On Post-Op Complications

So, after Jordan had been through her dental surgery, she didn’t drink for a week. After June went through hers, she was back to normal, with maybe a more raspy bark, in a day or two. Big JC? Well, he took his own path to full fitness.

The night the JCs came back from the vet, I didn’t want to leave them in their crate, so I slept on the sofa with them. The next morning, there were odd wet patches on the furniture, on the floor…everywhere. On closer inspection, the cause became very obvious: Big JC was peeing all the time. I took him outside and he peed three or four times. Inside, he continued, little drops, big puddles, everything in between. Overnight he had become the most efficient pee-making factory in the world.

Short-term, we bought pee pads and belly bands. Well, first I learned what a belly band was. Then I bought a thousand of them.

Big JC walked around like a little furry sumo wrestler and, mostly, the furniture and the carpets were safe. As long as the bands stayed where they were supposed to.

Reader, this went on for two weeks. The vet was at a loss as to what was causing it, just as our own vet had been with Jordan’s water phobia. We tried a few suggestions but, whatever we did, JC just kept peeing.

And then, nearly two weeks after his op, JC just stopped. Band after band came off clean and unpolluted. He had, maybe, cured himself.

During this time, though, I learned a little about dealing with an incontinent dog. Let me share my wisdom.

  • Remember to take the pee band off before taking your dog outside. Otherwise, inevitably, something like this will happen:

This is Johnny Cash, peeing with his belly band still on. This is more my fault than his and maybe one day he’ll post a photo on the internet of me sitting on a toilet, peeing into my diaper. And I’d deserve it.

  • Like with a baby, with his diapers, you have to choose whether to go disposable or washable. We went the environmentally unfriendly disposal route because we believed (correctly, as it turned out) that we had a temporary problem on our hands (and carpets). If we had a more permanent issue, I think we’d go for piles of washable belly bands.
  • Treat it like it’s not a temporary situation, at least emotionally. Although in practical terms, we were optimistic that we were looking at a week or two of unpleasantness, in our minds we had to accept that tomorrow was going to be the same as today – an incontinent dog was going to need his diaper changed and all absorbent surfaces had to be covered in equally absorbent pee pads. Stoicism helped in not feeling overwhelmed by the problem and not feeling resentful toward JC. He wasn’t intentionally peeing all the time…he had as little control over the situation as we did.
  • Don’t let any kind of health issue get between you and loving your dog. Find ways to keep doing things the way you both like to do them. In our case, once we had his devil’s hose wrapped up tight and our furniture covered, life returned to something approaching normalcy.

Johnny Cash had two nights and one day of perfect dryness, so we put the bands and the pads into a box and put the box in the garage. Maybe 4 hours after that, he peed on my office carpet.

I think he’s trying to communicate, but I’m not sure what he’s saying.

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