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My Bloat Experience

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  • My Bloat Experience

    - gender? Male
    - age? 3 Years
    - color? Blue
    - known medical issues? None
    - usual temperament (stressed, calm)? Calm, Mild
    - deep chest? Yes
    - type of food – raw or kibble (brand name)? Kibble - Canidae Grain Free Bison
    - human food allowed? Sporadic, in form of treats
    - recent diet change? No
    - feedings per day (one, two, three)? Two
    - feeding(s) at what time(s) of the day? 8:00 am / 5:00 PM
    - fast or slow eater? Slow
    - ground or raised feeder? Ground
    - free access to water? Yes
    - allowed to exercise/play right after meals? No
    - if known, did sire/dam/littermates encounter this issue? No Info yet
    - gastropexy - before/after the incident? After
    - oncoming warning signs, if any? Pacing, heavy drooling, unproductive wretching
    - how long after a meal did the incident occur? 6 hours
    - time of incident? 3:15 PM
    - sequence of events?

    We were away at the time and he was boarded at our usual place. We received a call around 3:15 PM that the staff saw him acting strangely and felt this could be bloat and they felt he should be treated by emergency vet immediately. We concurred and they drove him to the e-vet (only 5 minutes from the boarder)

    Within 15 minutes of the initial call, we were on the phone with the emergency vet and they felt this was a clear case of bloat/gdv and emergency surgery was necessary. Doc made us aware of potential complications and outcomes said he would call mid-surgery if there were issues with necrosis/ruptures. We consented and immediately began driving the 1,000 miles home from vacation.

    3 hours after the initial notification, vet called and updated us. Surgery was generally unremarkable. No signs of necrosis. The areas with blood starvation returned to normal color quickly after the twist was cleared. Doc remarked that they were unable to suction the stomach due to a marshmallow-like foam clogging their tubes. (something he hadn't seen before) They had to make an incision in the stomach to manually clear. They did a pexy before closing him up.

    Hospital recovery seemed fairly straight-forward. We were able to get home about 17 hours after this all started and visited him immediately. He was walking, but was groggy and didn't really recognize us.

    Some slight hiccups with a fast heart rate (180) and slightly-lowered red blood cell count were the only issues during hospital recovery. Both were taken care of with addition and removal of IV fluids. He was urinating and defecating as hoped.

    We were able to take him home ~40 hours post surgery and he's been at home recuperating since. Each day he has shown marked improvement and by day 3 he was starting to want to play again. Yesterday was his first day back to a semi-normal diet, from a bowl. (he's been very food motivated throughout recovery)

    6 days post-surgery and he seems to be coming along, slow and steady. We're hopeful for a solid recovery.

    This was definitely one of the most stressful experiences we've ever encountered. Compounded by the fact we were 1,000 miles away with no way to get back quickly, other than driving.

    - vet involvement? Yes, e-vet
    - outcome? Successful surgery, no necrosis, no arrhythmia or post-op bleeding - 6 days since surgery and he is recovering very well
    - further comments?
    • Take Home Prescriptions: Tramadol / Carprofen / Amoxicillin / Metronidazole
    • His weight was down about 15 pounds (136 when he left the e-vet)

    Hope this helps!

    5 days post-surgery:
    Last edited by SeamusBlue; 08-16-2016, 01:15 PM. Reason: Added photo

  • #2
    Thank you for sharing your experience. I am so glad that everything went as smoothly as it did.

    On a personal note, I believe that it's always a little nerve-wracking when we, as pet owners, are away from home and entrust our pets to others; I know I always work myself up with worry. I am always fearful of the possibility that an abnormal behavior or sign of discomfort will go unnoticed or ignored while in the care of others. Your story actually helps, in a way, by partially dismantling that fear. It's reassuring to read a personal experience in which pet care professionals acted appropriately and timely.

    And if you are, please don't beat yourself up over not being there during the actual bloat event. It can happen at anytime, at anywhere, and often for no apparent/logical reason.

    So, thank you again for sharing your story and I wish Seamus a speedy and uneventful recovery. He looks like he is holding up well.