My beloved mixed breed, PJ,taught me about the importance of good orthopedic crate pads after surgery. She had two knee repair operations. After her first, I rushed out and got her a big, soft, cushy bed so she could nestle in as I know she enjoys.
She used it once.
While her leg was bandaged out straight, the soft bed did not allow her to easily position herself. She had a hard time getting comfortable and an even harder time trying to get back up after she finally lay down and it was clearly tough for her to exit the bed itself as wrinkles caught her dragging leg.
She whined getting out of it and that broke my heart.
The next day I bought her what she needed: a flat, firm, orthopedic crate pad. And that she used with ease and delight for the many weeks of recovery.
Whatever bed you use, make sure it cannot slip as your dog gets on and off. Slipping is your enemy during recovery from orthopedic surgery. Putting a throw rug or bath mat under any bed makes things more secure on slippery floors.
Here are a few beds similar to what worked best for PJ: crate pads that are firm and flat.
- Designed to Fit Standard Dog Crates (along with Beach Bum Dog Crates)
- Machine Washable — Removable Outer Cover and Inner Pad are Machine Washable and Dryable
- 1-Year Warranty on Product Defects
- All Crate Mats Ship Next Business Day!
- 5 Colors/6 Sizes
- Soft, cozy dog mat great for comfy relaxing and sleeping
- Custom-designed fabric with poly-knit backing and 50-percent recycled fiber batting
- 7 Colors/6 sizes
- 4″ Thick – 2″ Gel Infused Memory Foam and 2″ Therapeutic Support Foam
- Advanced gel memory foam stays cool while relieving body aches, joint pain, hip dysplasia and arthritis
- 100-Percent Waterproof liner protects against accidents, dirt and liquids
- Soft microfiber cover is removable and machine washable
- 3 Year Warranty and resistant to mold, bacteria and dust mites
Because you need your dog not to slip or slide during recovery, put down carpet runners on hardwood and tile areas with nonskid beneath. Also, if your dog needs your assistance getting up from lying down or navigating stairs safely, a sling/harness can be a big help.
PJ benefited a great deal from physical therapy afterwards both for her health and for my education. I recommend it highly! A good list of K9 PT pros can be found here: Canine Physical Therapy and Rehab: US and Canada
It took about 12 weeks of careful recovery after each surgery for PJ to get back to full steam. That’s a bit longer than normal because her recovery happened over NH winter’s both time and I fretted about slipping and ice. She’s almost 12 now and, besides a bit of arthritis, is an active, playful and happy dog! 🙂