Do dogs get diarrhea after being neutered or spayed?

Spaying and neutering are common surgical procedures. They prevent your dog from unwanted pregnancies, and can eliminate certain sexual-related behavior issues as well. However, there are some potential negative effects of spaying or neutering, including diarrhea. 

Do dogs get diarrhea after being neutered or spayed?

It’s common for dogs to get diarrhea after these surgical procedures. This can occur for a few reasons. 


Anesthesia can cause diarrhea, particularly within the first 24 hours after the procedure. When your dog is put under anesthesia, drugs are used to sedate them. They are unconscious for the procedure, so they don’t feel any pain from the surgery. 

However, the medications used during anesthesia can cause diarrhea and nausea. It can also affect your dog’s metabolism, which can also cause stomach upset. 

Pain Medication

Before your dog leaves the vet, they will be given a shot of long-acting pain medication. You may also receive a prescription for pain medication to give your dog at home. This is an important step in controlling post-operative pain, but it also carries a risk of side effects. 

NSAIDS are a common class of pain medications. These are anti-inflammatory drugs. Human anti-inflammatory drugs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam. Dog NSAIDs include carprofen and meloxicam. These medications can cause stomach upset, including diarrhea. 

Opiods are sometimes prescribed as well. The shot given to your pooch before they are sent home will likely be an opiod. Your vet may also prescribe opiods for pain control. Diarrhea isn’t common with opioids. Opiods can cause constipation and vomitting. 


Stress can also cause post-surgical diarrhea. Spaying or neutering is a stressful procedure for your pet. If you’ve ever had a surgical procedure, you probably experienced some anxiety and stress. You had the advantage of understanding what was happening. Your dog, on the other hand, doesn’t have an understanding of what has happened to their body. It isn’t likely to send them into an existential crisis, but it is stressful. 

They are taken from home and put to sleep. They wake up with an incision on their body. They are sore and not allowed to go about their daily activities. They may be required to wear an e-collar. All these issues can be upsetting for your dog, causing stress-induced diarrhea. 

How long does diarrhea last after neutering or spaying a dog?

How long diarrhea lasts after spaying or neutering will largely depend on the cause of the diarrhea. It’s possible that there are multiple contributing factors, including stress and anesthesia or pain medication. 

Anesthesia induced diarrhea should subside within 24 hours. If it’s caused by the medication, it can last for up to a week, or until the medication is discontinued. Stress-related diarrhea usually stops within a week. 

If your pooch is still experiencing diarrhea after 5-7 days, you’ll need to see the vet. There could be an underlying medical issue behind the diarrhea. 

What to do if my dog has diarrhea after being spayed or neutered?

It’s concerning any time your dog doesn’t feel well, but it’s particularly worrying when your pooch has diarrhea after surgery. The good news is that it usually clears on its own. In the meantime, there are things you can do to help calm their tummy. 

Bland Diet

You may have had a doctor recommend the BRAT diet when you or a loved one had gastrointestinal upset. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. It’s often known as a bland diet as well. 

A bland diet will include only food that is easily digestible and low in fat. This allows the digestive system to take a break. Soluble fiber can also help ease diarrhea by firming stool. A bland diet reduces intestinal constriction, which often results in painful cramping. 

A bland diet usually has one protein source and a simple carbohydrate. Meat is typically boiled, to avoid adding extra fat to the meal. Ground meat can be pan fried, but the extra grease must be removed before serving. 

Boiled chicken is often the bland diet staple. Ground turkey is another option. If you choose to pan fry ground beef, strain all the grease and rinse it with water to remove more of the fat before serving. Large pieces of chicken or turkey should be chopped into bite-sized pieces. 

To change it up, you can add boiled or unseasoned scrambled eggs as a protein source. Cottage cheese can also be used, but it shouldn’t be used for every meal. The carbohydrates can be rice, plain pasta, or oatmeal. Cook as directed, and serve plain. 

Sweet potato can also be used as a carbohydrate or addition to the meal. It can help soothe digestive upset and firm loose stool in small amounts. Larger amounts, more than a few tablespoons, may cause or worsen diarrhea. 

You can boil or bake pumpkin from scratch, or use canned pumpkin. If using canned pumpkin, be sure that it is plain pumpkin, and not pumpkin pie filling. 

You’ll want to combine 2 parts carbohydrate with one part protein. This should make up 75% of your pet’s meal. The remaining 25% should be dog food. After a few days, you can switch to 50% bland food and 50% dog food. If your pooch tolerates this, reduce the bland food to 25% a few days later, and then transition to only dog food. 

Over the Counter Medications

There are a few over the counter medications your dog can take for diarrhea. The most effective is Imodium. A dog can be given 1 mg Immodium for each 20 pounds of body weight. A standard Immodium pill has a dosage of 2mg. Pills can be cut into halfs or quarters, but gel caps cannot. You can also purchase liquid Immodium. 

Pepto Bismol is another tried and true remedy for your pooch’s stomach upset. It coats the stomach and can calm inflammation. It can help with both diarrhea and vomiting. You can give your dog 1 teaspoon, or 5 ml, for each 10 pounds of body weight. Do not give more than 2 tablespoons per dose. 

Lastly, famotide, or Pepcid, can help ease tummy troubles. Famotide is an antacid taken by many humans. If excess acid is contributing to your dog’s diarrhea, famotide can help. You’ll need to give your dog .25 to .5 mg per pound of body weight.

What are the side effects of neutering or spaying dogs?

There are several side effects of spaying and neutering your dog. Some of these occur immediately after surgery or the recovery period, while some can occur after your dog begins to recover. 

Many owners feel that spay or neuter is the right choice for them, but it is important to be aware of the potential side effects and risks. 

Immediate Side Effects 

The most common problem is nausea, which can be accompanied by diarrhea due to the anesthesia. Your dog may vomit once or twice and lose their appetite for up to 12-24 hours. After that, they should be relatively back to normal. 

Trembling is also common. Anesthesia causes your dog’s temperature to drop. Shivering or trembling should resolve within 24 hours after surgery. 

Pain and soreness can be expected in the first days after the surgery. It is a routine procedure, but it’s still a surgery. If your dog is in lots of discomfort, contact your vet. In most cases, the medications prescribed by the vet can help you control your dog’s pain in the early days of recovery. 

Long-Term Behavioral and Physical  Effects 

Multiple studies have revealed that spay or neuter can have negative behavioral effects. This is because they significantly change the hormones in your dog’s body, which plays an essential role in mood.

Increased fear and aggression are the most commonly noted side effects. They are also more likely to have behavioral issues and are more difficult to train than intact dogs. 

Spaying or neutering, particularly before sexual maturity, also increases the risk of certain diseases. When the hormones are deleted from your dog’s body, negative effects can occur. Incontinence and orthopedic disorders are the most common physical issues caused by the procedures. The sex hormones also play a role in growth and organ function.

Timing Consideration 

There are undisputed benefits to getting your dog spayed or neutered, including not having to worry about puppies or roaming behaviors. Recent research has revealed that when you take your dog in for the procedure plays a huge role in their risk of negative side effects. 

Dogs neutered before 18 months to 2 years of age face a higher risk of negative effects. The younger the dog at the time of surgery, the greater the odds of negative behavioral and physical side effects.

Why is my dog pooping in the house after being neutered or spayed?

It can seem like your pooch is punishing you. They were perfectly house trained, but they began having accidents after their surgery. It’s unlikely that your dog is pooping in the house out of spite. Instead, there’s likely a physical cause. 


Diarrhea can be defined as pooping more often, or having loose watery stools. In most cases, loose stools cause your pooch to poop more often. It’s also common for them to not be able to control their poop when they have diarrhea. 

You have probably had diarrhea at some time in your life. You may have sprinted to the bathroom, or even had an accident. It’s extremely difficult to make it to the bathroom in time with the urgency diarrhea causes. 

If it’s only been a few days after surgery, or you notice your dog’s stools are watery and loose, this is likely the cause of their accidents. 

Pressure on the Bowels

Surgery causes swelling. This is true for both humans and dogs. Swelling should be expected as part of the healing process, and isn’t a cause for concern. However, the swelling can cause pressure in the bowels and bladder. There’s not as much room, so it’s harder to control their pee and poop. This should subside within 7-14 days after the surgery. 

Hormonal Changes

Spaying or neutering drastically changes your dog’s hormone levels very quickly. Spaying causes estrogen and progesterone to drop. Neutering a male dog causes a sudden drop in testosterone. These hormones are produced in small amounts in other areas of the body, but the ovaries and testes are the main organs that produce sex hormones. 

The drop in sex hormones can cause incontinence and other bathroom issues, including pooping in the house. These hormonal changes can also cause behavioral issues, particularly if your dog underwent the surgery before sexual maturity. 

If this is the case, you’ll notice changes to their personality along with house training problems. They may act out in other ways, like chewing inappropriate items, become anxious or fearful, or even aggressive. 

Can dogs get sick after being neutered or spayed?

Yes, your dog can get sick after spaying or neutering. In most cases, this is simply a side effect of the procedure as mentioned earlier. However, there are some signs that they are ill and need veterinary attention post surgery. It is possible for a dog to get sick after spaying or neutering.

Post Operative Infections

Post-operative infections are the most common serious complication after spay or neuter surgery. They are rare, but it’s important to know the potential signs and symptoms. 

Fever, swelling at the incision site, and lethargy are the most common signs something is wrong. Vomitting or diarrhea that persists for several days or becomes severe is another warning sign. 

You can expect your pet to need a few days to recooperate after surgery. However, they should not be very lethargic or disoriented more than 24 hours after their procedure. If your dog appears unwell, contact your vet. 




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