Let's talk about Bloat….
Sean called me at work tonight and the first thing he said was 'I know I might be being paranoid (not only have we had our own terrible experiences with Bloat/Tort yet we know many that have also had dear ones fall victim) yet I am worried…' and before he could finish the sentence I finished it for him. I asked 'who' did he think is bloating – Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus ("GDV").
He then proceeded to tell me that one of the dogs had vomited with foam at least 3 times in a short span of time and that he had narrowed it down to BHRR's Porridge based upon his behavour. He said that BHRR's Porridge was acting cranky(AND for those that know BHRR's Porridge – he is anything but cranky except when it comes to nail trimming!) plus was not keen on having his belly touched. Sean told me that he did not see any distended belly and then I went through the gamut of questions – there was no restlessness, biting at sides, dark red or pale gums, rapid breathing, panting, pacing, whining, temperature/pulse/heart rate(had not yet been taken), hunching or arching, drooling, weakness etc. BHRR's Porridge wanted to be comforted yet did not want to be touched and would 'bark' at Sean if he did go near his belly. THIS is not his normal behavour.
AND what I told Sean is what I keep telling so many that contact me re: bloat; time = life and better to be safe than sorry and to go to the Vet PLUS that I will not diagnose, especially over the phone. What some people do not realise that bloat can kill regardless if there is tort / twisting (volvulus) involved.
I am always happy to meet people at the emergency or their own Vet Hospital and tell people it is better to look 'silly' and be told nothing is wrong than to wait too long and then there is little to no chance of survival.
Not being there to see and not being able to get my hands on BHRR's Porridge, I was not going to make a decision that could cost any dog their life, so, I advised Sean to pump GasX in to BHRR's Porridge and to head over ASAP. I gave the head's up to all that Sean was on his way and should be at KAH by 7:10 PM . In hearing the sounds that BHRR's Porridge was making in the background while Sean was trying to feel his stomach, I knew that he was very uncomfortable and for sure something was wrong and I believe he was filled up with gas and if not already actually bloating, well on his way.
GasX & Zantac Dosages Information Chart that I have put together for the BHRR website.
I called Sean about 12 or so minutes later to get an update and Sean said that that the GasX sure was doing its thing for BHRR's Porridge was having 'gas' coming out both ends, and that was putting it mildly. BHRR's Porridge began to instantly feel better and was asking for full body snuggles and cuddles and wanting to zip and zoom(to which Sean put a stop to that part!).
I told Sean to give more GasX and also some Zantac(will help with pain too) to BHRR's Porridge and updated plus cancelled the alert to those working with me at KAH. The Vet asked if I needed anything to bring home and I felt I was ok with all that I did have in medications plus have tubing on hand if needed. I thanked the Vet for her time plus willingness to have see BHRR's Porridge on such short notice. The reality is and something I said to the Vet and they concurred is that now the risk is much higher for BHRR's Porridge to go through this again.
Our PPSS, lives on GasX with every meal he has. You can visibly see his tummy swell up with gas as he is eating and even more so, after eating. Due to his immature digestive system, he is not very effective in getting air out and it is getting worse as he ages(5 years in April).
I have also updated the Bloat Information that I had put together for the BHRR website under 'other places to visit' and then 'animal health'.
One of the lessons that can be learnt from this experience is that do not just look for 'physical' signs/symptoms of bloat/torting; look for behavoural changes. There was very little in regards to physical changes with BHRR's Porridge and the same could be said for our RIP beloved BLK's Maggi. Know your dog and know when he/she is not acting right.
As for why *I* think this happened to BHRR's Porridge – I can only answer with one word – 'stress' of which excitement is also a form of stress.