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Diamonds in the Ruff

What if My Dog Has Surgery or Becomes Ill?

Due to the age of the majority of our students, it is pretty routine for their spay/neuter surgeries to fall within the time frame of their training classes.  Because the beginning classes are pretty low-key, unless there are complications in surgery, there shouldn't be a problem with your dog attending if there several days between the surgery and the class.  If your dog's class is on Saturday, schedule his surgery for Monday so he'll have the maximum recovery days before the next class.

Please check with your veterinarian for permission to attend.  If they advise against it, please email to let us know.  You may finish the class session without your dog or transfer you to the next session of classes.  There will be a $45 transfer fee.  Transfers must be taken within 60 days.

Photo by Nancy Zietlow

If you are scheduled for a more physical class like Agility or Tails and Trails, be sure to get the vet's okay as to when you may resume jumping or hiking steep trails.  If your dog is wearing an Elizabethan collar (the "cone of shame") please remove it before coming into class and during practice sessions at home when your dog is on leash and under your supervision.  You and he will be much more comfortable and have a more productive training session without it.  Put it back on when you are not directly supervising to make sure he leaves his sutures alone!

Cone alternative-recovery suit.JPG

The "Cone of Shame"

The traditional plastic Elizabethan collar, often referred to as the "Cone of Shame" has been the standby for years.  Some dogs never bother the incision, but for others, this can be essential to a safe recovery, as it keep the dog from licking or chewing on the surgical site.  Protection should be used any time your dog is not under your direct supervision, mentally as well as physically. 


If your dog is at the end of your leash during training or a walk and your eyeballs are on him, he can go cone-free.  But if you are checking your email, reading a book, making dinner, or otherwise distracted, for safety, put it back on.


The down-side of the traditional cone is it changes the direction and volume of sound, bangs against your shins and furniture and gets caught up when they try to go through dog doors and in and out of their crate door.

Alternatives to the Cone of Shame
Go here for the "Best recovery Cones for Dogs

There are inflatable cones, comfy cones that are made of softer material.  There are even cute cones that make your dog look like a flower, a lion or even a martini.

Another alternative, shown here, is the "Recovery Suit."  While really determined dogs could chew through the material, for "out of sight, out of mind" dogs, this can be a really comfortable and stylish option.  

Photo by Diane Black

Coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, fever ...

If your dog is suffering from any potentially contagious illness, please leave your dog at home and contact us to reschedule. 

You may come without him to learn and apply the lessons at home, and/or you may transfer to a future session when he is well.  If the veterinarian has deemed that the source of diarrhea is stress, allergies or change in food (introduce new, richer treats gradually!) you may attend class as planned.  If he is on a special diet please see "Who And What to Bring to Class" for ideas for high value rewards that meet his dietary needs.

(c) Diamonds in the Ruff - All rights reserved

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