We did all that and still....
And further, Dr. Rutherford says in his article:
“Clinically, bloat is when the stomach fills with gas and becomes distended, but the dog cannot burp or relieve the pressure exerted by the gas. Bloat with twisting or GDV is when the dog's stomach fills with gas (and often fluid) and twists 180 to 360 degrees on it's axis between the esophagus and duodenum or the entrance and exit parts of the stomach. When "simple bloat" or gastric dilatation occurs and the stomach swells, a great deal of pressure is put upon the surrounding organs including the liver and lungs interfering with the dog's ability to breath, and the blood supply to the stomach wall is decreased.
|This is very painful for the dog and quickly becomes a medical emergency. When bloat is complicated by twisting, gastric dilatation, and volvulus, the situation worsens rapidly. In addition to the pressure exerted by the gas distending the stomach, the twisting stops the blood supply to the stomach wall and the tissues themselves begin to die.”|
As you might already guess, this is a very painful condition that, left untreated, escalates quickly resulting in certain death as few as a few hours later. It is NOT a good death. Rhett was so quiet, no whimpering, no vocalization that would let me know just how bad he hurt. But his mannerisms told me he wasn't at all comfortable and so I had to go on my gut. As I responded and got him to the vet so quickly, Rhett was mobile, he was clearly ill, but able to move around, was lucid and basically not yet in shock. This meant they were able to stabilize him quickly, set him up with fluids and otherwise prep him for surgery. Once the surgeon untwisted his belly, while very bruised, the tissues engorged with blood and became nice and pink again. His spleen was intact, he had no permanent damage done to any of his internal organs. This photo was taken 9 hours after surgery. He could barely stand and was not at all comfortable or apparently happy to see us. About 6 hours later on the same day, though, he clearly was happy to see us and go home!
CHARCOAL - Firstly, there is activated charcoal, such as Natures Way. If you feel your pup is gassy and uncomfortable, give him some charcoal. This is not something you want to add to his meals because in the detoxification process that charcoal is brilliant for, it can also wipe out the vitamins in your pups food. You can also provide a treat which may be easier to administer, such as Darford Naturals Charmint Dog Treats.PROBIOTICS - I like Primal Defense, to keep the gut healthy and working optimally. I also like that it comes in a capsule or powder with a scoop to just mix in food because our entire family takes this.
GINGER - Such as Dr. Wakde's Ginger Powder, which can be sprinkled into food, both dog and human, aides in the prevention of gas buildup.THYME - Fresh or Dried Thyme, such as Spicely Organic Thyme Powder, sprinkled into food can also help.
PRE-PLANNING - You never want to be here where I was and am right now. It is soul crushing to see your dog child in such misery and possible early demise. Honestly, I was proud of the way I cared for Rhett and never saw this coming. That stated, I read up on this condition because he is a barrel-chested dog and I looked for a vet that was open 24x7 nearby. It happens to be a great place (For those in the Dallas area, I highly recommend Hillside Vet Clinic, where we have been taking our pets for over 2 decades) and I was able to meet with the surgeon prior to kissing Rhett goodbye and leaving for the evening. The next bit of pre-planning is sort of like a fire drill where you assemble and quietly make your way to the exits. You want to stay calm for your family member. Why introduce further trauma and drama? So be calm. When working with the folks who will potentially save your pets life, it isn't their fault the prices are so jacked or that you are even there. So be polite, patient and absorb the message. They have a stressful job to do. They will be the ones on the other end of the phone either with grave news or telling you he made it and coaching you through next steps. Either way, it's not easy work.
COSTLY SURGERY - This is not cheap and I was mandated actually to pay before they would even proceed although I had told them yes, proceed. What I liked is that I was provided the best case and worst case scenarios and pricing accordingly. I didn't let grass grow, I got my boy to the vet asap. It actually took them longer to prep and schedule him for his surgery than it took me to notice the signs, make a diagnosis, load him into the car and haul him to the vet! Because my actions were swift, the damage was greatly minimized so that made for the best surgical outcome and less money. For numerous reasons, bloat is not anything you want to mess around with, get your pup to the vet and quickly. It was more than 2 hours later when Rhett went into surgery so you want to allow time for the length of time everything takes once your pet is there.
RECOVERY - Rhett is home and healing, we were thankful that he was released the following day, just under 24 hours later. He is in a lot of pain and is on meds for that. He kept me up all night whining the first 2 nights home. And he sure didn't want to eat anything even though the vet wanted him to. I have read that it's tender inside the tummy as well as outside at the scar site and so pups may not feel like eating for a couple of days. As I type this, Rhett is whining. But he is eating a tiny amount of food, able to pee and poop on his own and noticed a squirrel on our walk this morning. Apparently, there is no laparoscopy on this kind of situation. This means a big ole cut to the gut. Rhett's incision site is clean but about 8 inches. We equate the pain level to what my husband went through during his first hernia surgery where they did it 'old style' and he was in unbelievable pain while on the mend. It took my husband 4 days to go number 2. When he finally attempted it, he wound up passed out on the bathroom floor. I worked from home and held conference calls for work. Folks would interrupt to ask 'Excuse me, what is that moaning sad sound in the background?' and I would explain my husband had recent hernia surgery and is feeling like death. Conversely, his laparoscopy (short small opening and swifter healing with far less pain involved) a few years later to fix what never took the first time, was lightyears different. Michael was up the same afternoon fixing himself lunch! I have no other comparison to draw upon but assume Rhett feels much like my husband did and is suffering so great right now. He will heal, however, and every day he does get better! In hindsight, I would have done more of the above stuff I noted, the ginger, the charcoal treats. I have all this on the roster moving forward now just in case, god forbid, even with the gastropexy, it somehow tries to happen again. Rhett is a farter and while that sounds funny, maybe all of this pain (and expense) could have been prevented with a bit less gas. Well, it is time to walk my boy and see if I can get him to eat again. I hope that this has helped you and yours. Kindly leave a comment below, and sharing is appreciated.