Bad reaction to neutering

HELP (and sorry in advance for the long post)

Harry was neutered yesterday. This was our first boy dog so I didn't know what to expect. The vet had told us he would come home that same day because it was a less invasive procedure than being spayed. Between that and Mopsy sleeping all day when we brought her home on day two, I figured it would be okay to do it on a Monday. That way Harry wouldn't miss out on weekend time with us.

Anyway, since I picked him up from the vet he does not want to walk. When he starts to walk he ends up taking these real quick steps then sits down real fast like he doesn't want to move at all because he is in pain. He was crying when he was just lying on the floor so we figured he was having discomfort. So Tim went back to the vet and picked up pain medication (one tablet every 24 hours) and we got him a cone for his head to keep him from licking his incisions. I was gone last night but Tim got him to go out and do his business around 7:00 and he ate and drank. He laid around most of the evening but when he was up and tried to walk he would do that crazy walk/sit thing. But none of us could get him to go to the bathroom again. He slept through the night - although - not as sound as usual which was to be expected.

The problem is that when we got up this morning he still would not go to the bathroom and was goofy about walking around the house and outside. Wanted to run from discomfort but then quickly sitting to ease the pain. I worked a half day to come home and check on him. He jumped on me (business as usual) and tail wagged but then he started his crazy running-quick sit again. Like a dog with something tied onto its tail that it is trying to get rid of. The animal hospital called to check on him and when I told them about the run-sit they said to come in to get some sedatives to calm him down so he wouldn't irritate his incision and cause himself more problems.

I had to lock him up long enough to go get the meds (1/2 tablet every 8 hours) and when I came back 15 minutes later he was really going nuts - getting silly, rubbing his head along the couch and doing the run-sit. Typical sheepie stuff but like he wanted to get out of his skin. Forty minutes later after taking the pill he finally laid down. He slept on and off for about 3 hours but since then it has been the restless run-sit.

Still no luck with going to the bathroom even though we have tried about four times since last night. I gave him his pain pill at 6:15 but then I had to call the after hours number at the vet to see if I could give him his sedative early because he was miserable. The vet said don't up the dosage but give it to him a little more frequently. He seems to be resting peacefully now - on the couch I may add, which he is not normally allowed on.

The vet told us to bring him in in the morning if he does not sleep peacefully tonight and he may have to give him a steroid shot for the itching.

I have never had a boy dog before - but I had told several people that he was being neutered and no one mentioned anything other than they sleep a lot the first day or two then good luck keeping them inactive. That was how Mopsy was after being spayed. When I asked some friends and co-workers today if they had a reaction like this they said no.

I feel so bad because he is the sweetest thing and I want to ease his dicomfort. I just wanted to know if anyone else has had anything like this. Your input would be appreciated - his nervousness is making me nuts too.
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Something sounds pretty funky.
The run/sit thing could be a normal reaction to the incision site and the sutures. It shouldn't be that pronounced though. Definitely check the area for swelling as that seems the most likely and normal problem. If the area around the stitches is pulled super tight or the area is extremely swollen I would have him seen sooner rather than later. Also check for hot or inflamed areas around the sutures which would be infection markers. Don't forget about weird drainage from the incision, actually any drainage from there would be weird.

The 2 most worrisome things are that he hasn't gone to the bathroom yet and the itching/nervousness.

Any surgery where the patient doesn't go to the bathroom shortly afterwards is problematic. Definitely have the vet see him for that. Also monitor his fluid and food intake and take those notes with you to the vet. He may just be being a typical sheepdog and his bowels might be off kilter but if he's not peeing, big no no.
The itching and nervousness sound like he's having an allergic type reaction to the anesthesia. It's been long enough that you shouldn't have to worry about breathing problems associated with it but anesthesia takes a long time to work it's way out of the system so definitely make the vet aware of these symptoms and have it noted in his chart in case he has to have surgery sometime down the road. I know that in people you would choose a different anesthetic based on those symptoms.

Overall I'd say he does need to be seen by the vet because something isn't right probably in the morning if you and the vet can swing it. Unless his symptoms change to where he has difficulty breathing or hives, large amounts of swelling at the incision site (to the point where the skin is very taught) or he starts bleeding internally or externally (check his gums if they are pale there's a problem, you can also check and see if his belly is hard or there's bruising around his belly button, signs of internal bleeding) then he could wait until morning.

Neuterings usually go very smoothly because it's a much less invase procedure than spaying, also why it's cheaper! Definitely insist the vet take another look at him. He might see something that needs to be taken care of. As long as you guys can get some sleep tonight it could probably be taken care of during regular office hours.
Sounds like a stitch is too tight/in the wrong spot. It does happen occasionally, I'd have the vet take a closer look and perhaps snip one stitch or replace it.
He did urinate and poop at 7:00 last night. My husband said quite a bit on the peeing and I saw the poop today - it looked great. He is sleeping soundly right now due to the pain pill and sedative. His incision looks normal - no swelling and no oozing.
Have a good look at the stiches and just see where it goes into the skin any angry looking slightly swollen red mark there. If so then one or more of the stiches are pulling/too tight and making him uncomfortable. That may require going back to the vet as stacey said maybe to have the tight one snipped.

By what you have described with his walking, sitting and whimpering it really does sound like a problem with a tight stich & that does happen quite easily with any surgery as there is always a little bit of swelling that comes up within a few hours of surgery. I had that with Kels underneath when she was spayed, she was doing exactly the same walk 8O Had to go back 3 days later and have that annoying stich snipped then she walked normally again. :roll:

Hugs for Harry too :D
Poor little guy! :( He doesn't understand what's going on, just knows he's pretty miserable. Doesn't it just tear at your heartstrings when our pups hurt? Give Harry a big hug from me and a big kiss from Drez. :hearts: Hope he feels better soon.
Poor Harry. Sounds as if he had the unfortunate incident of having a bad reaction to the neutering. Making your mom and dad worry so for letting them have that happen to you. I hope all goes well at the vets tomorrow.

I agree the sit thing is unusal behavior as most are just sleepy for the first 24 hours and bounce back to their usual selves shorty after. The one thing to watch for is swelling, temperature and fever but sounds as if he's normal in that regards.

I've gone through the procedure with over 30 pets and haven't had any that did the sit stuff like you described. I wanted to mention that lack of urination after the operation isn't that unusal (only at first however) as they have not have had fluids prior to the surgery for at least 8 hours. Picking them up they are usually groggy and may not have had interest in drinking which would again be why no urination. After they become alert however and have drunk their water , then is the time to be concerned.

Gentle hugs to Harry from me.

Poor Harry! I'm glad he finally went to the bathroom though. It's so sad when they don't know what's going on.
I just got Lily spayed finally on monday as well and she does the run sit thing too. She also has clipper burn which is irritating her more than her incision.
With HArry though, .... did they do an open castration or closed.... what I mean with that is did they make an incision into the scrotum or did they make an incision next to his penis...... the closed ones go much easier and are way less irritating to the dogs, it also hurts less...... Good that you got the pain meds... did they give you torbutrol to go home or something else? I suggest lots of pain meds but a steroid shot???? Lily is itchy due to the clipper burn but I just just soem cortaid spray and that helps for a while.... good luck. Hope he gets better soon.
As a follow up to my earlier post - after talking to the vet he got another half of a sedative at 8:00. That seemed to do the trick - he has not needed another sedative at all and I guess whatever was "pulling" or "itching" isn't bothering him anymore because he is walking normal most of the time now. I am taking him in this afternoon just to view the incision after all the "wild behaviour" Thanks to all for your input.
Good news :) It's so hard when they can't tell you whats going on :(
My dog just went through the same thing. I took him in..yea right never bellieve its just a simple procedure. Anyway they told me to come pick him up.. when i got there the doctor came out and told me he would have to stay the night that he was bleeding a little bit and that she wanted to go back in and redo. Redo what???? I asked to see him and they brought him out and wow. How abusive could I of been to put my dog through that. His so called Scrotum sacs were humoungous. They said it was normal due to the bleeding. I had to leave him over night and let her do the operation again. I mean after all dont you trust your vet? Long story short..He as of today came home but I couldnt take him doing the sitting and walking thing as your dog did so I took him back for them to care for him until he can come home. What went wrong? I have no idea. BUT i was NEVER told that there was or could be complications on such a minor surgery. ALWAYS..ALWAYS..ask the risk no matter what. And unless its positively necessary, don't put your dog through that. After all would your husband do it for you?
Geez Harry; hope your feeling better this morning.

Yes Blondie, I hope your dog is feeling better soon.

We take Frank in Monday to have his neuter done & I was already feeling bad about it. Reading these posts are making me worry even more. I'm glad that my regular vet will be doing the surgery though so hopefully she will do a great job.

The recovery time on spay & neuters is a little longer when the dog is an adult too, just something to keep in mind if you are able to get it done when they are 6-12 months.
Blondie wrote:
ALWAYS..ALWAYS..ask the risk no matter what. And unless its positively necessary, don't put your dog through that. After all would your husband do it for you?

Most dogs do come through the surgery just fine. If you don't plan to breed or show your dog, it is much safer all around to have the procedure done. I understand that you may be a bit emotionally charged because of what happened with your dog but there are more positives than negatives that come out of desexing a dog in the longrun, both medically, behaviorally and other situations. For example, some dog day cares will not accept intact animals unless they are show animals or have other special circumstances.

I do hope your dog is comes through okay but also consider that the world would be a better place for animals in general if ALL pet owners spayed or neutered.
I'm so sorry that something went wrong. Fozzie was just neutered and he sailed right on through it as if nothing happened.
I am late to this thread--glad that Harry is doing better. I know you're keeping an eye on him, and are insisting that the vet keep an eye on him as well. If you don't feel comfortable with what the vet is telling you, you should feel free to see another vet .

Sherman did get red and swollen. The vet sent home pain meds with instructions to give 1 per day to prevent pain. We did need to use the cone to keep him from licking. The cone terrified him, so we really tried to use it only when he couldn't be directly supervised. One evening, I also ended up using a cold pack wrapped in a cloth on the groin area, with his head in my lap. He was much better the next day, but he probably would have been in any case.

It is always upsetting when the unexpected difficult or bad event happens, especially to your dog.

So, I'm hoping both dogs and their families are all doing much better now.
Just an update on my dog that went in for neutering. After taking him to the vet and thinking he would heal faster there, with communication to the dr. everyday about his prognosis, he tells me everyday that it is just a time game for the swellling to go down. This is now 6 days after the neutering. Upon calling him today I asked how he was doing and he said hes eating and drinking fine. Now although he didnt seem to think of any concern, he said that my dog had a little discharge from the incision. I wanted to go see him but the doctor told me that they were about to put warm compresses on him and he wanted to keep him calm, so as hard as it was I guess I have to wait for tommorrow. This is really making nervous and my heart goes out to my precious dog every minute. Let it be known that this vet is a long time doctor of ours so I put every bit of trust in him and his associates with my animals. Thanks for the concern of those who have read this. I hope next time I have good news.
Could it be an allergic reaction to the stitches themselves? I've heard of that happening, not often, but it does happen.

I'm sure your vet has thought of all these things, but it's not normal to have discharge and swelling six days later. Have they started him on antibiotic? Checked to see if there are stitches in the wrong place, or too tight? Could the swelling be some sort of hernia?

I hope he gets better soon! Poor baby :(
Blondie wrote:
This is really making nervous and my heart goes out to my precious dog every minute. Let it be known that this vet is a long time doctor of ours so I put every bit of trust in him and his associates with my animals. Thanks for the concern of those who have read this. I hope next time I have good news.

Don't worry too much, I know it looks terrible but it'll get better. It's been so long now, I forgot that we had almost the same thing happen with a boy we rescued a year or so ago (we rehomed him so he isn't fresh in my mind anymore!). He had a hematoma and his scrotal sac swelled to the size of a softball. He came from a backwoods pound where he was neutered and never attended to by a vet again. When I went to pick him up, the attendant said nonchalantly, "I think something's wrong with his neuter." He turned and I saw the swelling and almost died. We put him in the car, drove the 5-6 hours home and took him right to the emergency vet. (I'll never forget that poor boy never sat down but he was so happy, giving kisses and looking out the window)

Like your vet, he had us apply warm compresses and I think he may have given him an anti-inflammatory. His stitches looked bad at firast but as the swelling started to go down, and there wasn't so much pressure, everything looked much better. I believe it took almost 3 weeks for the swelling to go down to something that didn't look frightening but he came through with flying colors.

I know you'll have good news soon!
I had the same thing happen with a male dog that I fostered, too. His scrotum sack swelled to about the size of a grapefruit. Poor fellow. I felt terrible for him and we ended up at the emergency vet, too. Like ButtersStotch, I had to put warm compresses on it every few hours and he was on an anti-inflamatory drug for about 10 days. The swelling did go down and he was fine. Try not to worry too much. :?
Oh Blondie. I am sorry for your dog. When Harry was neutered back in March we had it done by our long time vet and I totally trust him too. But I felt bad just the same. Fortunately he was only uncomfortable for less than a day and a half. Like people there are sometimes complications with surgery. Don't be afraid to ask your vet with any concerns that continue to occur over these next few days. I hope he is better soon.
Frank who's almost 3 just got neutered yesterday. I actually have to keep a lead on him so he doesn't bound up & down the stairs. He seemed a little restless last night, but I am definitely pleased at how well for an older dog he's recovering. I think it's going to be difficult to keep him inactive the next week.
Poor Frank! 8O
Those were championship parts, VerveUP!

I hope all of these neutered boys are feeling better.

SLINK Slink slink slink
I'm late too. I hope all the boys are doing better.
I had my dog dozer done 2 weeks ago after such a so called simple operation he ended up staying at the vets for 5 days when i got him home his scrotum was still huge ,after 10 days his stitches came out but now the scotum is going a dark red colour wtih a bit of oozing he is still on antibiotics and goes back to the vet in 4 days I'll try the warm compress and see how he goes but it's a worry,
sam wrote:
I had my dog dozer done 2 weeks ago after such a so called simple operation he ended up staying at the vets for 5 days when i got him home his scrotum was still huge ,after 10 days his stitches came out but now the scotum is going a dark red colour wtih a bit of oozing he is still on antibiotics and goes back to the vet in 4 days I'll try the warm compress and see how he goes but it's a worry,

I don't think I would wait the whole 4 days to go back to the vet if you're still having oozing. Is he licking at the incision at all? What was the original diagnosis that made him stay at the vets for 5 extra days? Did he have a hematoma?
I'm glad he's doing better...

I had male dogs growing up, but neutering them wasn't something I was aware of as a kid. LOL In my adult years I've only had girls....
My first oes had no problems with her spay, thank goodness...
When the day comes that I do have a boy, it's good to know what to expect.
It seems to me there have been more problems with the boys incisions than the girls for our forum members. That is surprising since it is a much simpler procedure and smaller incision.
The age that the dog is neutered has a big impact. The younger the easier.

In rescue there are many mature dogs that are neutered and there usually is more swelling. We had one dog who was neutered at 6 years old and he swelled up like a grapefruit, and needed shots for pain for 3 days. He could hardly walk.

The dogs under 1 year tend to have minimal swelling. The vets all know this and should prepare anyone having a mature dog neutered.
I ended up taking 11 mnth old dozer to the vet the next morning he had blood clots and had to have another operation where they opened him up and flushed him out and inserted a drain tube, he's still at the vets I'm allowed to pick him up tomorrow he has been there for a week. The first time he had to stay there it was so they could monitor the swelling of his scrotum I could only take him home when the bleeding had stopped, their thinking was the blood would slowly be absorbed into his body,how wrong they were.
Hello- WE have some things in common, i JUST got our 7 month boxer neutered on Friday. He came back was ok, and three hours later we got him to the emergency vet. Turns out he has a Hematoma in his scrotom. Basically it had tripled in size and it is filled with blood. they told us this happens sometimes, and that its due to the little veins that are still bleeing. Still seems so odd for a very simple proceedure these days.. so simple he doenst need to stay the night.
they told us to Ice it. and continue the medication. also offerd a shot that would be higher in pain medicine. Here is my personal advice, and i am not a doctor- i think your dog is reacting to all of the medication they are pumping in him. Yes he is in pain, and he prob feels strange because there is something different. My suggestion, lay off the medication and try to put ice on the area. just keep him very calm and let him work it out. I think the first thing the vet does is offer pills in any situation, it must havesomething to do wtih it. let me know how it works out, and good luck!
My girls both acted differently after spaying. Didn't bother Mony a bit, she's the tomboy, but Laci did the run/sit thing and cryed alot. We ended up doing what you did, the sedative/pain pill thing too. Laci is just super sensative to pain. We did both girls on a Friday so we could stay with them over the weekend though. Glad to hear he is feeling better. :D :D
It is been 4 days since our dog was neutered. He has been very itchy but he does go to the bathroom. We have used diapers with him because it is better than the cone. We use the cone when we can't watch him closely.
Wow - our dog is going through the exact same thing right now. He was neutered on Thursday, and we ended up bringing him back in on Friday, since he was so swollen. It's Sunday now, and he's still doing the run/sit thing and is extremely swollen. The vet on Thursday said that he had developed some bleeding in the scrotum sac, which was causing the swelling. He said we could ice it, and gave a anti-inflammatory/pain pill to take every day 1/2 a pill. He will hardly go to the bathroom - didn't urinate at all yesterday, but went this morning. We have to encourage him to move at all, and when he does, he runs as fast as he can, and then sits quickly - just like you described.
He's just not himself, and just wants to lay around - totally unlike him. I feel so badly for him. Not sure if we should bring him in again, or not. The swelling hasn't really gone down (tennis ball size)...... My husband said that the vet said the last resort was to go back in for more surgery......

Definately bring him back to the Vet! That swelling not going down could indicate an infection. A tennis ball size swelling is not something to ignore.
I saw your great forum and wanted to post my gratitude for the details and feedback about reactions to neutering. I have a Yorkie and he's now on day 6 after neutering. He acted so crazy with the run/sit and head rubbing and digging behavior as well as some strange, unresponsive standing/staring that I was convinced he had suffered brain damage. I suspect the problem is a reaction to the anesthesia more than it is a problem with stitches or pain. I read that some dogs have extended reactions to the anesthesia breaking down in their bodies which creates what appears to be neurological disturbances. It would be great if a vet would comment on this. While it doesn't seem to be a common reaction, I have read a very few posts from owners describing the same thing with various breeds. Sheepdogs are often sensitive to drugs and I believe the same is true with Yorkies. Little Grendel the small monster is acting much more himself, but I wouldn't say he's the same dog he was before surgery yet. He's a lot quieter in between his craziness and maybe more affectionate, but he's clearly still disturbed. His stitches look fine but he did show some extensive bruising and a bit of swelling for a few days after surgery. That's cleared up completely.
My 6 month old rescue Border Collie/King Charles Spaniel/? mix was neutered 6 days ago and he has had the bad reaction described in a lot of the posts. The itch/scratch/jerking/not walking but wanting to sit down and rub the incisions on the ground crazy type behavior. We took him back to the vet last Saturday and they said that he was healing correctly but needed sedation which he has been getting 1/2 pill every 12 hours and that has helped so much but when it wears off he is still going crazy trying to lick or scratch. He has to be in his crate or in my arms or by me at all times with the cone on unless he is sedated. It has been really horrible for him and us as he is so sweet. The vet says it could last another week to 10 days? Any advice ..Cisco (the puppy) would really appreciate..Thanks, Kathleen
How old were these dogs Archie didn't bat an eyelid, apart from ripping off the cone of shame, and still wobbly while aesthetic wore off 5 min mad play 20 min sleep repeat.

As for the husband comments......... I deleted my original response.
Any info appreciated. I have had many dogs, only a few males. Always spay neuter. I recently adopted a dog from a shelter - male - was ok finicky eater, but ok, then got him neutered. almost 3 weeks ago. Became lethargic, no playing, and now has been throwing up and not eating for over 4 days. Yes went to vet yesterday.. got anti sick shot.. not totally working and dog exhibits the bizarre behavior of trying to go out, dig a hole and try to hide or throw up? Yes he also does the quick sit maneuver but stitches are out? Im really scared.. any help appreciated.
After neutering, a dog should only take a matter of days to get back to their normal selves, as far as eating and behavior go. You still need to be careful with them wanting to lick the suture area and avoiding strenuous exercise but after several weeks he should be fine.

The symptoms you describe don't sound to be neuter surgery-related. Maybe he caught a tummy bug or possibly stress of being at the vet caused issues? Maybe anal glands or possibly even worms? Definitely take him back to a vet. If you're not comfortable with the vet you've been seeing, definitely get a second opinion.
I hope you haven't been trying to feed during this time. When they are vomiting they need to go on NO FOOD for 24 hours and then start back with rice first, then rice and cooked meat, like chicken. When that stays down you can transition SLOWLY back to dog food.

It seems awhile since the neutering, but there is an outside chance there's a complication, scar tissue or something. It would be rare but not uncommon. Digging and trying to hide in the hole can be pain....trying to get away or to find cool ground to cool off the body. Did they take a temperature when the dog went to the vet? They usually do to rule out infection.

Also have to consider anal gland impaction with the quick sit. The dog is uncomfortable and I'd be getting uncomfortable with the vet just thinking it is nausea.
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