Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Small Dog Pain Reactions

on October 26, 2010

At least I don’t hurt when I’m asleep….

Dogs instinctively hide their pain because it’s considered a sign of weakness in the wild. And if you’re weak, you’re prey. Period.

But it’s different when it comes to these small, fragile dogs that have become so domesticated that they’re like little children who look to us for comfort and reassurance when they’re in pain. My last dog was a Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix who never showed pain, regardless of how severe it was. But this new little pup of ours freaks out when she’s in pain, which I’ve only learned now that she’s going through her post-spay recovery period.

I expected her to sit and walk strangely, but I didn’t expect the trembling, constant whining, hanging head, and freaky jumping and racing around with her backside and hind legs all contorted as if they’d been broken and never set. Couple that with how scraggly her hair is because of the ointment the vet slathered liberally all over her tummy, legs, and ears, and this puppy looks like a spent street urchin.

It was odd that she was doing so well on Sunday, two days after her surgery, and then on Monday, all these awful things I mentioned started happening. She was a different puppy. It was like someone flipped a switch overnight that turned off her sunshine and made her whole world dark and gloomy.

As painful as her recovery is, it’s just as painful having to watch her go through it.

I theorized in yesterday’s blog post that different dogs probably have different pain tolerance levels and possibly even metabolize the pain meds given by the vet at different rates. Now I’m sure this is the case; those pain meds probably lasted through Sunday for Daisy, but completely wore off sometime in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Thanks to fellow blogger Judy who writes Tiffy’s World, I now know my theory is right; her little Yorkie also has a low pain threshold and it’s something that not all vets discuss with their patients…ours sure didn’t. If our vet had told us that some dogs react more violently to pain, I wouldn’t have had such a high level of anxiety all day yesterday about these odd pain-generated behaviors Daisy was exhibiting. I thought something major was wrong, like a fever from an unseen infection or something worse that went wrong internally.

So for any small dog owners out there who are or will be having their dogs spayed or having any other surgery, here are some of the reactions our 9 pound Havachon displayed, your dog may not have all of them. I hope it will help put your mind at ease if you know what’s considered to be within “normal” parameters; however, just like people, every dog is different, and while ours needs cuddling and stroking during her recovery, other dogs just want to be left alone. The Golden Rule is: Know Your Dog.

1. Trembling. If it’s within the first 24 hours after surgery, trembling can be a result of the anesthesia. After that time period, it’s usually a sign of fear caused by recovery pain. I found that cuddling Daisy on my lap helped calm her to the point where the trembling stopped completely while I held her. Her first day of pain was the most important for this.

2. Hanging head. Remember that old phrase, “hang-dog expression”? Well, this is where it comes from.

3. Complete disinterest in toys, her favorite blanket, looking out the window, and normal activities in general.

4. Back hunching.

5. Sitting or lying in odd positions to relieve or lessen pain.

6. Whining. And more whining. Mostly on the first day of pain. No barking at all.

7. Racing and/or jumping in short bursts with the body contorted strangely. If you bring your dog onto a chair or sofa with you, watch him/her carefully, because the sudden onset of pain can cause them to lunge irrationally, and they can fall off the furniture. And be aware of how you’re picking the dog up, so you’re not putting pressure on the wound.

8. Agitated behavior. We all can get cranky if we’re in pain too long!

9. Snuggling close to their owners for comfort and reassurance. They need extra TLC right now, you can always retrain them after the crisis is over. Now’s not the time to enforce the “no sofa” command.

10. Slinking off to corners or underneath furniture if they prefer not to be touched or pet. Never force this issue. “Let sleeping dogs lie”, as the saying goes.

11. Sleep. LOTS of sleeping.

Little by little, every day you should see small improvements. Today Daisy isn’t whining and there’s a little less trembling, plus she’s wagging her tail now and then, which she wasn’t doing at all yesterday. She’s able to sleep for longer periods of time, which will help her heal, just like with humans.

If your dog’s pain is excessive, your vet can probably give her something to ease the pain. Some NSAIDs are supposed to be safe for dogs, but if it’s not necessary and you can devote the time to just “being there” for your dog, that may be all she needs.

Not Normal: Keep an eye on the incision; if you see redness, swelling, bleeding, or discharge, call your vet right away. Some dogs scratch or bite at the stitches when the itching gets intense – in that case, they need a collar cone or bandages. Our vet prefers not to put these on unless Daisy starts chewing or scratching.

The International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management has a wonderful site with lots more information about pain symptoms, treatments, causes, and more. It’s worth a look if you’ve got any questions.

86 responses to “Small Dog Pain Reactions

  1. tiffy40 says:

    OMG!! When Tiffy had her bout with gas she did what we called “Beeping” and running! She would be laying there all quiet and then all of the sudden “BEEEEP and Run”! She would also walk hunched over, just like you described…amazing!! She also did a lot of sleeping and looking pitiful and would not sleep in her usual spot but instead isolated herself in a different room from everyone else and would only eat very little. Being a first time “small dog” owner, I found this behavior very unusual and frightening, so $700 (xrays and bloodwork) and two vet visits later, I found out she only had gas:O Maybe little dogs are “just different” from big dogs in that way…I’m just not sure. I personally never had a large dog act this way and I’ve had several of them. Well, it is good to know about the information you posted, especially critical for “first time” small dog owners. Keep us updated with Daisy’s progress..

    • leigh says:

      this has been great info and has rested my mind….. the only thing is my 5month old puppy will not react or acknoledge his name atol is this still do do with stress or is he being stuborn with me cz i took him to the vets to get his leg pinned

      • raisingdaisy says:

        I’m glad my post was able to help you! Your dog not acknowledging his name isn’t a reaction we’ve seen in our dog at all, so it would be a good idea to mention it to your vet. (Can he hear okay otherwise? Is he reacting to other sounds normally?) However, in the past we had a large dog who gave us the “cold shoulder” after we boarded her while we were on vacation (we no longer board our dogs). After we picked her up from the kennel, she literally turned her back to us in the car and at home, and refused to respond to us when we called her name – she was actually mad at us for leaving her. It took several days for her to thaw out and start responding again. I don’t know if this is what’s going on with your dog or not, so talking to your vet about it would be best.

    • anita says:

      Ok so I had my 14 1/2 week old chuwawa/yorki spayed 4 days ago and when she tries or goes to the bathroom she screams really bad is this normal? Should I call the vet?

      • raisingdaisy says:

        I would definitely call the vet. I haven’t heard of that reaction yet, but your vet would know for sure. I hope she feels better soon.

      • Paula says:

        Yes take your dog to the vet. My small shihtzu, only 8 lbs, was spayed and 4 days later I noticed blood in her urine. I was told small dogs get urine infections after being spayed. The vet gave her an antibiotic liquid that I give her twice today and he gave her Tramadol for pain. What it’s been 10 days now and she still isn’t acting right. She cries whenever I leave her. She wants to be near me or on my lap all the time and once in awhile she is still shaking. Now I’m still stumpedp to what could be wrong with her because she never acted like this before. Do you think it’s normal for small dogs to still need this much reassurance after 10 days?

      • raisingdaisy says:

        It took 2 weeks before I could leave Daisy alone after she was spayed. But she never got a UTI from being spayed. It couldn’t hurt to get a second opinion if there’s another good vet or veterinary hospital near you, it could help to reassure you and sometimes another vet can give you a different suggestion. There are also some online veterinary services that will give you an opinion (some are free, some have a small charge). I hope your little shihtzu starts feeling better soon.

    • lisadlmt2014 says:

      Please help I had my baby girl spayed Thursday and it is now Saturday and she is still whinning, and it is scaring me she a 6lb Shih-Pool and 7months old she doesn’t want to walk around. I hate myself for putting her through this not sure what to do. As I was reading you post it kind of made me feel better but my girl is only 6 lbs.

      • raisingdaisy says:

        I know how hard it is when your little pup is in pain. Our Havachon puppy was in pain for a couple of weeks, but it felt like forever. It’s best to talk to your vet to make sure your little girl’s pain level seems normal, and sometimes they can give her an extra shot for pain or a pain med (if she’s not already on one) to help her get through it. Our puppy didn’t want to walk around either, and I had to hand feed her for most of that two weeks. She didn’t eat or drink much during that time either (certainly nowhere near normal amounts), and she was on my lap most of that time. It was very hard and I know how you feel. Talk to your vet if you can just to make sure your puppy’s pain level appears to be within normal range, that can help ease your anxiety as well. As long as there’s no redness, swelling or oozing from the incision there’s probably no infection, which is most important. I hope she feels better quickly, our thoughts are with you.

    • Boo says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with Daisy. It has given me comfort as I nurse my little Yorkie Boo after her spay surgery today. She’s very little…2 lbs 12 oz and dealing with her pain and the pain meds has been a challenge. I really appreciate hearing Daisy’s story. Peace and hugs!

      • raisingdaisy says:

        Thanks for your comment! I’m glad our experience with Daisy’s spay surgery helped you. I know how hard it is to watch our little pups suffer through recovery, and your little girl is especially small. Having you there to help her through does make a difference. We’ll send positive thoughts out that Boo’s recovery is quick. Hugs to you both!

    • Lotte says:

      Hi, my dog just had stitches after being bitten by another small dog. He keeps whining, which is to be expected, but he also keeps running around randomly, in the position yhat you described. He seems energetic too. I’m worried about him, not nice having an ill doggy, but you’ve helped calm me thank you! He’s normally so lovely and ready to play, but right now he looks so sad and (as I said) he keeps madly running around. Please tell me this is normal. Sorry going on a rollercoaster of emotions right now

  2. Jess says:

    This isn’t just small dogs. I have a 8mnth old German shepherd who was spayed yesterday and I couldn’t figure out what was going on she was trembling and then would jump up and race like you said and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Thanks so much!

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so glad this post helped you out! There’s nothing worse than knowing your pup’s suffering and not knowing if it’s withing normal bounds or not. I hope your dog feels better soon!

  3. amy says:

    Thank you so much I just sprayed my Maltese and she had all the reactions you mentioned i was beginning to worry. She didn’t seem to be in pain but I wasn’t sure and the whimpering and shivering made me nervous. My poor baby I will be happy when she is her or self.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so glad this post was able to help you! I remember so well how worried and frustrated I was that I couldn’t find any real information about pain in small dogs at the time we had Daisy spayed. It’s a big relief when they start returning to normal. Hang in there!

  4. Anita says:

    Here is more gratitude for sharing your experience and insights on this subject. I have never owned a dog before, and I didn’t realize spaying is such major surgery. I thought it is akin to tubal ligation in humans. Our 5 month old 8 lb Bichon Frise, Baby Girl, was spayed 3 days ago and is exhibiting EVERY behavior you list above. I was not at all prepared for what is happening. I have searched the internet and found lots of general info on spaying but nothing even close to what you describe here.

    The vet sent us home post surgery with a cone and an anti inflammatory that wasn’t enough. When his tech called the next morning and I reported what a rough night we has had, I was instructed to bring her back in to be sure there were no complications. Finding none, he sent us home with Tramadol for pain and more anti-inflammatory, plus an ointment to put around the surgical site and instructions to come back in 4 days if no improvement, otherwise in one week. He also said dogs differ as to pain tolerance, and perhaps hers is especially low.

    I have to say that I do like this vet but am not at all happy that I was not forewarned about the potential for extreme pain reactions. It is heart wrenching to witness. Thankfully the Tramadol is helping her sleep more, but she still suddenly leaps in the air once in a while with a pitiful cry and jumps around or even jumps off the bed or sofa, which has to hurt, and tries to hide somewhere. Tonight I have her in her crate hoping she would feel safer, and put her and crate on the bed so she would know we are close by. Thankfully, this her third night has been mostly peaceful. She awakens frequently, though, no matter where or when.

    Anyway, thanks once again, I already feel better knowing this behavior is not representative of a more serious problem the vet maybe didn’t ketch. I have one question. How long did it take before the extreme reactions stopped?

    Grateful and relieved,
    Anita in MD.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so glad I was able to help, Anita! I remember like it was yesterday when I was in your position. Our Havachon is half Bichon, so I’d bet the reactions of Daisy and your dog – and many other traits – would be the same or similar, and Daisy does have a low threshold for pain. After Daisy’s spaying, I actually spent my days on the couch with her for a full two weeks before she started showing signs of recovery. She was so frightened when I’d walk away from her, cuddling her was the only thing that gave her some peace. At night she slept pretty well in her crate on the floor, but it was a great idea that you brought the crate on the bed with you; I’m sure that made your pup feel much more secure. Hopefully it won’t take as long for your dog to recover as it did for Daisy, but like you, I also was afraid that something more was wrong (it wasn’t). There are such things as botched spay surgeries, which I put up a post about after Daisy’s spaying. If you have any doubts, you could always get a second opinion. We’ll keep you and your pup in our prayers!

  5. mitra says:

    I am so glad to have come across your article. My six month old female cavoodle (5 kilos) was spayed three days ago and she has been exhibiting most of the above ‘normal’ parameters, particularly point seven. Although her appetite isn’t back to normal, she is eating and drinking with a little encouragement. She has also been to the toilet (both) and all seems normal, but I wasn’t prepared or made aware of point 7. This has been the most concerning part for me and seeing her jolt, looking like she has had an electric shock and run (not walk) in a strange jumpy way, has been worrying and very upsetting. I still plan to call the vet this morning to check but would like to thank you for posting this valuable information. Would you mind advising approx. how long it took for Daisy to recover? Thank you again.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so glad my post was able to help you! That whole “jumping and bolting” Daisy did with her body all contorted really freaked me out when it started happening too. I really think it was a sort of shocked reaction to sudden pain during the healing process. It never hurts to call the vet and double-check any odd symptoms you’re seeing. It took about two weeks for Daisy to really recover from her surgery, and I spent most of that time cuddling her on the sofa – it was the only thing that seemed to give her a little bit of peace and comfort, though she’d jolt and whine occasionally even then. Hope your pup’s recovery is shorter than Daisy’s was!

  6. mitra says:

    Thank you so much for your reply and so pleased to hear that Daisy made a full recovery. Just 24hrs later I also have some good news to report! Poppy has made a big improvement. The jolting suddenly started to subside yesterday afternoon and I started to see some of her cheeky self coming back i.e. stealing my kitchen sponge 🙂 I also called our vet (who was wonderful) and provided a simple but valuable reason for the jumping and bolting. Though he has never seen this after a doggie has been spayed, he has seen it a number of times from dogs that have been shaved or had their hair cut! Poppy has had a good portion of her tummy shaved and I am pretty certain that this was the reason for most of the jolting and jumping (in her case anyway). Just thought I’d post this information incase your or any of your readers have an experience like this in the future. Thank you again and keep up the great work. Mitra

    • raisingdaisy says:

      That’s so interesting about the reaction to being shaved! I’m so happy to hear that Poppy is doing better. It’s always such a relief to see their silly little selves re-emerging. 🙂 Thanks for the update!

  7. Coton bichon puppy says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful article. I just had my beautiful little 6 month puppy spayed. She is half coton de tulear and half bichon friese. Although the surgery went well on Tuesday, the vet said she was reacting badly after she was walking up, she was screaming, lashing around in the kennel and very distressed- so much so she badly bruised her face and eye. The vet phoned to say she was extremely sensitive to pain and even doggie morphine wasn’t settling her. He said that this was a phenomenal reaction and hasn’t seen such a reaction before. She had to stay in the vets for 2 nights on premed post surgery to settle her. When I got her home on day 3, even the painkillers weren’t helping. She was displaying v distressed behaviour, running and jolting, whimpering and crying and very restless. For her own safety the vet gave another premed and we put her in a crate for the night. Now day 4 post surgery and she’s doing a little better, she’s much more like herself when she’s still she is happy but then she jumps up again very restless and whimpers- she’s trying to get v close to me and is licking my face a lot. Poor little thing- she’s getting all my attention 24/7, lots if love and cuddles and treats. Hopefully we will see an improvement over the next few days.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so sorry to hear your poor little pup went through so much after her spaying. I haven’t heard of such an extreme reaction before – how awful. It’s wonderful that you’re taking such good care of her by giving her lots of love and cuddles – it really does help them. I’m so glad she’s starting to feel better, but what a frightening thing for you and her to go through. Thanks so much for writing about this, it could help others whose dogs have such extreme pain reactions. Best to you both!

      • Anita Wagner Illig says:

        I find this thread so fascinating. Fortunately it only took Baby Girl about 5 days to feel much less horrible. Those first few days were full of the same behaviors generally, that pretty much all here describe,, but it’s also a matter of degree of severity. This last story is lots worse than ours as to severity – oh my. If our experience had been that bad, I would definitely be having a chat with the vet asking why if they know these reactions can happen they do not prepare us in advance in case we encountered the occasional thrashing, screaming, running oddly. There surely seems to be a pattern, all of it was the same. Thank you, Daisy’s Mum, and shall we never have to go through that again, neither we nor our furbabies.

      • raisingdaisy says:

        I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve been shaking my head over the same thing – why don’t vets prepare small dog owners about the increased – and almost certain – potential for unusual reactions and more extreme reactions our little pups have to pain. Our vet is very good and has a small dog himself, yet he never thought to tell us about this, even though we’d told him Daisy was our first small dog and all our previous dogs were large. That’s what moved me to write this post to help other small dog owners through those difficult times. I’m now writing a post about ACL tears and the (yet again) increased difficulty in recovery for small dogs. Daisy tore her ACL and meniscus in November, something that we now found out is quite common in small dogs. It was a very difficult recovery, much longer and more painful than her recovery from spaying. I’m hoping to get that post up within the next few weeks. Thanks so much for your message! And give your sweet little Baby Girl a hug from us. 🙂

  8. Barry Culshaw says:

    Thank you so much for yours, & everyone else’s story…..We . also were told that our 10 month old Norfolk Terrier mix???(she was a rescue dog) ‘Bear’ would be fine the day after being spayed…..but that was 4 days ago. She has experienced all of these reactions, & we too have been very worried that it was something more sinister,so reading this has really put our minds at rest.She still has the odd twitching & jumping in short bursts, but it seems to be getting less frequent….She went out today , for the 1st time with one of her little friends & it was lovely to see her back to normal but on returning home she shuffled under her favourite sofa to hide,& when she came out, she had a couple of bursts of jumping & twitching for no apparent reason…..the vet never tells you these things…….So thank you again

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so glad I – and all the wonderful people who have commented – could help! Your pup was actually able to go out much sooner than our Daisy was, so it sounds like she’s coming along well. The reactions do taper off rather than just stopping; much like with humans who have surgery, pain and discomfort in the aftermath slowly fade away rather than just clearing up. Yes I agree, vets should warn us about these potential reactions after surgery. Hope Bear keeps improving quickly! And thanks for your comment. 🙂

  9. Emma says:

    We have a male bichon frise crossed with a coton de tulear and have had a very similar experience, everything you mention plus scooting around on his backside. His op was 8 days ago and he’s just starting to show sides of his old self. He’s still sleeping lots, and has had several trips to the vets and lots of pain relief. Reassuring to hear it’s not just us.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      No, it’s definitely not just your pup going through this. I’m so glad to hear he’s showing signs of improvement. Thanks for commenting and sharing your experience.

  10. heather says:

    Hi all. I’ve been searching all over the internet trying to find stories similar to mine and this is the first page I could actually find that had stories similar to what I’m going through!
    My little Penny (cairn terrier) was spayed on Friday morning. It’s now Monday afternoon.
    She slept through the first evening she was home- which I expected.
    She’s a pretty hearty although sensitive dog, so I figured by the next day she’d be walking around at LEAST.
    Well needless to say, SINCE Friday, she hasn’t walked around at ALL. When she tries to take a few steps- she darts and jumps and then sits uncomfortably hunched in a panic. Then she tries frantically to lick the stitches. I can only assume it’s either pain or the stitches causing an uncomfortable feeling?
    She’s being a trooper and will eat and drink as long as I hand feed her. Her nose is wet and cold and she seems alert. She’ll eat treats no problem…lol, girl loves her treats. And she goes to the bathroom outside with enough coaxing. Even though she darts when moving too much out there as well.
    So really- it has nothing to do with being lethargic or anything- she appears HEALTHY- she just doesn’t want to move. We’ve just been trying to make her as comfortable as possible with as many blankets as we can over the weekend. So really she’s just been sleeping or laying down looking around..but not moving.
    Her incision doesn’t appear swollen or infected or even red. I mean..it looks fine. I feel he did sew it up a bit “lumpy”..she got sutures and it just seems like a very lumpy sew job. That’s the only way I can describe it- so I wonder if maybe the way he sewed it is causing irritation? Pulling at her skin?
    I don’t know. I don’t know what to think! They gave me rimadyl for her pain but honestly it doesn’t seem to be doing much. We called this morning to let them know about her lack of movement and obvious distress and they are now prescribing tramadol instead. : /
    I’m getting so discouraged because I keep reading about how everyones dogs bounce back 2 days after surgery and they have to try and keep them from playing and being crazy. Yet my dog won’t even stand UP! 😦
    Like I said, she’s a hearty dog, but she has a very sensitive side to her. So I don’t know if that’s coming in to play.
    Then I had to go back to work today- so I had to stick the cone on her this morning for the first time. She was not a happy camper. But she’s such a sweetie and just laid there with a pouty face…refusing to move of course.
    Sigh- honestly, I didn’t know this was going to be so complicated! I feel like it would’ve been better if I would’ve never gotten her spayed 😦 My poor little pup.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Hi Heather, I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes stitches do bother dogs after surgery, both with pulling and from the incision/stitches, but it fades over time, and the amount of time is different for each dog. As long as the area isn’t red or oozing, it should be fine. I know what you mean by a “lumpy sew job”, I’ve seen that as well. Our Daisy was on Tramadol too; it took the edge off the pain a bit, but it by no means stopped the pain completely. The on-call night vet told us that her small dog also only responded slightly to painkillers; they can’t take all the pain away. They’re recovering from a lot, both inside and out. Penny sounds like she’s responding faster than our puppy did, even though she doesn’t want to stand up on her own. It takes time and every dog is different. It’s good that she’s willing to eat and drink, those are important to healing. Don’t be discouraged by the seemingly rapid recovery of other people’s dogs, again every dog responds to pain differently and small dogs do seem to feel pain a lot more – or at least they tend to show it more. Once Penny turns that corner, you’ll see a world of difference. I know how awful it is to see a puppy in pain, but hang in there, it will get better. 🙂

      • Heather says:

        thanks for your replies 😉 this morning, not much has changed. my husband said she was a TEENY bit better outside- she took a few steps..but still with the darting and crouching. she seemed a little bit more calm when laying down. still no walking though. i tried to look at her stitches last night to check on their progress and some parts of it don’t seem so lumpy. some still do. what i find odd is, the slimy “meaty” part under the skin is sticking out on the some of the lumps…does this make sense? it’s been like that since she came home, it’s not a new symptom or anything. do you think it’d be ok to put some antibiotic ointment on it? that is…if she’ll let me.
        when my husband picked up the tramadol from the vet last night i had him show them the pictures i took of her sutures to ask if that lumpiness is normal. of course, the lady that DID the surgery looked at it and said it was fine. not like she’ll admit anything otherwise.
        i went to bed early last night because i couldn’t bear to watch her be uncomfortable anymore- so i just plopped her and my other little pup on the bed with me and went to sleep. 😦 she seemed to sleep really well. maybe it was the tramadol…
        sigh! it makes me feel better though knowing there are other people out there with sensitive dogs like mine. honestly- i don’t know what i’d be thinking right now if i didn’t read your stories! i’d probably be rushing her to 5 different vets in a panic. i just struggle because i know I can be patient about the whole thing- but i wish i could just tell HER to be as well! 😦

      • Heather says:


        i don’t know if that link will work but that’s a pic of her sad cone face : (

  11. Heather, every one of us who has posted here has been through what you and you little dog are going through. I was SO relieved to find this thread last February when our Bichon, Baby Girl, was in post-spay distress. My story is here to read as to specifics. It took Baby Girl about a week to ten days to be herself again. Like yours, she was otherwise healthy with a reasonably good appetite and potty habits. I had her back to the vet two or three times the first week – Banfield at Petsmart – and I have otherwise been quite satisfied with her quality of care there. But I was not warned in advance that such an outcome was possible, and the vets there seemed surprised and rather perplexed. She is my first dog. I was really scared. Like you, the vet gave me Tramadol to supplement the anti- inflammatory originally (and inadequately) prescribed. It seemed to make her a bit more comfortable, but only a bit. The best I could find out was that small dogs can have such reactions to pain, and even then only a small percentage of them. In March we rescued my sister’s 9 y.o. miniature poodle after she died, and he needed to be spayed primarily to retrieve a non-descended testicle, which could become cancerous. It was remarkable how much better he tolerated surgery post op.

    So hang in there. Though it is stressful and heartbreaking to see, the symptoms will pass and it is highly likely that all will be well.

  12. heather says:

    Hey all. I just wanted to give an update on penny.
    I said in my earlier posting that penny wasn’t attempting to walk at ALL since her surgery. Even outside, it was hard to get her to go to the bathroom, she’d just want to sit and lick. Or dart in pain.
    Well over the past few days- when we’d bring her outside, she’d perk up and she was actually walking around on her own. growling at other dogs, trying to chase leaves, and trying to play with my other dog. I find it weird because the second I’d bring her back inside- she’d go back to laying around, not moving, darting around in pain and trying to lick. So I was still discouraged.
    Well yesterday my husband brought her outside and to my surprise, when she came back in- she was walking around the house like she does outside!
    I didn’t want to get too excited because I didn’t want to be disappointed if she went back to dramatics. But she’s been walking around ever since. I’ve had to stop her a few times from chasing my other dog around the house. She’s not fully back to normal and I have to stop her from licking occasionally- but she’s actually EATING and drinking on her own now. I don’t have to feed her like a baby bird. Lol.
    I’m still concerned with the look of a teeny section of her stitches, like I said- it just looks…meaty. But if she’s feeling good enough to walk and run around, I’ll try to be patient and see if that goes away over time. I got her a big bone from the store to celebrate last night. I was so happy. She loved it of course.
    So that makes it exactly 7 days since her surgery that it took her to finally start acting a little more “normal”. What a horrible week for all of us!
    I would just like to say that this site has been a little angel on my shoulder telling me to be patient and give it time. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at searching the internet, and honestly I couldn’t find ANY other site that had a story similar to mine- so I’m glad this is here. It’s really helped keep my anxiety from sky rocketing over the past few days.
    I had a vet appt scheduled for sat morning because she wasn’t improving but I’ve cancelled it since she appears to be feeling better.  Thanks everyone 

    • mitra says:

      Hi Heather, so pleased to hear that Penny is finally on the mend. 7 days doesn’t sound like a lifetime but when you see your doggie unwell and in so much distress it certainly feels like it.
      Poppy had the ‘jumpy’ walking for 4 days and this was the only website I found that related to my story. I contacted my vet who had never heard of it before, but as I mentioned in my previous post, he was aware of it happening after some dogs had been shaved. Poppy’s stitches actually came undone halfway through her scar, which was an added stress, but we kept her as inactive as possible and sprayed a pet cleaning solution on her scar to keep it clean (maybe worth checking with your vet if you are still concerned about the look of the stitches).
      Like Penny, her first sign of real recover and no pain happened suddenly one afternoon and just a day later, she had none distressing symptoms at all.
      Best of luck with her ongoing recovery!

      • Heather says:

        isn’t that so weird? i mean, she wouldn’t even sleep the night before. she just kept darting around the bed in pain. it was the worst night of them ALL….and then the next day she’s walking around. i don’t get it- but i’m not complaining!
        that spray is a good idea. i had TRIED having my husband lift her up so i could dab some antibiotic ointment on it, but she didn’t let me go NEAR it. she flung herself around so much i gave up.
        do you remember the name of it? i told my husband a spray would be MUCH easier if it was available! 🙂

      • mitra says:

        Hi again. I’m not sure where you are based so the product may have a different name. I live in Australia but the spray here is called Ilium Oticlean (it is a skin and ear cleaning solution). Poppy is a cavoodle and I also use it to spray in her ears (as she has the gorgeous long floppy variety that are prone to ear infections). I have two bottle. One with a nozzle that I use for the ears and one with a spray, which I used for her stitches 🙂

  13. Avie says:

    I want to say thank you for easing my head and heart a little. I am a first time dog owner to a
    7 month old 12 lb bischon frise shih tzu mix puppy who was spayed in addition to getting a hernia fixed on Thursday, she came home and fell right to sleep that night. About 3:00 Friday morning she woke up yelping and hunching over then started running in circles, then laid down in an attempt to get to her under belly. So I called the vet Friday morning (Day 2) and they gave me an additional pain reliever and said if it didn’t seem like it was helping bring her back in and they would take a look. She still hadn’t used the bathroom and wouldn’t eat so I took her that afternoon and they said she actually had a UTI and prescribed an antibiotic which we started once we got home. I gave her the first dose and she just sat on her back legs and watched every one go about their day. Later that evening she suddenly sat up and peed all over the puppy pad we had under her but darted across the room as soon as the pee came out. Today (Saturday-Day 3) she has been darting all over the living room, she is not yelping loudly like she did the first day. But like one of your other commenters already addressed I am not seeing a positive to this procedure. She seems to be in so much pain and I am just hoping and praying that she will start feeling better and be able to walk and pee and not hurt. I feel so bad for putting her through all this. I can’t wait for me to come back to this forum as it is the only one I have been able to find that addresses small dogs pain levels and reactions. So I just want to say thank you for helping me see that my Belle isn’t the only dog to experience these symptoms and will feel better soon.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Avie, I so understand what you and your sweet puppy are going through. Our dog also seemed to be tolerating her surgery well at first, but once those pain meds the vet had given her immediately after surgery wore off, the pain pills he’d given us didn’t do nearly as well. Another vet told me that dogs can’t stay on pain meds as powerful as they get right after the surgery while under the vet’s supervision, which is why the ones they send us home with don’t work as well. The fact that your little Belle had a hernia fixed at the same time may have caused her even more pain, and maybe her body needs more time to heal two things instead of just one. I’m sure the UTI exacerbated things as well, since her body had yet another thing to fight. I sat with Daisy for at least a week and cuddled her the whole time, which was the only thing that helped take the edge off her difficult recovery and helped her get some sleep in the early stages. It was about two weeks before she was back to normal, but there were positive signs along the way. I’m glad my post and other commenters’ stories have helped you to some degree. Please let us know when Belle turns the corner and starts feeling better. We’ll keep you in our thoughts.

  14. Cheryl w says:

    I am so relieved I found your website!!!! My 7 mo old havanese was spayed on Thursday and by Friday at 3 am she was whining and crying, hunched over and refusing to move. The pain meds don’t seem to work very well. She has most of the behaviors you described. We’ve always had large dogs and they seemed to breeze right through the spaying. My little girl is another story. Tomorrow will be day 4 and I can only hope to see some improvement. She was so happy and confident before the spay and now she is a little fearful, trembling dog. So sad to see her like this. In the meantime, it is comforting to know that other little dogs have the same issues. My vet had told me that some dogs have pain issues but I had no idea it would be this bad.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m sorry I didn’t respond sooner, I didn’t get an email notification about your comment. You have the same situation we did – we always had large dogs who had no problems recovering from their spay surgeries. Our little Havachon caught us completely off guard. It’s true, vets don’t tell us just how hard recovery can be for a small dog. Our vet has a Havanese that’s the same size as our dog (who is half Havanese), and even he didn’t tell us. The pain meds didn’t work well at all for Daisy either. Once the strong painkiller from the surgery wore off, she was in agony. We gave her the pills but they made no difference. We called the overnight vet at the surgery and she said she also has a small dog who went through the same difficult recovery. She said they could give Daisy one more shot of the strong painkiller if we wanted, but it would be the last one because it’s too strong. We opted against it and toughed it out with her. Cuddles and calming talk were all we could do to help her; one of us was with her around the clock. If you see any signs of infection, though, that would be a reason to take her to the vet. Your sweet Havanese will come through this, even though I know it’s hard to believe right now and it seems like forever until it’s over. But they do go back to their happy, playful, confident selves. 🙂 Please feel free to comment again and let us know how she’s doing.

  15. Lesley says:

    Many thanks for your website , my 17 month old Maltese cross has just been spayed , I was so worried when she jumped suddenly on spurts then stopped I thought there were some serious issues following the op- so relieved to read your comments and to know this is normal . She’s not been to the toilet yet just stands in the garden , the other odd thing is she won’t walk on the laminate now hopefully this again is just a reaction and she will soon be back to normal .

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so glad this information was helpful to you, Lesley. When our Havachon, Daisy, was finally able to walk around after her surgery, she wouldn’t walk on anything but carpeting, so we put an inexpensive runner down across the kitchen floor. I think she felt generally unstable, and she wanted soft, secure surfaces to walk on – she was being exceptionally cautious. I’m sure your Maltese will get back to normal – patience is hard at a time like this (I had a VERY hard time with that!), but you’ll start seeing progress and eventually she’ll be her old self again. Please feel free to let us know about her progress!

  16. Mcsqueel says:

    So happy I found this, thank you! I had my female jack/chi mix desexed Monday and because she is 6 I was stressed before it even happened. It’s now Wednesday and I’ve been sleepless and freaking out. She is still shaking, sleeping, randomly jumping up and screaming, eating, but not drinking much, not using the toilet much and very miserable. I’ve dragged our mattress to the lounge room because she is use to sleeping with us and I don’t want her jumping. I’m trapped in bed, if I move the poor little thing struggles up to try and come with me. Back to the vet tomorrow for a post op check up, but I might get a decent sleep after reading all this. Thank you ever so much x

    • raisingdaisy says:

      You’re most welcome, I’m so glad my post helped a bit. 🙂 It’s definitely a very stressful time for us “pet parents” when our small dogs have difficulty with post-op pain. I know what you mean about being trapped, that’s how it was for me for two weeks with our Daisy, but giving your pup lots of love and just being near her helps her more than anything. One thing I noticed – and other family members noticed as well – was that Daisy and I came out the other side of the experience even closer, with a very tight bond; the same will probably be true for you too. Pups do form close connections with their caregivers. I hope your pup starts feeling better quickly and that you get a good report from your vet.

  17. Awww, I hope she’s feeling better now. Hate it when our fur-kids are hurting…anyone’s fur-kid!

  18. Cheri says:

    Please help our little bella 7months old was neutered on 7/16 she was slow the first 2 days but bounced right back .. but on 7/25 9 days later she started being shaky lethargic and doesn’t want to move I am so scared I took the ER vet said she is in pain.. Gave pain meds and anti inflam.. doesn’t seem to help.. took her back to the vet that did surg.. he said it was hormonal .. very callus and feels she is fine and will get over it . all she does is sleep and when she gets up its so slow and shaky and she is pooping and peeing .. Eating rice and broth for now does care to drink but I give her small amounts thru a straw.. Occasionally she will get a little bit of energy to bark at a neighbors dog or growl at my daughter or me she already is very temper mental… I am going broke 500. later and no answers.. Scared and worried… and very sad because I feel like I am failing her .. I lover her and her rudeness and her cute ways.. Feeling very helpless and overwhelmed.. Please any help I would truly appreciate it .. Bella’s mommy..

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that your sweet puppy is having such a difficult time. I would suggest taking Bella to a completely different vet in a different practice, preferably someone with good references or ratings, but I’d get another opinion in any case. The first vet we had gone to when Daisy had a respiratory infection as a 3 month old puppy told us she was “in perfect health” TWICE – well, she got worse and worse and would have died had we not taken her to someone else in a different practice, who immediately knew what was wrong and cured her. Since I have no veterinary background, I can’t offer more than that, but I do hope another vet finds the problem and helps little Bella.

  19. Sgt. says:

    I cannot thank you enough for all your information. Every single thing that you listed my 19 pound Shih Tzu, Princess Underbite, is going through right now. It can definitely be a rollercoaster of good days and bad days good moments bad moments but its the good moments that we all live for like the 20 minutes of belly rub cuddles that I had with my baby just a little bit ago. She is 4 days post op and outside she is good tall up bounce in step. Inside it’s all her stuffed animals in the cage with her and resting or in one of 4 beds I have for her. I think this behavior is from showing any potential foe “I’m good for me with me” but when inside she does not have to pretend so she lays down and turns back into how she feels, just a theory.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so glad my post was helpful to you. I know what you mean about the rollercoaster, but the good days show that your sweet little Shih Tzu is showing signs of healing. Post-op days are always difficult for these little pups, and rest is the best thing for her. I hope she gets back to her usual bouncy self very soon. 🙂

  20. Anne says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, it was such a big help to me this week. Penny, my 8 month Chorkie, she is around 5lbs and was spayed on Friday last week and Sat and Sun were not too bad, not her normal self but not too bad. Thankfully it was a Bank Holiday here on Monday and I was off because she was so bad on then, I was so worried as she had been doing ok on Sat & Sun. She had a total disinterested in everything, I mean everything, shaking like a leaf all the time, no food, she was whining in pain a lot, she was sleeping a lot but it was the short bursts of running & racing around in pain that scared me the most. She was doing a bit better on Tues and a lot better Wed, she had more food than the rest of the week and was just a happier little dog overall.
    You post saved me a trip back to the vet on Tuesday morning and put my mind at ease on Monday so thank you for taking the time to post it.
    Anne 🙂

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so glad my post was of help to you, Anne! Your little Chorkie got through recovery much faster than our Havachon. I sure do understand how upsetting those odd pain reactions can be, but apparently lots of small dogs have them, judging from the responses I’ve gotten to this post. Thanks for your message, and I’m so glad Penny is doing so well. 🙂

  21. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for this article. My 7 month old Shorkie has been having health issues that resulted in having to be sedated 2 days ago so he could have his neck shaved and cleaned. He scratched it bloody and was growling when they tried to clean it, so they put him under. Although it doesn’t sound like they caused him any pain I’m hoping his side effects are related to the sedation they gave him. They also reversed the sedation right away so we could take him home. 2 days later he’s shaking and hunched over. The hunched over is what really has me freaking out. They never mentioned side effects of the sedation. Thank you for listing them!!

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m sorry to hear your sweet Shorkie is going through so much – and of course, you’re going through so much worry for him. I’m glad my post helped you recognize these symptoms. Small dogs really do seem to feel pain much more than larger dogs and they show us exactly how they feel, which pulls so powerfully at our heartstrings. It’s so frustrating not to be able to explain to them what’s happening so they won’t be so fearful. I hope your pup’s pain fades quickly and that his neck issue is resolved. Thanks for your comment.

  22. Sue says:

    Thank you so much. I was so worried about my fur baby until I read these comments.

  23. Tracy Forgy says:

    How long did the symptoms last? My Freckles (Dachshund/Beagle,.. Dachsgle?) Was spayed a week ago, and still won’t get up and walk 3ft. to eat taters!! And taters are her fave!!

    • raisingdaisy says:

      It took Daisy a couple of weeks to start moving around, but even longer for her to move normally. I had to hold her most of the time – she doesn’t handle pain well at all. I hope your little Freckles feels better soon!

  24. Phe's_Mom says:

    Hey, I’m curious. My maltipoo was spayed last Thurs and is experiencing the jolting, sleeping a lot, hanging head, cuddling, shaking/trembling. She prefers to cuddle with me than daddy and is eating and drinking a little. The past 24hr though she has started sneezing and shaking her head constantly. She’s out of meds too. We also had her declaws removed BC the nails were curling into her paws. She chewed the stitches out one foot with a smaller cone and they gave her a bigger one and stapled the foot back together. While I was at work daddy took off the cone and somehow she ended up taking out three stitches and her foot is swelling a lil bit. I bathed her before the surgery and since she can’t clean herself she’s got a stinky butt and smells like urine 😦 I feel like a horrible mommy doping this to her and starting to regret it. I just want my old Phoenix back. She’s cuddled in my lap in an odd position now trying to sleep. And she breathes harder when resting. She is 8mo as of the 11th. Do you have any suggestions?? Please help..

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m sorry it took me so long to see your comment, I’ve been too busy to check on the blog. I hope by now things have improved with your little Phoenix. Our pup didn’t experience the harder breathing during rest that you mentioned and since we didn’t have her dewclaws removed, I don’t have any knowledge of that but swelling sounds like it should be checked by the vet. Phoenix is probably well on her way to recovery by now but if she ever needs surgery in the future, one thing I can offer on the stinky butt issue is to get baby wipes – unscented, the more natural the better – and give her underside and behind a little cleaning after every elimination. This helped Daisy stay clean after her back surgery when we couldn’t bathe her for weeks. I do hope things are better with your sweet pup.

  25. jewelsthegym says:

    Hi this has been really helpful. Betsy was spayed to day and not great. Lots of the symptoms above but also limping a bit 😦 she won’t eat or drink but managed to get some fluid in with syringe in mouth. She can’t have pain relief tomorrow unless eats so hoping tucks in. She looks so sad :((

    • raisingdaisy says:

      It’s so hard to see our pups going through such a difficult recovery period after being spayed. I do hope Betsy eats something tomorrow so she can have her pain medicine – you can always try hand-feeding her little bits of her food to get something into her, that helped with Daisy. It’s good that you’re getting some water into her anyway. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a quick recovery!

  26. Con says:

    I had my 14 month and 8 month female maltichons fixed Thursday and it is exactly as you said, except my youngest is biting. I want to cuddle her, I do as best I can but her little bites hurt. It’s heart breaking seeing them this way. You info is amazing. Mine both came home with no pain meds. Today is day 3 after surgery.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’ve heard of dogs biting or nipping when they’re in pain because they prefer to be left alone, even though we want to soothe and cuddle them to help them. A larger dog I had years ago behaved just that way. Usually vets do provide pain meds to help dogs get through the initial days after surgery. I do hope yours recover quickly, I know how heartbreaking it can be to see them experiencing such difficulties.

  27. Sally says:

    Hello! Thank you so much for this post, it’s been a life saver for me. My 6-month mix pup was spayed a 3 days ago and was jumping in short burst, all panicked, and it was excruciating to watch helplessly. My vet had not much of an idea of was I was talking about when I called. I tried all sorts of things to soothe her, and here’s what really helped her: I made a ‘body sock’ for her out of an old pair of cotton leggings and that seems to have eased off her ‘fits’ quite a lot. Perhaps it’s having a soft fabric around her body but it definitely helps with keeping her off the bandage completely. She was also shaved before the surgery so maybe the cotton stops the bristles from itching so much. She was also wearing one of these dreadful cones which I think was making her panic so I replaced it with an inflatable travel pillow (the type folks use for air travel). I looped her collar through it so it stays in place. These 2 things made a world of difference to my girl, so I thought I’d share here.. She is now sleeping peacefully, and no longer hunched over and racing around anxiously.
    Thanks again for the wonderfully informative post. I do feel like vets could be a little bit more forthcoming with alternatives for more sensitive dogs but I guess it’s up to us ‘parents’ to do think outside of the box 🙂

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful solutions, Sally! Those were great ideas and I’m so glad they helped your puppy so much. The body sock you made sounds like the same principle as the “thundershirts” they make for dogs that helps ease anxiety, but I wouldn’t have thought of that for spay recovery. I love your idea of using a travel pillow instead of the cone, which can really upset some dogs. You’re right that we can’t always rely on vets to help us with these non-medical issues that result from medical procedures. We had to come up with a few of our own after Daisy had her back surgery, which was a long and difficult recovery. Thanks again for your wonderful comment, and I hope your ideas help other pet parents!

  28. Hayley says:

    I am so glad to have found this page. My beautiful Bichon, Trixie was spayed today and all she has done since returning home is frantically turn in circles in her bed. It is like torture to watch. She is also panting like mad , I keep trying to give her a drink of water but she doesn’t seem to be aware of what’s going on around her.

    I am having similar things to the others that have posted about regretting having he spayed however I know it is for the best. I just want to fast forward time so I don’t have to see her like this anymore!

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I know exactly how you feel. Daisy’s post-spay period felt like it lasted forever, and it was so heartbreaking to see her in so much pain. But you’re right, it’s worth it once it’s all over. I hope your little Bichon recovers quickly.

  29. Alyssa says:

    Hi everybody, so glad I’ve come across this post, as I can’t seem to find anything useful other than what I’ve seen here. 😦 I’m a foster carer for a small breed rescue, as well as having my own dogs of all shapes and sizes over the years… So it’s safe to say I’ve seen all sorts of post-op recoveries… This, however, is perplexing. I’ve just recently adopted a 10 month old mini fox terrior, Ellie. and had her fixed as she’d not been done yet (too tiny, she’s only just on 2 Kgs at 10 months old) Most of the recovery is coming along nicely, but we’re seeing a pain reaction when she goes to stretch her body or turns… I’ve had my other half look at the incision (I am vision impaired, and while I touch it gently with clean hands to ensure it’s dry, I don’t want to touch too much)… Hubby says it’s fine… But when she stretches her body, she whines, if she turns her body too quickly, she wines… Foxies don’t ever do things slowly, so it’s a myrical I’m even getting her to rest at all.. We’ve had discussions about jumping unnecessarily and she has done the doggy equivilent of laughing at me. But it worries me… Because the surgery happened on Monday, I first heard her do this on Wednesday… Promptly got told I was overdramatising it, and that she was probably just wanting to get to me or something… We’re due for a post-op check tomorrow. And I would have gone sooner, like yesterday but other than those two situations I’ve mentioned, she seems to be feeling bright and bubbly… Anyone else had a lanky small breed who struggles to stretch out comfortably after this surgery? Could the stitches be pulling at her skin, but people just aren’t seeing any evidence of it? The wound is dry, doesn’t seem to be an awful amount of swelling… It’s weird. Oh, and eat… Yep, she’s got no issues eating and drinking, or toileting… I pick her up when we go outside to toilet as I don’t feel comfortable with her navigating our steps with her stitches at such an early stage of healing… Other than that, I try not to pick her up too much as I know that’s not good for the healing… Since they have to cut through the abdominal wall. Any advice greatly appreciated and most welcome! Not only is it worrying me, my big dog frets every time Ellie does this. She doesn’t exactly bite, but she does touch us with her mouth if we intervene before the pain has washed over her… It’s like a spasm.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      Hi Alyssa, I’m so sorry Ellie is going through this, and I know how difficult it is for you too. Stretching could be pulling at stitches and making her whine or cry out; our vet told us there are internal stitches (self-dissolving, they don’t have to go back in to remove them) as well as the external stitches, so it could be that her stretches are pulling the internal ones too. Plus her own internals need to heal from the trauma of surgery and it takes time for internal swelling and such to go down, so that could also be causing her discomfort when she stretches. My previous dog was a large dog (shepherd-collie-husky rescue) and though she didn’t show her pain or cry after her spay surgery, she did have trouble extending herself and would sit in a more hunched position, as if trying to take pressure off the area that was operated on and trying to keep from being in her normal full-length position.

      I agree with you that letting Ellie walk up and down stairs is probably not a good idea. Picking up a post-op pup can be a tricky business, she needs support in the front and back so her body is in the most comfortable position without stretching the incision or putting pressure with your hands on the area that’s healing. We actually got Daisy to use puppy wee-wee pads in the house because she couldn’t go outside at all.

      It’s a great sign that Ellie’s disposition is so bright and that she’s eating well! Give her time, usually a couple of weeks after surgery you start seeing some improvements. It’s great that you’re checking her incision for any signs of infection. I’m glad this post helped and I hope Ellie feels better really soon. 🙂

  30. supercake53 says:

    Thanks a lot for this post. My doggy is 16 yo and did amazingly great both during surgery and recovering from anaesthesia (not spayed; tumor removal). However, 14 hours later he started trembling, and I feared there might be some complications, given his age. Glad to hear the trembling is a normal part of the recovery from anaesthesia. Wouldn’t want to wake up the vet at 3 am unnecessarily 🙂

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m glad my post helped and I’m really glad your senior pup is recovering from his surgery. How wonderful that he’s 16! I hope the rest of his recovery goes smoothly and his symptoms subside quickly.

  31. Brandi says:

    So thankful I read this. My 7 month old mini aussie doodle (Bella, 15 lbs) was spayed on Tuesday and I swear I have a completely different dog now. I have been so upset and worried. She came home tuesday afternoon after surgery completely drugged out, she was wobbly and like a zombie. The next day all she did was sleep. Finally she started eating and drinking going to the bathroom. Then she had a terrible rash on her belly, so back to the vet to learn she had sensitive skin with a terrible razor burn. She has the crazy what I call phsycotic moments where she jumps up out of a sleep. She keeps scratching and pulling the blankets, dog bed etc like she is trying to get a nest underneath her. She walks around aimlessly from room to room with her head hung. She is emotionally distant. She has lost her spunk and barely wants to be around us. Before she was very loving, snuggly and happy. It’s as though she doesn’t even like us now. I didn’t expect any of this and thought it was a relatively easy surgery with mild recovery. No one explained any side effects.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so sorry to hear this happened to Bella, I can only imagine how difficult it is on you. I remember a dog we had when I was a child – when that pup was in pain or not feeling well (she was a stray we were caring for, so we have no idea what her past was like), she would do a similar thing, making a “nest” and trying to bury herself in the comfort of blankets. Outdoors, she would dig a hole in the dirt and immerse herself in it. She didn’t want anyone to bother with her until she felt better, which could sometimes take days. All we could do was put her food and water out and leave her to herself. When she felt better, she came out of it and was herself again. I do hope the same will happen with your sweet aussie doodle. It’s so hard watching our pups going through such difficulties, especially if they’re the types to pull away from us. Hugs to you all!

  32. Chris says:

    Thank you so much for this post. My Maltese got spayed on Thursday and she’s been having pretty much all of these reactions. All other googling I’ve done on her symptoms is that she should be “back to normal” already. She hasn’t wanted to move at all and shakes if she does, and I’ve had to hand feed and drink her since. I’m probably still taking her back to the vet tomorrow just to put my anxiety at rest, but I’m way less worried than I would’ve been had I not read this.

    • raisingdaisy says:

      I’m so glad this post helped you, Chris! It seems to me that most of the online info about post-spay dogs being back to normal so soon after surgery is best case scenario and doesn’t take into account what so many small dogs experience. I hope things went well with your vet visit and I hope your sweet little Maltese improves soon. 🙂

  33. Karen Antle says:

    I learned 13 years ago that vets don’t always give enough pain Meds after surgery. Metacam is not enough. When my 6 pound Yorkie had an ovary sparing spay in September I told the vet I wanted Tramadol and nausea Meds in addition to the metacam. There is no need for your pet to suffer and trying to get them to eat to take Meds when they are in pain and nauseous is impossible. Be your pets advocate. Speak up.

  34. Jennie says:

    I have a 4 pound toy poodle that was neutered this morning. He has been whimpering and shivering. He will take a few steps and then sit down. I was freaking out until i read this article. Thank you. Hopefully my baby mAkes a speedy recovery!

  35. Adrienne Faunce says:

    Thank you for the information about post surgery getting spayed! I have an 8 month old yorkie poo named Daisy. Since her surgery, thursday, she has not been the same. She has been trembling constantly! I have been very worried! Thank you for easing my mibd!

  36. Val says:

    My little cairnpoo was spayed on Thursday, and have never experienced the after effects as we have now with her. She s 4.1 kilos very small, she’s now I know in terrible pain, have taken her back twice to the vet, just to be told that it’s just a matter of time in healing, but when you see how she’s carrying on jumping and squealing with pain, it’s so hard to accept. Hopefully this now being the 3rd day we will hopefully find some improvement. Had I known that she would be like this I would never have had her done until she was older, she’s only five and a half months old. It’s reassuring to read all the other comments people have left, as I felt so helpless, let’s hope she gets better soon

  37. Sue Foster says:

    So glad I came across your blog, it makes me fell so much better because I felt like a terrible mummy. My beautiful Maddie is a rescue dog, Yorkie and schitzu mix,she’s a year old and sine being spayed has had all the symptoms you listed so out of character fir my happy funny little baby. She was done six days ago, I was so worried about her I took her back on the third day as she hadn’t been to the toilet or eaten or anything.
    The vet took her outside and injected more pain killers and sent her home with tramadol to take with medicine given on the day, I said she wouldn’t walk and wanted picking up all the time, the vet responded with the reply that Maddie know she’d get lots of cuddles ! What did she expect me to do?
    She went for 2 walks and was good two days ago but has now gone back to being paranoid jumping up me not walking or wanting to in the garden to do a wee. I am due to take her back for a check up in 3 days but I spoke to my local RSPCA who I got her from and they said pop her in tomorrow if it helps. I am going to because I can’t stand seeing my baby like this 😪
    Your articlehas so helped me thank you so much you’re so right vets don’t give you any idea what small, young breeds will go through and can be very patronising when you’re seeking answers.

  38. Steve B. says:

    Glad I read this. We have two dogs that were spayed last Friday. One is an 8 month old Havanese. After only about 24 hours she acts almost like nothing happened. The other is a 2year old Maltese. After three days now she is still lethargic, and darts frantically for short distances and with her hind legs and back hunched, when she does move. Her incision looks good but I was starting to worry that something bad was wrong internally. Hopefully she just needs time to heal.

  39. Barb says:

    Sami, is 6 months Bichon Frise was spayed this pass Monday 10/2/17 and never missed a beat. She was running around after her second day of being spayed. I had to stop her from being so active. The first three nights I gave her medication. I had laser surgery as opposed to regular surgery where there was no bleeding. It cost more, I am happy I paid the cost she is as active as she was before being spayed. Not sure if the laser helped with her behavior, she is recovering just fine. After reading all comments, I am so sorry that your puppies suffered, this little little girl (Sami)is strong and doing fine. GOD BLESS your puppy babies.

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