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Thread: Bloody discharge after spay

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    Question Bloody discharge after spay

    1. Emma was spayed on Sept. 12th.
    2. Sutures were removed yesterday.
    3. She's 10 months old.
    4. She's very active and normal, no issues with appetite or anything.

    A couple of days ago I noticed a few bloody spots on Emma's little bed. I thought then that it was from her sutures. Those were removed yesterday and all is fine there. I didn't give it another thought really since I hadn't seen any more blood.

    Last night when putting her up on my bed she left a bloody discharge on my arm. It was a brownish blood of a thick mucus consistency. Founds a good size spot on the carpet too. Her suture area was fine so I checked her vulva. She's bleeding from her vulvu!!! I checked my comforter found quite a few bloody discharge areas on it probably from Friday night. Seems to be more heavy after she pees.

    I did some google searches and best I can find is that it's abnormal but not uncommon.

    Has anyone's dog done this before? I'll be calling her vet this morning.

    Answer: In short, yes, it is possible for a dog or cat who has been spayed to show signs of heat (bleeding, attracting males, behavioral changes) on rare occasion after the spay surgery. How can this happen? First, some female dog and cat anatomy and the spay surgical procedure must be discussed first to understand how a pet can seem to be in heat after a surgery to prevent pregnancy and heat cycles. In the dog and cat, the uterus is shaped like a very long "Y." The common stem (base of Y) is very short relative to the long "arms" or horns of the uterus. The horns are where the puppies and kittens are formed, attached, and grow during gestation.

    The ovaries, while separate from the uterus, are attached via ligaments and blood vessels to both the uterine horns and body. The veterinarian must separate the ovaries from the attachments in the body by clamping and tying off (ligating) the blood vessels.
    The uterus is then removed at the body (base of the "Y"), usually above the cervix so that the cervix remains in the body.

    Each ovary is in a sac. The sac is often filled with fat - more so in older or overweight animals. Sometimes the ovarian tissue is diffuse, sometimes it is very small or not well formed at the time of the spay. It may also be ectopic, meaning it isn't where it should be in the body (a congenital problem).

    In these abnormal situations, when the veterinarian clamps the tissue to ligate the blood vessels, very small bits of ovarian tissue may remain in the body after the surgery. This tissue can then grow and respond to chemical signals from the brain to produce the hormones that cause the heat cycle (estrus).

    How then can the pet actually bleed if the uterus and ovaries have been removed? The lining tissue of the remaining vagina can swell and bleed in response to the hormones, simulating a heat cycle. Unless the uterus was not removed, your pet will not get pregnant.

    Other possible situations that could simulate a heat cycle could be a vaginal or bladder infection, so your veterinarian will need to examine your pet to be sure.
    Last edited by JeannieCO; 09-23-2012 at 09:28 AM.
    Three Hooligans and 1 Angel - Wilson, Sally, Emma & Jack

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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    I found this answer also.

    Thank you for the additional information.

    There are a couple of things that might be going on here, all of which will require a vet visit to help you sort out.

    From your description, it sounds as though the spots of blood are coming from her vulva, most likely in the form of blood in her urine since the blood spots become diluted.

    The spotting that you see where she's been sleeping likely occurs to some urethral sphincter incompetence. Older females that have been spayed,and especially those that had been bred prior to spay, can develop a weakness of the muscle that helps to keep the bladder closed (urethral sphincter). As a result, there can be leakage of urine from the bladder, especially when the pet is at rest and the muscles are at their most relaxed. Urethral sphincter incompetence can be treated with a medication called phenylpropanolamine daily or one called DES a couple of time per week- this is lifelong therapy.

    The blood in the urine may result from a urinary tract infection (UTI), which could secondary to the urethral sphincter incompetence. Since the sphincter is open, it allows bacteria within the vaginal vault to ascend the urethra and enter the bladder to cause infection.
    The UTI may also be secondary to crystals or stones within the bladder that cause irritation of the bladder wall, resulting in bleeding and increased risk of urinary tract infection.
    A final possibility for blood in the urine is a tumor of the urinary bladder called transitional cell carcinoma.

    Other possibilities for blood from the vulva include a vaginal infection, an infection of the small portion of the uterus that remains after spay, or a mass in the vagina.

    Your girl will need to be examined by a vet and have a urinalysis done to find out if there is a urinary tract infection. Imaging of the urinary bladder (either x-ray or ultrasound) is also recommended to help rule out bladder stones or masses within the bladder or vagina.
    Three Hooligans and 1 Angel - Wilson, Sally, Emma & Jack

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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    hm no sis sarah did not have that so im of no help there. no bleeding whatsoever. just some slight redness at her sutures that went away. i hope my emma is ok. let me know what the vet says and maybe someone else knows what that is.

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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    She seems totally fine except for that.
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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    Quote Originally Posted by JeannieCO View Post
    She seems totally fine except for that.
    im sure she is ok. just something minor.

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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    Hope she's OK!

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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    @JeannieCO, found this question/ response to someone's dog having similar sx's after her spay:

    I got my 6 month old dog spayed yesterday morning. Last night (after the anethesia wore off) and this morning she's been licking her vulva and we noticed some light spotting (drops of blood every so often) coming from her vulva (not the sutures). I called our vet this morning and we brought her in and the vet said (after a VERY brief examination) that its normal for some spotting to occur and sent us home with some antibiotics. Does this sound normal at all? I did a search on bleeding and found all the scary threads of dogs dying after sugery so needless to say, I'm a bit paranoid now. Other than her discomfort (both from the surgery and her vulva, which she licks) she's been slowly getting back to normal... walking around some, going to the bathroom outside, eating. Thanks for any advice!!!

    It's totally normal to have some spotting after a spay (or hysterectomy in people for that matter) [replacer_img] Remember that the skin incision is not the only incision, the uterus was taken out and the top of the vagina, and this incision was closed. It is normal for this incision to have a small amount of bleeding. It is also common to have some spotting occur a few days after surgery because blood that may be clotted in the vagina now will liquify several days later (about 72hours) so don't be worried by that either [replacer_img] Keep an eye on increasing bleeding, foul smelling discharge, or a puppy that's not acting right! Hope this helps [replacer_img]


    I'll see if i can find any other info.




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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    Henny, that's what I'm thinking too - that it's just the aftermath. It would have started as early as Friday night (9 days after her spay). I've emailed her vet so I'll see if he answers today. If not I'll call them tomorrow.
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    I have not heard of that either... It could be some residual from the surgery itself. An example is after a csection there is a ton of brownish goo that comes out, and it's not a heat. Then it tapers off into a light bloody discharge. The vet says it's not afterbirth, but the shrinking of the uterus.

    Now Emmas heat was not that long ago, so perhaps that has something to do with it?

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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    Quote Originally Posted by desertskybulldogs View Post
    I have not heard of that either... It could be some residual from the surgery itself. An example is after a csection there is a ton of brownish goo that comes out, and it's not a heat. Then it tapers off into a light bloody discharge. The vet says it's not afterbirth, but the shrinking of the uterus.

    Now Emmas heat was not that long ago, so perhaps that has something to do with it?

    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk
    That's what I'm thinking now too. Makes perfectly good sense. I'll still check with vet. You know the last few days she's been quite smitten/frisky with the boys and I took note of that on Friday. My little girl is a hound dog!
    Three Hooligans and 1 Angel - Wilson, Sally, Emma & Jack

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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    Quote Originally Posted by JeannieCO View Post
    That's what I'm thinking now too. Makes perfectly good sense. I'll still check with vet. You know the last few days she's been quite smitten/frisky with the boys and I took note of that on Friday. My little girl is a hound dog!
    I read that too somewhere online...if the dog is in heat then she may get such a discharge.




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    Default Re: Bloody discharge after spay

    No experience with this, but I hope she's ok! Glad she's acting normal, frisky, but normal!
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