When it rains, it pours.

I was clearly a very, very bad person in a previous life. That is the only way to explain the past 30 days. First Gus, then Skimble, now this.

We came remarkably close to never being able to post this sort of picture again.

Last night, as usual, we fed the dogs around midnight, and then I went to bed. At 1:15, Crow woke me up by moving around restlessly. He does that sometimes, so I opened an eye, rolled over, and tried to go back to sleep. A minute later, he started unproductively retching.

His abdomen was visibly swollen, and he kept trying to vomit unsuccessfully.

Five minutes after that, I had called the ER vet to warn them we were on their way, and sped off going 2x the speed limit.

Less than 45 minutes after he started bloating, Crow was in surgery.

The speed saved his life. His stomach was bruised, but the tissue wasn’t dying yet. He was out of surgery by 3:30 am, and spent the day at our regular vet’s office with fluids, antibiotics, and heart monitoring.

Now, he’s at home, passed out on the couch, stoned out of his mind on pain killers, as you can clearly see.

There’s some really important lessons in here for every dog owner.

Bloat, or GDV is a life threatening condition where gas cannot escape a dog’s stomach, and the stomach (and generally the spleen as well) twists on itself and cuts off blood circulation.

The most important symptom is a dog who is trying to vomit and cannot. Deep chested breeds are more susceptible, as are somewhat older dogs.

TIME IS VITAL. Minutes make a HUGE difference. Every second that the tissue is without blood is exceedingly harmful.

Calling ahead means that when you show up, they’re ready for you. We walked through the door, they grabbed the dog and was doing an x-ray after shouting a quick estimate over their shoulder.

It’s survivable, with surgery, and speed. Crow will be fine.

But man, I could use a break. I like our vets, but I’m tired of seeing them.

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2 Responses to When it rains, it pours.

  1. Anne says:

    I am so sorry for the month you have had and so glad that Crow is going to be ok. When I had German Shepherds I was warned about bloat and the idea is terrifying. I can only imagine how you must have felt.

    Good on you for moving so quickly and thanks for the reminder that calling the ER will save precious minutes. I hope you can get some sleep now.

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