Sending my dog to the vet to be neutered was a very anxious episode for me. It was the first time my dog has even needed surgery and that made me nervous.
Thankfully, the procedure was successful but nothing did prepare me for the post-op care. He was restless, irritable, a total fusspot with his food and had terrible diarrhea after neutering.
If your dog has just been neutered, he will probably not be his usual self for a while. But what if your dog has bloody diarrhea after neutering? 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 and intestinal parasites which has bloody diarrhea as a symptom.
Let us take a look at the possible reasons that can give your dog bloody diarrhea after being neutered. And what you should be doing as a dog 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. I mean, what has removing my dog’s balls got to do with giving him soft stools, right?
In reality, there are some ways that being neutered or going through any major surgery can upset your dog’s digestive system.
As someone who has both a cat and a dog, trying to get them to the vet can feel like moving Mt Everest. My cat disappears when he hears me take out his carrier from the garage and my dog hides in the back seat when what he thought was a drive to the park ends up being at the vet clinic instead.
Not only, is there a build-up of stress prior to the procedure but there is also the anxiety of being separated from you and the procedure itself places stress on your dog’s body. The body is trying to cope with the incision and having its organ removed.
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.
I have the urge to use the toilet as well whenever I feel stressed about something.
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. The anesthetic can even cause a cat’s eye to abnormally dilate for a few days.
Is Bloody Diarrhea A Normal Symptom After Neutering?
I wouldn’t exactly say that a dog having bloody diarrhea after neutering is a common occurrence but it can happen given the circumstances.
One thing that I would do is to take a good look at your dog’s unformed or liquid stool and take note of a few things:
- How bloody is the stool?
- Is there poo in your dog’s stool or just mucous?
If you do notice a little bright red blood or dark red streaks in your dog’s poop, it can be expected after such a stressful experience. Another thing that you want to look out for is the presence of mucous in your dog’s stool.
Some mucous in the stool acts as a lubricant when the dog poos. But too much of it could mean that your dog’s intestines have been infected or impacted in some way. The blood in the stool also means inflammation in the colon.
The bottom line is that if the dog’s stool looks really red, mucousy and devoid of poop, you need to give your vet a call and sound it out. Your dog could be having a severe reaction to the anesthetic or painkillers (Rimadyl, Deramax, Meloxicam, etc).
The bloody diarrhea could also be due to a possible infection that your dog might be having after the surgery.
Here are some other medical issues that can cause your dog to have bloody loose stools.
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 are dewormer tablets which the vet will prescribe.
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.
What Are Signs Of Infection After Neutering Dog?
The vet might give you a cleaning solution to clean your dog’s incision to prevent any viral and bacterial diseases from causing an infection.
As you clean the surgical site, be on the lookout for the following:
- Fresh blood
- Bad smell
- Redness or bruising that doesn’t subside
Keep an eye on your dog for the following signs:
- Non-improving appetite
- Dog in pain for more than a few days
- Feeling tired all the time
All the above signs could mean that your dog is having an infection at its surgical site or somewhere within the body.
Infections can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
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.
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.
Next, stop feeding your dog anything that might aggravate its digestive system. Stop feeding food and treats that are high in fat and sugar.
If your dog is on a raw meat diet, it would be good to boil the meat and mix it with some rice for the time being. You can revert back to your dog’s normal diet when its stool looks more normal.
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.