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Post-op bloody stools - why and how to treat?


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Hi, all,

My 10-year-old bc has had surgery and 24 hours later started 100% liquid stools with blood. He had surgery last year and the same thing happened, and our former vet gave him Metronidazole, which cleared it right up. The first question is why would this happen?

The second question is, how to treat it? Our new vet won't prescribe Metronidazole. I'd had a leftover tablet and gave it to the dog to get him through the night, and in the morning the vet said he didn't need antibiotics because his stools weren't bloody as he presented in the vet office that day. I explained it was because he'd had the Metronidazole, but she adamently refused. She said she wouldn't prescribe until he came into the office with bloody stools.

So what can I do? He has been on a probiotic paste for months, so there's no extra boost from that. The vet said increasing the amount of paste wouldn't help.And she said there wasn't any other anti-diarrheal available.

The bloody stools could re-start any time, which is distressing for both him and me, and I just don't know what to do.

Any ideas appreciated!

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So sorry you and he are going through this, @Fyfer.

I'm not a vet and haven't had to deal with this sort of thing post-surgery before, but have you tried fasting him for a day to give his gut a chance to rest and recover? Maybe give him some unsalted broth or bone broth to get him to take liquids so he doesn't dehydrate. It does help sometimes.

My own acupuncturist/MOM (who wanted to do AP on dogs but can't b/c he isn't a vet) suggests making basic congee (aka twice boiled rice or jook) with white rice and subbing bone broth or unsalted chicken broth for the water. IIRC he told me to boil the rice in like 2ce the amount (this is the part I'm not quite sure of) of water (or broth) you'd usually use, drain it then cook it again in either water or broth until it breaks down into a thin gruel. This article suggests a treating diarrhea in dogs with rice water so it seems to me you could start with the water you've drained off the first cook while you're waiting for the congee to finish.

If you're using a probiotic, be sure it's dog specific and also contains FOS (i.e. prebiotic) to feed the probiotics.

If the bloody diarrhea does restart I'd be on the phone to the vet the instant it happened.

Good luck.


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Hmmm. I might want to reconsider continuing to use that vet.

I now try to document any ailments via video or photos (hallelujah for smart phones). I have used photos/videos to show my vet anything from lameness, seizures, poop quality .... you get the idea.  I sometimes feel that I am not communicating clearly when I am describing an ailment. Photographic proof removes communication errors, and, in your case, provides concrete evidence.

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     My Border started with diarrhea last Monday and my vet promptly gave him diathol (an antibiotic combo drug that usually works great for diarrhea) and started him on metronidazole.  I wonder why your vet is opposed to that?  My dog never had blood in his stool but plenty of mucus.  I also added lots of rice to his food and gave him a tablespoon of yogurt (live culture) twice a day. 

     I agree with the above comment.  Videos and photos are wonderful!  Or even bag up the stool for "show and tell" in case your vet wants to check for parasites or sent out for culture.  Since it has happened before after surgery I'm sure it is stress related colitis. 

     Since you are already giving a probiotic I'd add the rice and see how it goes, good luck!

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I agree with a day to "rest" his gut.  If you said what the surgery was for, I missed it - but in any case, anesthesia can play havoc with guts.

My vet recently started one of my dogs who had diarrhea (cause not identified) on Tylan powder (tylosin).  It is like a miracle drug in my opinion!  It is an antibiotic, and hyou only need a very small amount; it's also very inexpensive.  I've had dogs for years and never had a vet recommend this before.  I'm never without it now.  Maybe ask about it? (while, of course, you take in the nasty sample....)

Best of luck!


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