A neutering procedure can be a stressful period for both you and your dog. Especially so if this is your dog’s first major procedure.
It is natural for your dog to behave differently for some time. But what if your dog suffers from bloody diarrhea after the surgery?
A dog having bloody diarrhea after its neuter surgery could be due to the effects of the anesthesia on the dog’s body. It could also be caused by other underlying medical problems like hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, intestinal parasites or an infection.
In this article, we will delve into the potential causes behind your dog’s bloody diarrhea after neutering and the actions you need to take as a pet owner.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Have Diarrhea After Being Neutered?
Most of us wouldn’t equate being neutered as a cause of your dog’s diarrhea.
In reality, there are some ways that being neutered or going through any major surgery can upset your dog’s digestive system.
Not only is there stress leading up to the procedure, but there’s also the anxiety of being apart from you. The surgery itself puts additional strain on your dog’s body.
After the procedure is done, your dog’s body is trying to cope and process what just happened as well.
All this stress can have an impact on your dog’s digestive tract and cause stress-induced diarrhea. This isn’t a conscious decision by your dog but due to the brain-gut connection.
A dog under stress will have excess noradrenaline in its body which helps to speed up the body’s processes even its digestion. This causes your dog to have watery loose feces.
Many of us tend to use the toilet more frequently as well if we are anxious or stressed about an issue.
Anesthesia And Pain Medication
When either one of my pets goes to the vet, I am usually more anxious when there is a need for them to be put under anesthesia or sedated.
The effects of anesthesia on our pets can range from slight to severe. A lot depends on the type of anesthetic used and how the animal’s body reacts to it.
Your dog will also be given some pain medication during and after the dog’s neuter surgery to help it manage the pain and discomfort.
Diarrhea is usually one of the common side effects of having anesthetic and painkillers in your dog’s body.
Is Bloody Diarrhea In Dogs After Neutering Normal?
I wouldn’t exactly say that a dog having bloody diarrhea after neutering is a common occurrence but it can happen due to a few reasons.
One thing that I would do is to take a good look at your dog’s stool and take note of a few things:
How Bloody Is The Stool?
If the blood in your dog’s stool is bright red in color, that means that the blood is still fresh and the bleeding is coming from the lower intestines.
This could be from your dog’s rectum or anus.
But if the blood looks black or dark red, this means that the bleeding is happening in the upper portion of your dog’s digestive system such as the stomach.
Is There Mucus In The Poo?
Another thing that you want to look out for is the presence of mucus in your dog’s stool.
Some mucus in the stool acts as a lubricant when the dog empties its bowels.
But too much of it could mean that your dog’s intestines have been infected or impacted in some way.
Here are some other medical issues that can cause your dog to have bloody diarrhea.
This condition can cause vomiting and bloody diarrhea in your dog. Other symptoms include:
- Painful tummy
- Lack of appetite
Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis can affect dogs of any gender, breed and age but it is more commonly seen in small and toy dog breeds like Maltese, Chihuahuas, Pekingese, etc.
There are a wide range of reasons that can cause this condition in your dog:
- Stomach ulcers
- Infectious disease
- Intestinal obstruction
- Stress and anxiety
Assuming that your dog has been in good health prior to the neutering, it could most probably be caused by the stress and anxiety that your dog is going through.
Dogs can be neutered as young as 6 months of age but many breeders tend to agree that it is best to wait till 2 years to allow for it to fully mature into an adult dog before doing so.
A dog that is neutered at 6 months of age is still a puppy and puppies are more prone to having a parasitic infestation.
These parasites are usually passed down from their mothers and will survive in the dog’s intestinal tract.
These parasites are commonly known as:
These worms are known as parasites because they will feed on the food in the dog’s digestive system.
One common symptom of worms in your dog’s intestinal tract is bloody and loose stool. Your dog might even drag its bum all over the floor due to the itch.
If your dog has never been dewormed before it would be a good idea to bring a sample to the vet to have it examined for parasites.
Your vet will examine your dog’s stool under the microscope to look for parasites.
The most effective way to get rid of these worms is dewormer tablets which the vet will prescribe.
Reaction To The Medication
Bloody diarrhea after neutering could be due to your dog’s reaction to the medications given during and after the procedure.
The type of anesthetic used and your dog’s response to it can influence the severity of the side effects.
Pain medication, such as Rimadyl, Deramax, or Meloxicam, may be prescribed to your dog to manage post-operative pain.
These medications can also cause side effects, including gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea in your dog.
An infection can develop at the surgical site or in your dog’s body after the surgery. This can lead to complications and your dog passing out blood after the surgery.
Your dog’s surgical site will be more prone to infection as the wound is still raw and open.
The vet would have given you a cleaning solution or an antibiotic cream to use on that area to keep it clean.
As you clean the surgical site, be on the lookout for the following:
- Fresh blood
- Bad smell
- Redness or bruising that doesn’t subside
Internal infections can happen but it is rarer.
Bacteria could have entered your dog’s bloodstream via the surgical site and compromised your dog’s immune system.
Keep an eye on your dog for the following signs:
- Poor appetite
- Persistent pain
Getting your dog to use an Elizabethan collar can minimize the risk of infection. The collar can prevent your dog from biting and liking the wound thus making it worse.
Not all dogs take too well to wearing a collar. There are other options available if you are looking for an alternative solution to the cone for your dog.
Keeping running and physical activities to a minimum during the recovery period can also lower the risk of infection.
If you suspect a possible infection due to the presence of bloody diarrhea or other symptoms after the neutering procedure, consult your veterinarian without delay.
Can Anesthesia Cause Bloody Diarrhea In Dogs?
I would not rule it out as impossible but having bloody diarrhea after going through general anesthesia isn’t common for dogs.
Anesthesia can cause diarrhea in many pets as a side effect but blood in the stool means there is some sort of internal bleeding in your dog.
I would strongly suggest that you at least give your vet a call to let them know what’s happening.
The vet might request that you bring your dog back or monitor it for a day or two to see if the bloody diarrhea subsides.
How Can I Help My Dog?
It is common for many dogs to be acting rather weird after general anesthesia due to the after-effects.
On top of seeking professional veterinary advice, there are a couple of things that you can do to help with your dog’s diarrhea.
Ensure Proper Hydration
The first thing that you need to ensure is that your dog has a lot of fresh water to drink.
Dogs with diarrhea tend to lose a lot of water and electrolytes so giving your dog fluids is important.
Adjust Your Dog’s Diet
Next, stop feeding your dog anything that might aggravate its digestive system. Stop feeding food and treats that are high in fat and sugar.
Try putting your dog on a plain diet that consists of boiled or steamed chicken with some rice. This diet is gentle on your dog’s digestive system and easy to absorb.
You can revert back to your dog’s normal diet when its stool looks more normal.
Firm Up The Stool
You can also try to firm up your dog’s stool with some raw pumpkin and psyllium husk.
A little goes a long way so just add about a quarter to half a teaspoon to your dog’s food.
You can also let your dog drink some Yakult or a probiotic supplement that can help rebalance and improve your dog’s gut flora.
Cardamom has been shown to help relieve an upset stomach and improve digestive health. Giving your dog cardamom might be something worth considering.