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Hey everyone! I know it's been awhile since I've posted here, but I could really use some advice/reassurance.

My Miniature Poodle puppy Lillie just turned 6 months on Oct 11 (yay!) and I got her spayed on Oct 16. The first night after her spay she was pretty dopey and groggy, which is pretty standard.

The second day (17th) she was almost like her old self, you could hardly tell she'd had surgery. She was eating well and even went for a couple of 15min walks (we usually do 30mins 2x per day).

Then day 3 (18th), she was completely lifeless. She literally just slept all day, barely got off the couch and looked super stiff when she did. She also had diarrhea and vomited in the morning. I took her to the vet yesterday afternoon, who checked her out, felt up her incision, and said that physically she looked fine. And of course Lillie perked up and was wagging her tail and walking around at the vet clinic because she loves everyone there, so she didn't seem sick at all. She did yelp a couple of times while she was walking around though. The vet told us she thought we might have just overdone it the day before, and to just let her do nothing for a couple of days. She also gave us 7 days of FortaFlora for the diarrhea. Lillie didn't want to eat her kibble yesterday, but still happily ate wet dog food which has always been a favourite of hers.

Now today (19th), she had a bit of blood in her diarrhea. I called the vet again and the tech told me that sometimes that happens if they've had diarrhea for awhile and not to worry unless it gets worse or doesn't go away by Monday or if she develops pale gums. But still today all she really wants to do is sleep on the couch, she can get up and walk outside when she has to potty, but it's slow and stiff. And worst of all, she won't eat wet dog food now. I mixed her pain medication in with it like I did the last two days, and she barely ate a quarter of if before refusing it. So she hasn't even had any pain medication today and I don't know what to feed her. I gave her some shredded cheese and she still likes that which is good because cheese is her all time favourite. :curl-lip:

I'm just super worried. She's usually such a happy, energetic puppy and I've never spayed a dog and don't know what's normal. Any advice or even just some reassurance would be greatly appreciated because I'm driving everyone I know crazy rn.

Thanks!
 

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I would bring her in to the vet again; one of my dogs was the same and needed a bit of extra vet attention after the spay. It's not a good sign to start to feel better then regress

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My dog Gracie actually reacted that way to pain medication. It took some trial and error to find one she could tolerate.

The yelping seems worrisome to me. Gracie didn't even yelp walking after her FHO. But if the vet wasn't concerned.....

Is the incision red, swollen, or warm? If not, she might just need some space to rest and heal. Poor girl ?
 

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Is her bloody diarrhea still happening? Is it bright red or dark, almost black? It could be a side effect of her anesthesia but the bloody part...hmmm, maybe since this major surgery is quite stressful.

I wouldn't take your dog for walks that soon after major surgery. Did the vet give you any clues? Yes, watch for pale gums. A suture could have come apart. I do hope she'll be okay.

If it were me, I'd try low fat cottage cheese and rice...equal parts for a few days if she's still having diarrhea. That's it. No treats, nothing else. Best wishes. Let us know how she does. If you don't think this vet is doing enough, you might get a 2nd opinion. Is she on anti-biotics?
 
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PeggyTheParti: Her incision has looked great since we brought her home, actually. I've been checking it a couple times a day, it's never been red or swollen or had anything oozing out of it, and when I had her at the vet yesterday she checked it out and said it looked great to her. And Lillie only yelped while walking around, not when the vet was feeling up her incision or palpating her tummy. :confused:

Poodlebeguiled: I only saw blood in it once this morning. I never saw any yesterday, and I was checking. It was just a bit, not like mixed throughout. It was a pretty bright red, I told the tech on the phone this morning it was like the colour of strawberry jam.

When I had picked her up from her surgery, the tech told me that if she seemed up for it she could go for a walk the next day, and she seemed fine the next day which is why I took her. In retrospect I should have just let her rest. :sad:

I was planning on running to the store later this afternoon to pick her up some cottage cheese anyways, so I will definitely try that! She isn't on any antibiotics, no. Just metacam (which she hasn't taken today) and Fortiflora.
 

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I can't believe your vet didn't tell you to rest her after MAJOR surgery. Those walks were too much. Not trying to make you feel guilty, just thinking that is the cause in the healing setback. She needs to be getting pain meds. What meds were you given? Hopefully liquid that you can syringe into her mouth. I would try feeding her plain boiled chicken/rice diet. If she does not improve by this evening, I would take her to the emergency vet. And do keep watch on her gums. Sending best wishes!!!
 

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The metacam was liquid, but like a dummy I mixed it in with her wet dog food already because that's what I did the last two days and she ate it no problem. Today is her last day of pain medication and she's refusing to eat the dog food, so I don't have any metacam left, and of course our vet closed at 1pm today. Should I call the emergency vet and ask if they'll give me one more dose of metacam for her today?
 

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Yes I would get one or two more doses of metacam. I am sorry Lillie is having a bad go of it but I think she will be fine.
 

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So, small update. A friend of mine stopped by to see Lillie. When he came in the door, she got up off the couch and came into the kitchen wagging her tail to greet him, and stood with us in the kitchen while we talked. She seemed a lot more subdued than she usually is when a friend comes over, but definitely still interested and happy to see him. She then came outside with us and had a pee and had her tail up the whole time she was outside, but just kind of stood out there and wouldn't come back in so I had to carry her. Then she drank some water and ate some more shredded cheese that I offered her. My mom is going to bring us some cottage cheese when she finishes work at 3 so I don't have to leave Lillie. We've just been hanging out on the couch all day, which actually works for me because I have two exams this week and have got some good studying done today!
 

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Not doing well after spay

I don’t have advice, but maybe I can reassure a little. Now neutering is nowhere as invasive as spaying, but I had my boy done at the same age. Just like Lillie the next day he seemed just fine. I didn’t think he’d do more than he could handle so when he started
Playing, I didn’t stop him. He played by himself, I didn’t want him to exert too much energy. For the next 3 days he deteriorated, had a low fever, didn’t eat
Kibble for two days but accepted human food. He was
On metacam too. The first day he didn’t have that he perked up a bit, he ate and had plenty of water. The next morning he was much better. He didn’t play much or get hardly any exercise but slept quite a lot. Finally on the 6th day after surgery he was fine. So I think Lillie will be too.

I’m a little surprised the vet didn’t give her an antibiotic shot and send her home with some. She could be in the early stages of an infection and it’s just not showing yet. Also, metacam makes then sleep! You can comfort her a bit with a warm compress (not hot). If she’s not better later this evening I agree she should be seen tonight. Look for vet offices that are 24 hour offices. I found quite a few here by googling for them. They usually don’t charge an emergency fee but a regular exam fee. And that’s a second opinion.

I’m sorry Lillie and you are going through this. Praying she will feel better soon. Please keep us posted.


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The reason she may have felt fine at first was she still had remnants of the anesthesia and pain meds in her system. Then that all cleared out and maybe that's why she felt lousy. The diarrhea and even that scanty bit of blood can be caused by the stress and trauma of it all. It sounds like she's going to be okay the way you describe her interest in your friend. Just keep her quiet for several days. The reason I think low fat cottage cheese and rice would be good is that it's very easily digested when you don't want her to strain trying to metabolize other things...just for a couple days. So that should help with the diarrhea too. I'm glad the incision looks good. I think she'll be okay. I don't know that I'd make an ER visit if you think she's feeling all right now. The pain meds may be what's causing the diarrhea. You don't want that to go on too much. Just be sure she drinks plenty of water. Perhaps when you sit next to her, you could put a warm (not too warm) heating pad on her tummy. But only when supervised. Keep us posted. I bet she'll be okay soon. :angel:
 

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So, small update. A friend of mine stopped by to see Lillie. When he came in the door, she got up off the couch and came into the kitchen wagging her tail to greet him, and stood with us in the kitchen while we talked. She seemed a lot more subdued than she usually is when a friend comes over, but definitely still interested and happy to see him. She then came outside with us and had a pee and had her tail up the whole time she was outside, but just kind of stood out there and wouldn't come back in so I had to carry her. Then she drank some water and ate some more shredded cheese that I offered her. My mom is going to bring us some cottage cheese when she finishes work at 3 so I don't have to leave Lillie. We've just been hanging out on the couch all day, which actually works for me because I have two exams this week and have got some good studying done today!
Just making sure she's not jumping off the couch! Hopefully you have pet steps.

And yes, I would get the metacam today if it were my dog. And I would not do the heating pad because I know too many little dogs who have gotten burned skin.

When you do get more metacam, try to give it to her directly by mouth; when it gets mixed with food she may not be getting the full dose.
 

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...I’m a little surprised the vet didn’t give her an antibiotic shot and send her home with some. She could be in the early stages of an infection and it’s just not showing yet...
This was the first thing I thought too. Unfortunately some vets will wait until there's a fever and the dog is clearly sick before giving these, rather than as a preventative after surgery.

Courtasaurus, try this:

1. Video record on your cell phone how Lilly is behaving at home to show the vet. I would be inclined to ask her to be placed on antibiotics to be on the safe side. Try not to get mad if the vet says no; he or she might be making a good call or not, time will tell.

2. The normal body temperature for dogs is between 101 and 102.5 F, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 F for humans. Take a rectal temp three times a day to determine if there's a fever. Record this for the vet.

3. Dehydration? If she hasn't been drinking much water, she may be dehydrated. Ask the vet to do a Subcutaneous Fluid Administration. I can best describe it as a sort of specific sterile water IV drip in the nape of the neck, under the skin.

It is painless, takes only a few minutes for the vet or tech to administer, and will feel squishy to the touch. Tell any family to resist the urge play with this pouch and not squeeze it after administration since the water can leak out at the site of injection. The water will gradually absorb into the dog over a period of 1 to 36 hours, depending on the level of dehydration. I can vouch for this as mine had it once and it was extremely helpful. You also don't have to worry about her not drinking enough water for the rest of the day (or two) while she recovers.

It's not expensive either, unless I suppose done at an ER Vet Hospital. Do not try this at home as fluids overload or improper needle placement can result in fatality.

4. Chicken broth can be offered to her. If she refuses, use a syringe and hand feed to her several times/day. You can also order puppy milk replacer from chewy.com or Amazon which will give her a lot of nutrients, along with giving her softer stools making more comfortable for her to eliminate post-surgery.

Best wishes.
 

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3. Dehydration? If she hasn't been drinking much water, she may be dehydrated. Ask the vet to do a Subcutaneous Fluid Administration. I can best describe it as a sort of specific sterile water IV drip in the nape of the neck, under the skin.

It is painless, takes only a few minutes for the vet or tech to administer, and will feel squishy to the touch. Tell any family to resist the urge play with this pouch and not squeeze it after administration since the water can leak out at the site of injection. The water will gradually absorb into the dog over a period of 1 to 36 hours, depending on the level of dehydration. I can vouch for this as mine had it once and it was extremely helpful. You also don't have to worry about her not drinking enough water for the rest of the day (or two) while she recovers.

It's not expensive either, unless I suppose done at an ER Vet Hospital. Do not try this at home as fluids overload or improper needle placement can result in fatality.
I would let my vet do his/her job. You can't just say, "Give my dog fluids." They are only needed if the dog is dehydrated. And I wouldn't say it's painless. Have you ever had a needle stuck in your neck for 15-30 min? And obvi, shouldn't be attempted at home :alberteinstein:
 

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Sorry Vita, my message came off as very a**holeish. I had just gotten back from the ER vet and was stressed, but I do apologize. You are always very quick to offer help to those who need it.
 

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... 3. Dehydration? If she hasn't been drinking much water, she may be dehydrated. Ask the vet to do a Subcutaneous Fluid Administration. I can best describe it as a sort of specific sterile water IV drip in the nape of the neck, under the skin.

It is painless, takes only a few minutes for the vet or tech to administer... Do not try this at home as fluids overload or improper needle placement can result in fatality...
I would let my vet do his/her job. You can't just say, "Give my dog fluids." They are only needed if the dog is dehydrated. And I wouldn't say it's painless. Have you ever had a needle stuck in your neck for 15-30 min? And obvi, shouldn't be attempted at home :alberteinstein:
MF, how are you doing today?

Please notice that I used the word "If..." as in If she hasn't been drinking much water. It's an area that's easy to overlook for some members (or parents) when dealing with a sick dog going thru pain and poor appetite, ideally to be brought to the vet's attention.

There is no harm in being an advocate and suggesting certain protocols to a doctor, whether it's a pediatrician or a vet. The very time I didn't cost me and Bella a great deal, and the times I did my suggestion was accepted or the vet took a moment to explain why something wasn't necessary, which all good human and animal doctors expect to happen and do.

If you take a few minutes to google Subcutaneous Fluid Administration, you'll see that some vets recommend doing this at home fluid therapy by the owner for dogs with kidney disease or chronic renal failure. (link).

To err on the side of caution here, I tagged that line "do not try at home" taken from the link in my last post just in case a member now or in the future wants to try this at home and it isn't obvious that they'd best wait for their vet's green light and instructions.

I have watched the procedure and it appears simple enough. Probably b/c dogs have loser skin at the nape of their neck than humans do, and it garnered no pain response from my dog, nor did it take it take more than a few minutes. Perhaps if she had been a very large dog instead of a toy the IV drip would have taken longer.
 
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