We kept Rory crated unless directly supervised and within arms reach for 4 weeks. I would let him out if I could sit on the floor with him and prevent him from jumping up on furniture. I took him on walks after about a week.
After that, we tried to minimize jumping on furniture and stairs. But then it was Christmas and there was too much excitement and we had a minor setback that really freaked me out and we had to have him on steroids for a while. We also started gabapentin and lasix and this has really helped.
Different neurologists recommend different lengths of time to keep them restricted. The vet who did Rory's surgery said to just keep him restricted for about 4 - 6 weeks and go by how he was acting and feeling to decide when he could handle more activity. I know others say 6- 8 weeks. I think the longer the better, probably, to avoid scar tissue and help healing progress as well as possible.
rory was not very severe before we did surgery, so he recovered quite nicely and was ready to jump around almost immediately so the biggest challenge was keeping him calm. Lots of chew toys and stuff to keep him entertained in his crate. Because he was doing so well, that's why I let him have more freedom at 4 weeks. But in his head/skull, he was still healing and it was too soon.
Veronica = It is a hard decision. But it sounds to me like this is your pup's only chance. It may not work and you have to realize that. But if it's an option for you and your family, it might be your pup's only shot. Then you'll know that at least you're giving your pup a chance. This is a progressive disease and it sounds like your dog has progressed rapidly and will likely continue to progress. The meds treat the symptoms, but not the cause of the problem, so she will probably continue to progress if you try the meds only route. Eventually you will probably have to decide when her quality of life is no longer acceptable. It's a hard decision and one that everyone must make for themselves. SM is a terrible disease and so heartwrenching for us owners. I know I had a great sense of relief when I finally decided to do the surgery, though. Just making that decision was the hardest part. But once I decided to go for it, I felt a great weight lifted off my shoulders because I knew there was nothing more I could do for him. If the surgery doesn't work, then at least I know I gave him a shot.
Not at all to say that chosing not to do the surgery is a bad decision at all. It's very personal. In a 5 month old dog, that's tough. who knows the prognosis on a dog affected so young. I can't say what I would do in your shoes, really. It's a long hard road no matter what you decide.
I'm thinking of you and your family as you go through this. Let me know if you need any support or anything. also - do look at the photos in the other threads so you have an idea what to expect your dog to look like post-oop if you do go through with surgery. that way you won't be shocked when you first see her.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.