When It's Bloat

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by shadowfacedanes, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. shadowfacedanes

    shadowfacedanes *Biter*

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,947
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As most everyone knows, Hannah bloated and torsioned Tuesday evening. Here's what happened, and what we did....

    Tuesday started out like any other day. Normal routine, nothing out of the ordinary occured. I walked Hannah, fed her two cups of food with her medicine, filled her kong and her peanut butter bone, and headed to work.

    When we got home from work, I noticed two small discolored spots on the floor, apparently from where she had vomited. Hannah vomits from time to time, but it was no extra cause for alarm...yet. I did notice that when we get home, Hannah always vocalizes her happiness to see us. Tuesday, there was no vocalization - but she was still excited to see us.

    I grabbed her leash and off we went. She went pee and poop as usual - poop was normal. She was more subdued on her leash than usual, but I just thought it was because her training was really paying off (HA!). We walked down to the river and instead of playing (RED FLAG!) she tried to drink out of it. Being strange water, I didn't want her drinking it, so we headed back up the bank and back to the apartment. When we got in, she went straight to her water dish and started to drink frantically. I called her away from her dish after a bit because I didn't want her gulping too much. When she walked away from the dish, she came to me and she was just looking at me. I asked her what was wrong and offered her a cookie. She took it from my hand and then dropped it on the floor. I told Jeff to come here, and offered her another one. She dropped it too. We both looked at each other and were thinking "What's wrong with her?" Refusing food is another RED FLAG for her.

    She then started really trying to vomit...but nothing was coming up. I grabbed a few gas-x out of the first aid kit and pilled her. She threw two of them back, and continued trying to vomit. That's when I grabbed the straight liquid simethicone and tried to poor it down her throat. Her abdomen started to swell, and was hard. She was drooling profusely. I told Jeff to grab his stuff, she's bloating....let's GO.

    It was quite literally the longest 10 minute drive of my life. Within those ten minutes, she became pale, shocky and unable to stand without my support.

    I can't help but think.....What if we had not come straight home? What if she would have done it an hour earlier? What if, ya know?

    For everyone who is not familiar with the signs and symptoms of bloat - LEARN THEM NOW! Do not wait until you experience it. TIME IS CRITICAL. If you even THINK it's bloat, GO - I would have loved to have paid the $88 visit fee only to find out she had gas....$88 is a drop in the bucket to her bill now, but had we waited to see if it was just an upset stomach, our baby could be dead right now.

    Signs of bloat (Notice the ones highlighted in red are signs Hannah exhibited - she was a textbook case fitting every sign and symptom. I could not tell gum color as she has dark gums, but the insides of her ears became white once she entered phase three):

    PHASE1
    SYMPTOMS:
    1. Pacing, restlessness, panting and salivating.
    2. Unproductive attempts to vomit (every 10-20 minutes).
    3. Abdomen exhibits fullness and beginning to enlarge.


    ACTIONS:
    Call Veterinarian to advise of bloat case enroute. Transport dog to Veterinarian immediately.

    PHASE 2

    SYMPTOMS:
    1. Very restless, whining, panting continuously, heavy salivating.
    2. Unproductive attempts to vomit (every 2-3 minutes).
    3. Dark red gums.
    4. High heart rate (80 to 100 BPM).
    5. Abdomen is enlarged and tight, emits hollow sound when thumped.


    ACTIONS:
    Apply first aid if Veterinarian care is more than 10 minutes away.
    Then, transport dog to Veterinarian immediately.

    PHASE 3
    SYMPTOMS:
    1. Gums are white or blue (Could not tell on Hannah-dark gums)
    2. Dog unable to stand or has a spread-legged, shaky stance.
    3. Abdomen is very enlarged.
    4. Extremely high heart rate (100 BPM or greater)and weak pulse.


    ACTIONS:
    Death is imminent! Apply first aid immediately. Transport dog to Veterinarian IMMEDIATELY (even while applying first aid if possible).

    Hannah went from phase one to phase three in the span of 15-20 minutes.

    I cannot stress again how CRITICAL time is.

    To learn first aid for bloat, please visit: http://www.dachshund.org/bloat_instructions.html

    Print a list of symptoms out and post it on your refrigerator. Familiarize everyone in your household with the symptoms. Make sure you have worked out financial considerations BEFORE HAND. If possible, set aside a credit card JUST for pet emergencies. The vet would not begin treatment on Hannah until we paid a $1,000 deposit. Also, make sure you have discussed the treatment in the event of this emergency with your regular vet as well as your local emergency clinic PRIOR to it happening. Some vets will not treat a dog with GDV. They will elect to euthanize. Time is of the essence. Don't wait until it happens to take care of these things.

    Here are some wonderful links I've accumulated over time:

    Bloat Articles:
    http://www.globalspan.net/bloat.htm
    http://www.irishwolfhounds.org/GDV.htm#first
    http://www.greatdanerescueinc.com/bloat.html
    http://www.jersey.net/~mountaindog/berner1/bloat.htm
    http://www.jersey.net/~mountaindog/berner1/bloat2.htm
    http://www.eclipse.net/~bobaloo/bloat.htm

    Tubing A Bloat Dog:
    http://www.twinoaksbh.com/gdvbloat.html

    Gastropexy (Stomach tacking)
    http://members.fortunecity.com/houndfancy/procon.html


    Symptoms of Bloat (from Danes Online)
    20 Signs that your dog may be in trouble from bloat or torsion:

    (1) distended abdomen
    (2) rigid (hard) abdomen
    (3) painful when touched in the abdomen
    (4) vomiting foamy or liquid material
    (5) unproductive attempts at vomiting or retching
    (6) arched back
    (7) praying position (down in front, rear standing)
    (8) laying down on belly - crouched position
    (9) curling up in a ball
    (10) laying or sitting in an unusual location
    (11) seeking a hiding place
    (12) looking at their side
    (13) frequent swallowing (aerophagia)
    (14) hypersalivation (drooling heavily)
    (15) drinking excessively
    (16) lack of appetite
    (17) quiet, any abnormal behavior
    (18) lethargy, weakness
    (19) panting, breathing rapidly or heavily
    (20) red gums, or white gums (not normal pink color)

    You know your own dog the best and you know when things aren't quite right.

    If you even SUSPECT bloat...GO.

    The Cost Of Bloat:

    Thought I'd share what Hannah's surgery has costed so far so everyone who has not gone through this before can know what to expect should it happen to them. Keep in mind, Hannah was caught early, so the damage was not as extensive. All things considering, I think we've escaped so far with a pretty decent bill. As some know, bloat and complications can easily rack up $5,000 in bills.

    Emergency Room Exam $88
    Butorphanol Injection $32
    Radiograph $83.50
    2 IV Cath $80
    First liter of IV Fluids $33
    Stat 8 PCV/TS $50
    ACT (Stat) $38
    Propofol, ISO Supplement $74
    Operating Room Fee $60
    Gastric Decompression $80
    Surgical procedure $500
    Suture Materials, 2 packs $27
    Saline Flush $25
    Surgery Suction materials $29
    Suction bulb syringe $2
    4 additional liters IV fluids $100
    Lidocaine $5
    Famotidine $23.20
    Fentanyl CRI $60
    Lidocain additive for CRI $7
    Cefazoline, 2 $68
    Metacam $31.73
    2 Metaclopramide $21.70
    Nursing Care week night, level 4 $55.75
    Hospitilalization, week night $59.50

    For a total of $1,633.38

    This is just the bill from the E-clinic. Here are the charges for the next two days of treatment at our regular vets.

    Office Visit - follow up $29.00
    Hospitalization level 2 $38.80
    IV Infusion pump per day $6.20
    2 Injection - Cimetidine $33.00
    2 Injection - Torbugesic $33.00
    Vetscan and Electrolytes $74.00
    1 Injection- Ampicillin $16.50
    1 Fluids, KCI added $6.00
    4 cans prescription EN $6.00
    6 Tramadol tablets $9.00
    Fluids, IV $23.00
    Hospitalization, Level 2 $38.80 ($10.00 discounted)
    IV Infusion pump $6.20
    Fluids, KCI added $6.00

    Total of $315.50

    Medications from Walgreens $16.00

    Total Cost for this bloat episode so far: $1,964.88

    (Having my baby home safe and sound: Priceless)
     
  2. jess2416

    jess2416 Who woulda thought

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    22,560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    1
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks for posting this.....!!
     
  3. Buddy'sParents

    Buddy'sParents *Finding My Inner Fila*

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    25,376
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keri, I am beyond thrilled that Hannah is doing well. Thank you so much for posting this, I vote it be stickied.
     
  4. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    I stuck it and will add that the articles on bloat (as well as many others) at Linda Arndt's site, www.greatdanelady.com , have been a great source of info to me.
     
  5. Spiritus

    Spiritus New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7 dogs, 6 cats, 3 horses, 15 miniature cattle
    Location:
    Middle of the Canadian prairies
    Home Page:
    You are VERY lucky you were home... thank God she's okay!

    I wan't home when my dog torsioned..... what I wouldn't give for that $2,000.00 vet bill.....
     
  6. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Halfmoon, NY
    Excellent post! One word of caution I would like to add though is that sometimes a dog will not show any of the traditional signs of bloat. Almost 5 yrs ago when I got up in the morning Farley just wasn't acting like himself, nothing I could put my finger on. He was just extremely "velcro" and was laying in spots that weren't typical for him and he wasn't his usual energetic self. The vet didn't have any openings until 6 PM. By 11 AM there was no change in how he was doing but I was increasingly getting concerned and called the vet and said I am bringing him in now. The gal who answered the phone said OK but it would be quite some time before they'd be able to squeeze him in to see the vet. When we got there they had a room waiting for us because when she told the vet I had called he said I knew my dogs and if I was that concerned he'd see Farley immediately. He did a complete check up on him and other than his lack of energy absolutely nothing showed up. After some more discussion to put my mind at ease he took him in the back for some stomach xrays. Within 10 minutes he was back to say Farley was being prepped for emergency surgery. He had progressed so far that they were unable to save his spleen but they were able to save his life. I am so thankful I trusted my instincts and my vet trusted them as well.

    What it boils down to is you know your dog and you know when something isn't right even when it may not fit any textbook description. Follow your instincts - it may save your dog's life.
     
  7. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    64,812
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great important post . !
     
  8. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    40,739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Another thing I'm going to print out to post at work. This is something that is critical for us to know the early signs of, as we have many giant breeds board with us.
     
  9. RedHotDobe

    RedHotDobe aka RedHotBabe

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    4,366
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Maryland
    Very informative, and I'm glad your girl is okay. I've been lucky that both times Rumor has gone in for possible bloat, it wasn't. The first time she swelled up like a balloon and refused food, but then vomited after reaching the vet. Second time she blew up, was drinking large amounts of water, but was lethargic, so I couldn't place what was wrong. That time it was just an allergic reaction to something she encountered while out on a walk.

    Both times I've been extremely lucky, but I can't imagine what you've been through the past week. It would be an awful experience, and one that I would love to avoid.
     
  10. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    13,747
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    4; 2 dogs, 2 cats
    Thanks so much for posting this info.
    I am so glad Hannah is okay.
     
  11. nica

    nica Happy dogs expert

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Singapore
    Home Page:
    Yes, cannot take bloat too lightly. my brother's dogs were diagnosed with cancer when they bloated suddenly....they both passed on at young age. Very sad....
     
  12. Cheza

    Cheza New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great post, thank you for making this, and I'm so glad she's ok.
     
  13. showpug

    showpug New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Messages:
    5,218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3 pugs and a bulldog
    Location:
    Oregon
    Wonderful post! I just wanted to add that ANY dog breed can bloat! Just had Alice to the ER about two weeks ago for bloat and she's a PUG! Luckily there was no torsion and no shock and we got it under control with Gas-x. I also lost an Aussie x Rottie cross to bloat with torsion.

    So with that said, all dog owners beware!!!
     
  14. killerz298

    killerz298 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have read about the issue and am very concerned about my lab. He is 7 months old and eats like a BEAST. I don't know why he eats like this, it is just his nature. He isn't protective of his food like we are going to take it away, he lets me put my hands on him and the bowl while he eats, he just is very excited about all things food.

    He has a raised bowl and I feed him twice a day 1 cup per serving. I only pour 1/3 of a cup into his bowl at a time to pace his eating. He doesn't tend to drink very much after eating. Is there anything else I can do to help prevent this from happening to him.
     
  15. shadowfacedanes

    shadowfacedanes *Biter*

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,947
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Incidentally, Hannah eats (or did eat) from a raised feeder and she still bloated.

    You could try one of the brakefast bowls: http://www.brake-fast.net/

    But sadly, until they know for sure what causes this, all you can do is be extremely vigilant, and even then, such as in Hannah's case, it can happen.

    Do make sure he does not exercise at least one hour before and one hour after he eats. Also limit the amount of water he takes in around feeding time (which you are doing). After strenuous exercise, don't allow him to gulp in large quantities of water at once.

    Try to feed him in a "stress free" zone - a quiet low traffic area where he can eat. Sometimes this will help them slow down a bit.

    I'll try to elaborate a bit more on this post later. I'm running on fumes right now. :p
     
  16. Spiritus

    Spiritus New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7 dogs, 6 cats, 3 horses, 15 miniature cattle
    Location:
    Middle of the Canadian prairies
    Home Page:
    This article on bloat says NOT to feed with an elevated bowl...

    http://globalspan.net/bloat.htm

    And one big thing is to not allow strenuous exercise after eating. My dogs aren't allowed to run and play for at least an hour after breakfast, and their evening meal is at bedtime.
     
  17. nica

    nica Happy dogs expert

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Singapore
    Home Page:
    Go natural! Feed home cooked foods, less chance of bloating.
    Here's a easy recipe for homecooked meals.
     
  18. Saintgirl

    Saintgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    4
    The raised bowl issue is one that has been debated lots, however the recent purdue study indicates a correlation between raised feeders and bloating. I choose NOT to use a raised feeder.

    An easy way to slow your dog from gulping his food is to take a large rock, one bigger than your fist so there is NO chance of a dog thinking that they could swallow it, clean it, and then put it in your dogs dish. Your dog will have to eat around the rock which will make him slow down. Good luck with this!
     
  19. killerz298

    killerz298 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So I guess it is a choice between neck and back strain (for a larger breed using a bowl on the floor) vs. higher risk of getting bloat with a rasied feeder?
     
  20. Saintgirl

    Saintgirl New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    4
    I personally don't believe that they suffer from neck strain, if this were a problem then evolution would have done something about this. Wolves and coyotes albeit not dogs, have the same body shape and they eat just fine. My Saint is much, much larger than a lab and he doesn't strain his neck and back when he eats, so I highly doubt your lab would. It is no more difficult for a large dog to eat than it is a small dog, they have proportionate body parts, so a Saint eating from the ground bends and moves the exact same way a chihuahua would. I think the difference is that some people think that it looks more comfortable for their dog to eat from a raised feeder, and maybe it is. Personally, floor feeding works best for us and it is what makes me the most comfortable regarding bloat.
     

Share This Page