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11-19-2007, 00:23 #1
Saving my dog should make me feel good, right?
Well I have to say this weekend has been quiet challenging. I spent every waking hour of my early weekend days worrying about my sister who lives very far away and is having real difficulties at home. (We lost our Mother to cancer in August and her father is causing her real trouble).
Well in the middle of dealing with some lovely family drama, my wife comes to me and says the dog doesn't look himself (my 4 year old Shar Pei/Dobie mix who means the absolute world to me- great dog) Anyways, I go find him and I agree he looks kind of strange so I take him outside to get some air and hopefully relieve himself. A few minutes later he is foaming at the mouth and the poor thing sprints over to me, looks up at me and lays down at my feet in a fetal position. I knew something was wrong so I called the Vet ER and a few moments later my poor dog's stomach is three times the normal size and it looks like he swallowed a basketball!!! I yell to the wife (who is normally a ball of stress but never fails to amaze me how amazingly calm she gets when sh&% hits the fan) and were off to the races rushing my pseudo-child to the ER...Dr. comes in, I tell him don't BS me give it straight. Dr. says we either operate on your dog or he dies. Talk about a punch to the gut. Dr. says my pup has GDV (gastric torsion- or a flipped stomach) and they deflated him using a needle (I couldn't help but chuckle as I honestly held back tears) but he needs emergency surgery. Without a blink my wife and I both say in sync, what are you waiting for! Three hours later my pup pulls through surgery and is recovering relatively well. I always knew I loved my dog more than the average joe but holy hell was that one tough on me. I don't know why but I had (and still do to some sort) this overwhelming feeling that I failed him because I should have seen this coming. Dr. told us that this condition (which I also found out Dobies are very high risk) can come on as quick as a heart attack. Apparently the ER thinks my dog ate his helping of food (which he was eating as we were eating dinner) way too fast and caused a large amount of air or gas to develop in the stomach. He probably went a played around with our other dog as normal and ultimately lead to the stomach twisting. I know we did right (regardless of the price tag on the vet bill ) and the thought of putting him down didn't even cross my mind. I can't help but play the scenario over and over again and think I failed in some way even though I know it is irrational. Who knows, I am just so ecstatic to have my dog back home (all 25 staples and the 18 inch incision of him) Maybe I'm crazy who knows but I found out just how much I really do love my dog.
Moral of the story, take care of your dog and watch out for this silent killer called GDV, bloat, torsion, etc. My three different vets never once mentioned anything about his high risk to me and I never heard of this condition before let alone know it can come on seemingly unprovoked. We all learned the hard way...my poor pup has the war wounds to show it and I have the vet bill to prove it
Sorry for the long post and I know it's not LE related but I had to get it off my chest in another form other than talking on the phone.
Last edited by methos_tj; 11-19-2007 at 00:32."We will not rise to the occasion...we will only sink to our level of training." Grossman On Combat
11-19-2007, 05:45 #2
It's a scary condition, somewhat common in large breed dogs. I lost a Mastiff to it about 6 years ago, pisses me off. Glad you were able to catch it early and do something. There's nothing you can really do to prevent it, other than making the dog eat slowly (yeah right), but catching it early is the key. Nice job and good luck with the recovery....keep that pup pampered.
11-19-2007, 07:42 #3RMutto Guest
Man's Best Friend
I know I can relate to that. This last February our second son was born - what normally would be a stressful (although quite happy) time. My oldest son wasn't even two yet and we brought home the baby to meet the family and pets (three cats and a Chocolat Lab). Just a few weeks before my son was born, we noticed a large knot beneath my dog's right eye. Took him to the vet and they believed that he had an abscesed (sp?) tooth - immediately pulled two teeth from his right upper jaw. The swelling went down, but after less than a week it came back twice as large. Went to the vet again the week before my son was born and they did all the blood work and X-rayed the area, but still thought it was abscese. Needless to say, the week my son was born, we discovered that it was a malignent tumer that had eaten through the nasel cavity and was pressing on his right eye. It was inoperable and terminal. So in the midst of bringing home my baby, I spent the last few days with my puppy (only 4 1/2 years old). He wanted to play so much, but got so tired after a few minutes. I was with him when they put him to sleep and cried the whole way home. Even nine months later it still hurts to think about it - and my oldest son will say things every now and again about the dog he had when he was a baby (he's only 2 1/2) or that his dog is sleeping.
Keep an eye on your puppy and give them extra love.
11-19-2007, 08:11 #4
I can relate
I've got two Boston Terriers at home, and they are family in every sense of the word. I don't care how shi**y your day has been, they are glad to see you no matter what. I mean falling over themselves happy to see you. It always amuses me to see them battling one another over who is going to get picked up first. If / when something happens to either of them my wife would bankrupt us to get them whatever care they needed............and I wouldn't bat an eye.Never take life to seriously................no one gets out alive anyway. -- Author unknown
11-19-2007, 15:08 #5Bite and Hold Moderator
- Join Date
- Nov 2000
Methos, glad things turned out the way they did. When it comes to your dog's happiness, nothing stops in the way. I love my shepherd than the world itself. After coming home from a long shift in the middle of the night with my wife sleeping, she is as happy as ever to see me. Makes you feel pretty good, coming home to an quiet house in the middle of the night. Definetely man's best friend. She would do anything to protect me, my family or my house. I can only do the same back.
I understand how you felt. I was in Quantico going through some schools when my pup back here in MN was rushed to the ER by my wife. The pup had water in her lungs, and needed to keep her overnight, or she would have died. Luckily she pulled through. The hardest part was being halfway across the country while my wife had to handle the whole incident. At least you were able to be with the him.
Last edited by K9 Police; 11-19-2007 at 15:11.
11-19-2007, 15:20 #6
Thanks for all the replies. My pup and I are hanging out keepig each other company...well actually I'm typing here and my pup is fast asleep thanks to some good pain meds. Things went well last night for his first night back home. We'll take it day by day and hopefully full recovery won't be too far away. I still wonder if he was released a little early from the hospital but I trusted the surgeon enough to save my dog so I guess I need to trust him when he told me he was good to come home.
From the land of lala my dog thanks for the wishes"We will not rise to the occasion...we will only sink to our level of training." Grossman On Combat
11-19-2007, 16:36 #7
Very aware. . .
I am very aware of this problem. The slang term for the condition is bloat.
I understand, about the bills and all. Sometimes I think my vet sees me coming then makes cruise reservations and the emergency clinic ought to have a wing in my name.
Keep scratching behind the ears. . Dogs are truely a blessing, no matter how cruddy a day I thought I've had, I come home, don't care if anyone talks to me, but give me 10 minutes with my hound and I am back to face the world (for a while).That is the law. . . according to the rules.
11-19-2007, 19:54 #8
I adopted Lucius, my siamese cat, from the Hurricane Katrina situation. They didn't tell me how sick he was and I guess I never thought about it. But after getting him home he was very sick and lathargic (throwing up and what not). I'll spare the details. I was so stressed out. After taking him to a few vets I finally found someone that diagnosed him right. He had a fungal infection (cochcitia micosis) and the vet wrote him a script. He was much better in just one day.
The vet was really great. I ended up dating him after the whole ordeal. Really great guy. He forgave some of my vet bills."From whence comes the purpose of a person's life?.....Come it by chance, a casting of the lot, or does a call of destiny beckon to each of us?"
11-19-2007, 21:39 #9
I got my lab/pit mix from Katrina as well. I mean it when I say I would take a bullet for this dog, and I'm sure he would for me too. He gets the best vet care money can buy, and I just hope his life-span will somehow equal mine through science. I can't imagine what it was like before I had him, and my wife can't either. Great decision by you guys, and I hope your pooch is his old self soon. People often forget the commitment made to animals when we adopt them. They are part of the family, and you can't put a price on somone you love.
11-21-2007, 09:42 #10Kelly8280 Guest
Metho, I am soooo sorry to hear about this but relieved your pooch is pulling through. My best friend lost a 4 year old perfectly healthy Dane to "bloat." The vet said to watch out for it with larger dogs and if your pet likes to gobble down food, to feed him/her in smaller portions so there's not so much to scarf at once (half and then half in an hour or so perhaps). I have 2 rescued border collie/black lab mix and feed them twice a day instead of one huge meal.
Like everybody's posted, vet bills are the least of my concerns when my "children" are sick. But I'd like to recommend pet insurance to all. There are numerous companies and many are online and will give free instant online quotes. The older the dog, the pricier it can be, so I suggest getting it when they're still a pup, if possible. Breed makes a difference as well. But the plan I've got is worth every penny. After annual premium, I only pay $10 co-pay for my dogs to get any service besides surgery. Plus most surgeries would only cost me 20% of the bill. It covers flea/tick and heartworm 100%. Like I said, totally worth looking into.
11-21-2007, 16:33 #11
thanks Kelly. After this, a broken leg, chocolate OD and various other bumps and brusies, I am really considering the pet insurance."We will not rise to the occasion...we will only sink to our level of training." Grossman On Combat
11-24-2007, 00:48 #12
Pet insurance sounds pretty good, but I would be afraid to see the premium for my 15 year old dachshund!
Pancreaitis (sp?) almost got her four years ago and the vet gave her a 5% chance to live. Before I left for FLETC four years ago, I told my dog not die while I was gone. O of course it was in jest, but she was 12 at the time and she sure gave me a scare. For about two weeks while I was at FLETC I did not know if she was going to live or die and she was essentially our first "child." Talk about being miserable. They removed about 1/3 of her pancreas and is now on a prescription dog food.
Vet bills....thank goodness my vet lets us pay it out over time. Yea...you should feel good about your dog....he worships the ground you walk on and he is your friend unconditionally. Let us know how he is progressing with his recovery!
11-24-2007, 01:13 #13
Thanks for all the thoughts and advice. Well one week down after surgery and I have to say that the pup is progressing quite well. Taking the meds as directed and eating the bland diet without much fight is a huge +. I am amazed that he doesn't even act like he has 25 some staples holding his intestines in. I perks up in the morning like I've never seen him do before and it just looks like he is ready to go. Then I have to rule with the iron fist and keep him calm for his own good. It is funny, he makes it very known to both my wife and I that he enjoys the sun coming up and us taking care of him. Kind of like he had the whole life flash before his eyes. It is really great to see him back to his good ol' self and hopefully by X-mas he'll be chasing the squirrels down once again! If all stays on track Dr. says the staples should be coming December 3 or 4!!!
I'll keep posting updates.
Thanks again for all the support!"We will not rise to the occasion...we will only sink to our level of training." Grossman On Combat
11-24-2007, 17:15 #14
My cat's motto during Thanksgiving is "Thanks, but I'm not Giving"."From whence comes the purpose of a person's life?.....Come it by chance, a casting of the lot, or does a call of destiny beckon to each of us?"
11-24-2007, 17:34 #15
There are several emergency home kits for bloat. It's sadly all too common in large breeds, especially Mastiff-types that like to inhale their food. Do a google and you'll come up with one. I can't remember where I got mine as it's been a number of years, but I found a homemade version and the URL is below. Take care of that pup!!
Last edited by dmclark; 11-24-2007 at 17:36.“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” — Miguel de Cervantes