Monday, September 20, 2010

Cage Confinement Tips for Dogs With Spinal Diseases

The vast majority of dogs with mild to moderate spinal disease--especially when intervertebral disc prolapses are suspected--do amazingly well with STRICT cage confinement. This is in most cases this is more important than any medications we can put a dog on. Actually, in many cases, medication actually increases movement and increases the recovery time.

So how do you cope with cage confinement? Typically, it’s harder on the owner than it is the dog. But remember—it’s for the best!

How To Cope With Cage Confinement

Below are some tips to get you and your dog through cage confinement:

  • The best cages are the fiberglass airline carriers. The floor space should be just large enough for your dog to turn around, but no larger. Extra space can be taken up with a cardboard box or pillow if the cage is too large. Here are two different examples of cages to use. We don't endorse any specific kennel brand. The wire cages are not perfect--animals with paresis in particular can get their feet caught in them—so be cautious.
  • Food and water in the cage is best but some animals are too messy and may require these activities occurring outside of the cage.
  • The first 48 hours usually set the tone for this confinement. If every time your dog whines you go to them, they will want you sitting there all of the time. Putting them somewhere where there isn’t a lot of activity and foot traffic is usually best.
  • Your pet should be restricted to going out-of-doors--no more than three times per day. and that is just to use the bathroom--no exercise!
  • A re-examination after the two weeks is strongly suggested. We are very active in canine rehabilitation training and we believe that rehabilitation activities can prevent recurrences.
  • Evaluations at each out-of-doors trip to be sure your pet is continuing to improve are very important.
  • If your pet isn’t making steady progress and improvement, we should be contacted immediately. Continued improvement should be expected and any loss of progress may be very important. Large changes from walking to paralysis should be considered emergencies. Call us immediately.

For more information, contact VCA-VRA today.


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