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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21418
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My Labrador was speyed on Thursday afternoon and now

Resolved Question:

My Labrador bitch was speyed on Thursday afternoon and now has very bad diarrhoea and vomiting. I can hear her insides churning. Should I call the vet now or wait till morning?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:

What does her diarrhea and vomiting look like?

Can she keep water down?


Are her gums nice and pink (not white/pale)? Moist or sticky?


If you press on her belly, does she have any tensing, tenderness, discomfort, or pain?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes she has had a drink this morning and hasn't thrown up.
Her gums are whiter than normal and a bit dry.
No tenderness to her tummy when lying down
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Julia,

Now if she is keeping water down, then we can try some supportive care for her GI signs. Still, if you think her gums are white instead of rosy pink like they should be (or ours are), then we need to consider a check with her vet (or a post operative check with the nurse, as this is usually included in the cost of spaying and would be a good option for peace of mind) as that can be a sign of ongoing blood loss post surgery. It obviously wouldn't cause the GI signs we are seeing but is a concern on its own.

Otherwise, in regards ***** ***** these signs of GI upset, we can start some supportive care. To start, since she has had vomiting, you can consider treating her with an antacid to settle her stomach. There are a number of antacids that are available over the counter and pet friendly. Examples you can use here with Diva would be Zantac (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/ranitidine-hcl-zantac) or Milk of Magnesia (1tsp every 8 hours). These are usually given 20 minutes before offering food (to allow absorption) and of course you want to double check with your vet if your wee one has a pre-existing condition or is on any medications you haven't mentioned.

Once that has had time to absorb, you can consider tempting her on a light/easily digestible diet. If you do so, start with a small volume (a spoonful) to start. Examples would be cooked white rice with boiled chicken, boiled white fish, or scrambled eggs (made with water and not milk). There are also veterinary prescription diets that can be used in cases of gastroenteritis (ie Hill’s I/D or Royal Canin’s sensitivity). When you offer that spoonful, give her 30 minutes to settle. If she keeps the food down, you can give a bit more and so on. As her tummy stabilizes, you can offer more. The aim of the easily digestible diet is that it will be better tolerated and absorbed by the compromised gut. Therefore, it should get more nutrients in and result in less GI upset. Also by feeding this in small frequent meals, it will reduce the stress on the gut and reduce diarrhea as well. As long as improvement is being seen, I usually advise that the diet be continued until the GI upset is settled, and that they are then slowly weaned back to their normal diet over a week.

Since all of Diva's signs are going to risk dehydration developing, we need to keep an eye on her hydration. To check her hydration status to make sure they are not becoming dehydrated there are a few things we can test. One is whether the eyes appear sunken, if the gums are tacky instead of wet/moist, and whether she has a "skin tent" when you lift the skin. To see how to check these parameters for dehydration, you can find a wee video on this HERE (http://www.ehow.com/video_12232503_dog-dehydrated.html). If you are seeing any signs of dehydration already, then you do want to have her seen by the vet before this becomes an additional issue for her . (since it is often the dehydration that starts to tap their energy level, depresses them, and makes them feel weak and ill).

Furthermore, there are some anti-diarrheals that can be used in dogs to slow her diarrhea. As I am sure you appreciate, these would not be a cure if this has been caused by an infection, but would slow the diarrhea to aid the body potentially absorb more water/nutrients then it would have if the diarrhea were unchecked. Furthermore, these treatments will coat the GI and could just settle the GI upset. In regards ***** ***** options for your wee one, the one we most commonly use in dogs is Kaolin/Kaopectate (More Info/Dose HERE) available from your local pharmacy. Furthermore, Propectalin, Canikur, Fast Balance or Protexin Pro-Fiber (which is available OTC at vets, pet stores, and even online) would be another option. All will slow diarrhea and the last few have the bonus of providing support to the delicate good bacteria of the GI.

Overall, it is not uncommon to see opportunistic infectious agents cause GI upset in dogs that have just had surgery. Therefore, we'd want to consider supportive care to settle her stomach at this stage. That said, we need to keep an eye on her gum color. If it is much more pale then usual, then we'd want to consider getting her vet involved now. They will be able to assess her paleness and make sure there is no surgical complication here. As well, at the same time they can assess her GI signs and dispense antibiotics +/- start her on anti-vomiting medication by injection to settle this all for her.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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