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  • Bloat within 2 days of pexy....

    Two days ago, as I mentioned in an earlier post, my 4 yo had, what appeared to be, a successful laparoscopic gastro pexy. We decided to have the procedure performed after he showed early signs of bloat about a month ago (hadn't actually torsioned, but filled with gas which the vet was able to stabilize).

    Before being discharged last night following the pexy, the reports from the vet were that Oscar was "doing great" but not eating. They said this was typical for the breed in that they usually only like to eat at home. They also said he appeared very nervous/anxious. I accepted this since I know Oscar is a finicky eater to begin with and a little on the nervous side.

    Late yesterday, the vet said that, although he wasn't eating, he seemed to be doing well. They approved his discharge and I was able to pick him up last night. My wife and I were obviously anxious to get him home after a two day vet stay.

    When I picked him up, he seemed very lethargic which I attributed to post operative exhaustion. I got him home and tried to get him to eat boiled chicken and rice with no luck. He went right to sleep on his bed, and didn't seem to be in any pain. He just seemed tired.

    He awoke at 12 am to go out and I tried to feed him again. This time he ate a few cups, which included his prescribed dosage of Tramadol and Carprofen. He ate a few more cups this morning, at 12 and then at 6. My wife also gave him more meds. My wife indicated that he appeared to be getting better.

    When I got home from work, he greeted me as he usually does and seemed eager for attention. He seemed like his "old self."

    Within a half an hour, things drastically changed. He started vomitting and then dry wretching. We immediately thought it was the meds as he has a sensitive stomach. He also pooped a soft black stool. After a half hour, I called the vet and they had me admit him immediately. I should also mention that, despite having just eaten, he didn't vomit anything up but flem.

    Upon examination, they said his heart was racing, he seemed to have discomfort, and, after doing an xray, confirmed he had bloated!! The vet indicated that his stomach and intestines were filled with gas (and unprocessed food) and that she wanted to admit him to perform a gastric lavage (tube) to extract the gas. She said fortunately we did the pexy when we did 'cause he would have torsioned. She also stated that once he's better, we're going to have to put him on a diet that may help mitigate the chances of this happening in the future.

    She also began to tell me that, if this becomes a recurring thing (after all, it had been twice within a month), my wife and I should consider a limit as to how many times we'd want to subject Oscar to that treatment and how often we would want to bear the cost. She said some dogs are susceptible to this and there's little one can do.

    Well . . . my wife and I were naturally heartbroken. After the emotional impact, we began to wonder, "how could this have happened within two days of surgery?", " how could this not have somehow been related to the trauma caused to his stomach by the surgery?", " how could this not have had anything to do with the fact that he hadn't eaten in two 1/2 days until he finally got his appetite early this morning?" Moreover, this didn't have anything to do with the fact that his body apparently hadn't processed any of the food he had eaten? The vet made it sound like it was just a random and unexplainable occurrence.

    We're really at a loss. I guess I have always knew that, once the pexy was done, the possibility was there for a recurrence. But now it appears we're having to potentially deal with "regular" recurrences. For the record, we have been extremely diligent in our care for him including plenty of exercise, a high quality diet (Canidae ALS his entire life), elevated food bowls, etc. Folks, including our vet, have always remarked at how "great" he looks, healthy he is (otherwise) and what a "stunning" dog he is.

    Anyway . . . the folks here on DOL have always been an immense help since we picked Osc up when he was only 8 weeks. If anyone has any thoughts, we'd be greatly appreciative.
    Last edited by danzwilli; 09-19-2008, 07:47 AM. Reason: Clarification

  • #2
    Oh goodness........that's awful. I hope he is doing better tonight. Poor guy has been through way too much the past few days and you too! I do not have any experience with this or advice, but there are so many EXPERTS here who do........and I know you will get some feedback from them soon. I just want to sympathize with what you must be going through right now..........hoping for the best and that he is going to be A-OK......hugs to your Oscar!!!
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    • #3
      Bloat

      They are less likely to bloat on a raw diet so you might want to look into that. Also, I would give him slippery elm and digestive enzymes daily.

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      • #4
        <<He also pooped a soft black stool. After a half hour, I called the vet and they had me admit him immediately. I should also mention that, despite having just eaten, he didn't vomit anything up but flem.>>

        Black stool is not good. It means blood.

        Lapriscopic surgery is relatively easy on a dog considering the other types of pexies. Im wondering why he had such a difficult time (2 days) recovering from this procedure. Is there another underlying problem? Was there a problem with the surgery itself?
        I know you dont have the answers to these questions, but I would be asking them to myself.

        I dont want to give any bad vibes, but if something happens to your dog (like death) I would have a cropsy done at totally different facility and find out exactly what went wrong. Too bring a totally healthy dog in for a relatively minor surgery and have him come back like this is highly questionable.

        Maybe another opinion from a Dane vet is in order?

        Best of luck,
        Carolyn
        Divine Acres Great Danes
        Divine Acres The Legend "Bruce" 5 1/2 months old..5th generation of DA Danes!
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        • #5
          Seems to me someone (I think Ali) had a standard poodle that bloated and they fed her a home cooked diet to help avoid her bloating again. It's a lot more work than raw, but might be an alternative if you are against raw. I'm sorry that this has happened to Oscar. I hope he will be okay. Sending healing thoughts and prayers.
          Linda and Rocky
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          Jesse 1998-2007
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGVBbjuLUGM
          Harley 1998-2002
          Breeze 1973-1982


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Carolyn View Post
            <<He also pooped a soft black stool. After a half hour, I called the vet and they had me admit him immediately. I should also mention that, despite having just eaten, he didn't vomit anything up but flem.>>

            Black stool is not good. It means blood.

            Lapriscopic surgery is relatively easy on a dog considering the other types of pexies. Im wondering why he had such a difficult time (2 days) recovering from this procedure. Is there another underlying problem? Was there a problem with the surgery itself?
            I know you dont have the answers to these questions, but I would be asking them to myself.

            I dont want to give any bad vibes, but if something happens to your dog (like death) I would have a cropsy done at totally different facility and find out exactly what went wrong. Too bring a totally healthy dog in for a relatively minor surgery and have him come back like this is highly questionable.

            Maybe another opinion from a Dane vet is in order?

            Best of luck,

            Thanks, all great questions. All I know is what I was told. The vet is a very reputable vet (although not immune from things going wrong). To say that Oscar's bloating within two days of surgery is attributable to just a randon episode and having nothing to do with his surgery, inability to process food, etc. is dismissive and self-serving. Nonetheless, that doesn't help his condition. And to intimate that this may be a recurring thing when, up until a month ago, he was perfectly fine and never showed prior symptoms of food bloat, etc., definitely has us "scratching our heads".

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            • #7
              Just something to think about and ask your vet...
              My girl had a pexy done 3 years ago and had major complications. It turned out to be that the "tack" was put in a spot that allowed the stomach to flap over the intestinal opening causing the stomach to fill up with food and gas and nowhere to go. It is a very uncommon thing to happen and not one that the vets even considered a possibility until it was almost too late for my girl. It was not discovered until she was opened back up as a last resort to figure out what was going on. I don't want to alarm anyone because this is an extremely rare thing to happen, but we waited only a month mostly because the vets had never even considered this to be a possibility and we have life long issues to deal with.
              Good luck and keep up posted.
              Kathy

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              • #8
                The vet needs to address the meaning of the black stool.

                Has your Dane passed regular stool since he's been home?

                The issue about the stomach flap suggested by another poster also should be followed up on.

                I would try your vet one more time to allow him to address the issue of the black stool and discuss the possibility with him of the placement of the tack.

                You don't give your location, but then I'd suggest you contact your nearest Great Dane Club and find the name of a Dane savvy vet and visit that vet for a second opinion, taking x-rays with you.

                In the long run, that would be cheaper than the course your current vet feels may be in the future.

                We hope this works out all right, and we also hope you'll let us know how it goes.

                Thanks.

                mp

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                • #9
                  ...and to add to this, over the years several of our members whose Danes were gastropexied had their spleen torse. They ended up having emergency surgery to remove the spleen and their Danes survived.

                  Our Jupiter was gastropexied in November, then two months later his colon torsed. Lucky for us, I took him to the vet after he hadn't pooped in two days and refused to eat. The vet did an ultrasound, saw the twisted colon, and immediately sent us to the ER. Luckily he survived thanks to a surgeon that had performed colon torsion surgery on several horses over the years.

                  What I'm trying to say is gastropexy addresses the most common location of GDV, but Danes can torse anywhere in their digestive tract. If he were mine, ASAP I'd be asking for x-rays or ultrasound just to rule out this possibility.
                  Lissa's furkids: Jupiter (RIP), Merlot (RIP), Savannah, and Poet
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                  AKC CGC Evaluator #9661 since 2003
                  Feeding RMB since 2001

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                  • #10
                    They stated that the black stool was not uncommon for this type of surgery. Although, he has not passed a normal stool since he's been home.

                    I'm actually located in the RI/MA area. I will look into another opinion.

                    As an update, we picked Oscar up tonight after having his gastric lavage last night. The vet said he seemed OK to be discharged. Honestly, at this point, he'd be more comfortable in his own home. While the vet is a "reputable vet" who has treated Oscar in the past, I haven't exactly been thrilled with his treatment this week, to say the least.

                    In any event, he appears to be very weak. They prescribed Metoclopramide and Sucralfate as well as Pepsid/GasX. They did say that apparently his system wasn't "moving things through" since he hadn't eaten in a few days and given the food in his stomach when they performed the procedure. This allowed bacteria to build which could have caused the gas build up. They indicated that these meds would help his system keep things moving.

                    He's not interested in eating at this point, which was the case when we got him home after the pexy. If he doesn't regain his appetite by tomorrow am, I'm going to call another vet.

                    Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated-

                    Thanks again-

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                    • #11
                      It is imperative, at this point, to get him to eat. Go buy some canned food and offer him very small amounts at a time......even from your fingers if that will entice him more. Try cottage cheese, boiled chicken, or fried hamburger (rinsed with water to get all the grease off).

                      Personally, I have AFS meat www.animalfood.com on hand at all times for situations like this. If a dog gets to this point I will force feed them, which is easy to do with the AFS meat. I know it digests very easily and normally even sick dogs will eat some on their own.

                      I feel really bad for you. I cant help but think that something seriously went wrong with the surgery.

                      Edit for:
                      Black stool is normal for this kind of surgery??? Never, ever heard that before!! Ive been thru several surgeries over the last 15yrs of owning multiple Danes and not once have I ever seen black stool or has a vet stated black stool was " not uncommon".
                      Last edited by Carolyn; 09-19-2008, 06:24 PM. Reason: add another thought
                      Carolyn
                      Divine Acres Great Danes
                      Divine Acres The Legend "Bruce" 5 1/2 months old..5th generation of DA Danes!
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                      • #12
                        So, do I understand that you were told to give him Carprofen on an empty stomach? I'd seriously suspect this as a possible cause of bloody stool. Rimadyl should never be given on an empty stomach since it causes GI issues. You wouldn't necessarily know this, but your vet should.

                        My boy just had this same procedure three weeks ago and is doing very well. I was specifically told no NSAIDS post surgery. He was given Tramadol for pain, which he only needed for a couple days.

                        I hope Oscar is feeling better soon and that you can figure out what's going on with the poor boy.

                        ETA: Sorry, when I went back to read it seems you gave the Carprofen with food. I would check and see if they gave him any at the hospital before you brought him home when he wasn't eating. It can be given injectable also.
                        Last edited by ingrid; 09-20-2008, 03:56 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with what Carolyn said. We were told to start Deuce with wet food (I even pureed it and mixed a tiny bit of chicken broth in it) multiple times a day. The wet food is easier to digest. Deuce was fed approx. 5-6 times a day after he bloated. We moved from feeding pureed food to feeding wet food. Then mixed the wet food into rice. We took a long time to work up to dry food post-surgery to make sure that things were as easy on his stomach as possible.
                          Tamara and Deuce
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                          • #14
                            Oscar is in my thoughts and prayers for a full recovery from his surgery. I hope that you were able to get some 'soft' and 'wet' food into him tonight by hand-feeding him. I know this has got to be really scary for you. I hope that you can get him in to another vet first thing tomorrow so that you can get a 2nd opinion on all of this......anything to get Oscar well and feeling his old self again. Please keep us posted.........sending positive thoughts your way......
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                            • #15
                              Just a thought...

                              Let's say the procedure was done correctly and the carprofen is the cause of the black stool...is it remotely possible that the lethargy and the system not "moving" the way it should have anything to do with a less than favorable anesthesia??
                              June, Bumper (deaf & blind), Joey, Daisy, and Angel Ann (deaf)
                              RIP Dakota Blue Moon
                              Oct 27, 2006, Oct 01, 2012

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