How to Care for a Spayed Dog That's Vomiting & Has Diarrhea

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You need to pay attention to your sick dog.
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Having your dog spayed is not only the responsible thing to do, it can also keep her healthier in the long run by reducing her risk of contracting certain cancers. While most spays go off without a hitch, occasionally, a dog may become ill during the recovery process. Some common ailments that dogs can experience after a spay include vomiting and diarrhea. There are a number of reasons why a dog might become ill during the post-op phase, and all will require attention and care to keep matters from getting worse.


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Dogs get sick after spays?

A spay is a fairly quick outpatient procedure, but it is, nevertheless, a surgery, and dogs, like people, can experience a variety of reactions to it. If your dog is vomiting after a spay, for example, it could be due to nausea from the anesthetics she was given, which usually wear off in a day, but can sometimes linger a bit longer. Post-op antibiotics and painkillers can also lead to nausea in some cases. A dog throwing up a week after being spayed, however, could indicate a more serious medical issue, like a bacterial infection, either internally, as a result of the surgery, or at the site of the incision.


Caring for a sick dog

To care for a dog who is vomiting after a spay, the Spay Neuter Network recommends limiting the amount of food and water she has access to, so she'll simply have less in her stomach to throw up. You can offer her some ice cubes if she seems thirsty, and you should increase her food intake slowly over the next few days. Some vomiting after a spay is normal, but if it continues for more than 24 hours you should contact your veterinarian, especially if vomiting is joined by lethargy, or diarrhea.


If your dog has diarrhea after a spay you can try adding bland ingredients to her food, like white rice or a bit of oatmeal. Like vomiting, diarrhea can be the sign of complications, so if these symptoms persist for more than a day, contact your veterinarian, who may suggest prescription food or medication. Alternatively, if your dog has not had a bowel movement several days after surgery, you can try adding wet food to her diet, and make sure she has plenty of water to drink.


Keeping your dog healthy

To see the best results from a spay procedure, your dog will be examined by the veterinarian to be sure that she is healthy enough to undergo the surgery and all that comes with it, like anesthesia, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. After the procedure, it's recommended that you keep your dog calm and mostly indoors for the first few days, limiting her access to rigorous exercise, which can include something as simple as jumping on and off the couch, for some pets. Excessive licking of the surgical site should be discouraged, and is often done so with the help of an Elizabethan collar. Finally, don't bathe your dog for at least a week after her surgery, and check her incision a couple of times a day to make sure there is not bleeding or signs of infection.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.