Can Anesthesia Cause Upset Stomach in Dogs?

Anesthesia is used during dog surgeries to put them under, reduce the stress and pain, and keep them still during the surgery. While most surgeries are routine and cause few side effects, it is possible for your pooch to suffer from the side effects of the anesthesia. Gastrointestinal upset is one of the most common effects of anesthesia and may cause your pooch to act out of sorts.

Pre- and Post-Surgery Routine

Fast your pup according to your vet's recommendation prior to surgery. This reduces the risk of your pet vomiting while being under anesthesia, which can cause serious problems. When she is home from surgery, don't feed or give water to your pooch for four to eight hours after you bring her home or as your vet advises; too much water or food can cause issues. Slowly build his food amount up the next day. Don't be alarmed if your pup doesn't have a bowel movement for a few days after surgery. If your pooch doesn't have a bowel movement by the fifth day, contact your vet.

What to Expect

Your pup may experience vomiting, regurgitating or constipation. Vomiting involves retching; regurgitating involves simply opening his mouth with food or water coming out. Vomiting normally will pass within 24 to 48 hours after anesthesia. Regurgitation often happens because your pooch drinks too much water too quickly when she gets home from the hospital. Don't be too alarmed at either, especially regurgitation, unless your pooch is vomiting excessively. If you have any concerns, contact your vet.

By Jasey Kelly


Kimberly Crest Veterinary Hospital: Frequently Asked Questions - Post-Surgery
Humane Society of Tampa Bay Animal Health Center: General Post-Operative Instructions

About the Author
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.