Once again my beloved old girl Pal bloated. She woke me up with her retching sounds at 12:40 am - trying to vomit but it was unproductive. Her stomach was somewhat distended and hard. I tried tubing her myself - hoping that I could get the tube into her stomach to relieve the build-up of gas. I thought I heard gas escaping but stomach did not appear to decompress. I tried several more times. Since Pal went through bloat and surgery 7 weeks ago and had her stomach tacked at that time, I just couldn't believe that she would have torsioned. She remained restless and again tried vomiting without success. I checked her gums and noticed they were almost white - this indicates shock. No more fooling around at home - this was an Emergency with a capital "E". I got her to the Western College of Vet Med (WCVM) at 3:30 am (again avoiding the deer).
Xrays showed that while her stomach was still "in place" she had a heavy build-up of gas in her stomach and intestines and she had heart arrhythmia. Tubing was unsuccessful, so she was decompressed with a needle puncture to the stomach. She also had severe increase of lactate acid in her blood. She was stabilized with fluids, but due to the arrhythmia and high lactate her prognosis of survival was put at 60 percent - many dogs will die of heart failure at this point.
As I write this blog, Pal has survived the surgery and the blood acids are down to normal levels now. Her arrhythmia has stopped, but she is having some difficulty breathing and her plasma levels are low. She is on oxygen and is being given more plasma. The next 24 hours are critical and will determine whether she will survive.
Despite the tack from the previous surgery, Pal's stomach, while not torsioned, had folded over in the middle - cutting off blood supply. They have put another tack on the other side in hopes that this will not reoccur. Her stomach looked healthy and didn't show any necrotic tissue (but this can happen later). Her intestines were good and they saw no signs of tumors on her major organs. The surgeon was much more optimistic when he spoke with me the last time.
Pal is a fighter. She's 9 years old. I am hoping I will have her home in the next couple of days.