Monday, June 8, 2009

Pal Update

I have just received a phone call from the vet who performed Pal's latest bloat surgery. It's now been just over 24 hours since she had the surgery. I am so pleased to say that her blood pressure is good, she is alert and bright and the only thing they are checking now is whether her kidneys are functioning well. If that all checks out I will be able to take her home later this afternoon.

Some may have questioned why I would subject my 9 year old girl to another bloat surgery when she just went through this same thing 7 weeks ago. Well, I questioned myself too and believe me while I was driving to the clinic and then bringing her through the doors I wondered what the right decision would be. Had Pal been a feeble 9 year old who was arthritic and showed signs of not have a quality of life my decision would have been different. But the day Pal bloated - that afternoon she was running and playing and giving me body slams and acting like a 5 year old. Pal, despite now surviving two bloat/torsion episodes has really never been ill otherwise - with the exception of pyometra (for which she was emergency spayed).

So anyway people - bloat is scary but dogs can survive it. Obviously, the sooner the dog receives medical attention the more positive the outcome. I have even known dogs who's stomachs are black and dead who have survived (the surgeon cuts away the dead parts of the stomach).

This is now my 6th time dealing with bloat and only once did I have to euthanize the dog because the toxins were too much for her organs to handle.

Most notable signs of bloat (in my experience) - UNPRODUCTIVE vomiting. If you see your dog retching and gagging and cannot vomit this is a classic sign of bloat with torsion. The stomach will also be distended and hard like a drum. The dog will be restless and cannot find a comfortable position. They will drool and they cannot swallow. Check the gums - white gums indicate shock. This is because as the stomach bloats and expands it cuts off blood supply. Get to a vet immediately - the dog must be stabilized with fluids and the gas released by either tubing (which usually means no torsion) or a puncture with a needle to the stomach to release the gas. This is so the blood flow can resume. If there is torsion surgery must be done. Tacking will prevent the stomach from flipping over on its axis, however, as with my experience with Pal, it will not stop the stomach from folding in the middle.

So - even though your dog may have been tacked - note the signs that the dog can still bloat and the stomach can still fold.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! How crazy is that? Im glad your girl is feeling better. And even happier that you put out there the symptoms so everyone knows what to do if their precious family member ever experiences this. I hope she continues to improve for you over the coming days


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