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Dr. Joey
Dr. Joey, Board Certified
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4723
Experience:  15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
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My 4 year old cockerpoo is unwell 4 weeks after being spayed.

Resolved Question:

My 4 year old cockerpoo is unwell 4 weeks after being spayed. The operation was uneventful but she did have quite extensive bruising come out over her abdomen and thighs in the days after surgery which suggested to me that there had been some bleeding post op. There had been no bleeding problems during the op . The vet reviewed and was more concerned that she might have a coagulopathy secondary to lungworm- not test done but I treated her in case.
All well until 4 weeks after the op. 5 days ago developed what I interpret as abdo pain- looks uncomfy, shaking back legs, doesn't want to sit down, moving around very hesitantly, won't jump up as she normally does. Episodes of panting and tachycardia (>120). Apparently a normal temp on the 2 occasions I have taken her to the vet (38.8 and 39). I'm told a slightly low PCV 5 days ago (35%) but better yesterday (43%).She looked pretty bad for 2 days and then got much better- not quite her normal self but back to walks and smiling. Then suddenly worse again yesterday- again very tachy and panting. She is eating (but without her normal enthusiasm when she is worse).
Vet not sure what is going on.
My concern is that this is all related to the spaying and that she may have a pelvic collection and that an USS may help with diagnosis/excluding this. I have tried to discuss this with my vet but he is adamant that it cannot be the op (too long ago) and that this sort of thing doesn't happen with animals. He has sent a full set of bloods.
Any ideas? I'd be very grateful of any suggestions to help my little girl get better.
alison
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.
Dr. Joey :

Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.

Dr. Joey :

This may or may not be related to the surgery. Certainly it is the largest event associated with the abdomen within the past few weeks. With regards ***** ***** possible post-op complication I would be worried about infection (uterine stump, abdominal) or retained object after surgery (rare but is possible to leave a sponge or something in the abdomen). This is too far after surgery to worry about bleeding, although I did have one dog with hemophilia that bled for 3 weeks postop in a slow manner that we finally identified but she had signs of progressive weakness (no abdominal pain).

Unrelated to surgery with this level of pain we must consider pancreatitis at the top of our list. Other possibilities might include ingestion of unusual item that is trapped in the digestive tract or making its way through, back pain (intervertebral disk disease or discospondylitis), and the list continues.

Dr. Joey :

Very appropriate steps to do next would be lab work (CBC, chemistry profile with electrolytes, urinalysis) to start which will help screen the pancreas, look for systemic infection, rule out a liver/kidney issue or profound urinary tract infection. AFter this I would do an xray to make sure there is no obvious foreign object in the abdomen or other obvious issue like fluid. After this abdominal ultrasound is indicated to look at the uterine stump and other areas as best possible associated with surgery.

Dr. Joey :

I am quite worried about her. The tachycardia and increased panting might suggest pain. If your vet is unwilling to offer all of this testing then I would definitely seek out a second opinion or get a referral to see an internal medicine specialist to evaluate her.

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Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 3 years ago.

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