While on the soft tissue surgery rotation, I got to see a lot of really cool procedures. There were a handful of abdominal exploratory surgeries, a gastropexy in a dog with GDV, mass removals, intestinal foreign bodies, and even an esophageal foreign body. One of the patients I inherited from the previous rotating student was a Daschund that had gotten a hemilaminectomy for intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). His owner and I saw a lot of each other over the course of my week on the service as she would come to visit him in the wards on a daily basis. Every time she would come and spend time with him as he rested, one could easily appreciate an improvement in his demeanor. In the early stages post-operatively, dogs (much like humans) may not be feeling super hot and require a lot of pain medications that can cause their own fair share of side effects. Though I do not recall him vomiting, he definitely was not accepting food from the veterinary staff. On top of all of it, he had a urinary catheter, which was probably very annoying, though necessary to monitor his urine production to ensure he was capable of urinating on his own.
I would regularly speak to his owner about his progress overnight as she sat beside his cage in the hospital gently petting him. He would gladly accept food from her. In my interactions with her, I learned that she was a certified craniosacral therapist. She brought quartz and crystals and did Reiki on her dog, who I must say, did not seem to mind at all. While often dismissed as a pseudoscience, therapeutic touch may serve as a complementary modality to traditional medicine. While I would never say that it should serve as a replacement to the surgical and medical management that the dog received while in hospital, I did not see any harm in it being done on him and think that my patient very much enjoyed the attention from his owner.