from the vet, you should keep him calm. This ensures he won’t aggravate his hurts and open the wounds the vet worked so diligently to seal. If you have more than one dog, especially one who likes to play, try separating them for a little while. Your pooch in need of pampering may feel fine and want to roughhouse, but be in no shape to do so. If there are stitches, you would also do well to stick an Elizabethan collar on him. It may make him look like a cosmonaut and he will gaze upon you most pitifully but stand firm! Without it, he is likely to scratch or chew his stitches, which can lead to complications neither of you needs. This goes for any type of invasive procedure and of course the more stressful it is, the more you will want to do for your friend to help him recover. Pay extra special attention to your vet’s instructions in regards to care and medicine if s/he gave you any.

For more traumatic injuries, such as when your pet is hit by a car, loses a limb or otherwise finds his mobility impaired, you might not feel like you can go on. It hurts so much and you can’t stand to see your pet suffering the way he is. But you have to be strong for him because he can’t. Many animals that have suffered either naturally occurring, breed-based ailments that limit their mobility (anything from joint pain to paralysis) or lost a leg due to an accident have gone on to have fruitful, happy lives. So it means your poor boy who lost the use of his hind legs now has to haul himself around in a doggy wheelchair. Before this happened to your best buddy, this may have been a sign of humiliation and a magnet for pity when seeing it in another dog. That would be a mistake! They heal eventually and old wounds are, if not forgotten, adapted to. Thankfully there are many reputable suppliers and manufacturers who will gladly provide you with what your fine boy needs, for a decent price. Whatever you have, whatever breed you fancy - from a Corgi to a Collie, from a Dachshund to a Dane, there is no dog too great or too small.

Whatever happens to your furry friend, you can guarantee that he will thank you and love you all the more for your conscientious, loving and tender care even if at the time he turns spiteful or withdraws. What you have done shows that you are his pack leader and he looks up to you like no other. You have done him a solid and he won’t soon forget it.