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Emergency surgery

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My 11 year old Golden Retriever Ginger had to have emergency surgery on Monday night. I had to rush her to the emergency clinic, she was gagging and then I felt her abdomen and it was distended. When I got there I told them I think it's bloat and they quickly too her back. They did an x-ray and she had gastric torsion so they had to do emergency surgery (actually they told me to choose between surgery or euthanasia because Ginger is 11...) They said she might not survive the surgery because of her age... I was a complete wreck all night. Ginger is my baby!
Thank goodness, she went through the surgery well, there was no tearing of the stomach or nearby organs. They did find that a section of the intestine near the stomach was also twisted, but when they fixed the stomach and intestine the color returned quickly. I picked her up in the morning to bring her to my regular vet because the ER closes at 8 am. She refused to go to the back with the nurse, who she didn't know, when we got to the clinic. She knew she was going to be left again. The other nurse who we do know came and told me to bring her into the back myself and I stayed until she got settled in. She did well throughout the day and even was able to eat some canned food while at the clinic.
My regular vet had me bring her home yesterday evening because there is no one at the clinic overnight. She came home and fell asleep on her dog bed almost immediately (as I thought she might). They said we had to watch her for complications, especially heart conditions which can develop after surgery. They often hospitalize dogs for 24-48+ hours but they didn't because there was no one at the clinic and they knew she'd be more comfortable at home and I could watch her well. I was so worried about her developing something overnight but thankfully she was fine.

Today I took her back in to my vet for a re-check and they did an EKG to check her heart. It was normal. Poor Ginger started whining and panting after we got to the vet because she thought I was going to leave her again, so they had me come back and stay with her while they did the EKG and everything. They also did bloodwork, and gave me Royal Canin veterinary canned food for her to eat because she needs to have a bland diet for several more days before we start transitioning back to her regular food. She will need to eat a lot of small meals instead of 2 meals a day from now on at least for a while, and she has to use an elevated feeder.

Here is a fairly recent photo of Ginger, taken last fall:
post #2 of 9
get well vibes for Ginger, I am glad to hear she is doing well, it is nice they allowed you to stay and comfort her.
post #3 of 9
I'm glad Ginger is okay. My s-i-l lost her St Bernard to bloat.

After losing Casey, we started doing the two smaller meals and no activity for 2 hours after eating. There are people who limit the intake of water at meal time, to prevent the food from swellig up.
Double check on the elevated bowl - I think there is research to support both using and not using an elevated bowl.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
I usually do two meals and no activity 1-2 hours before or after eating with Ginger. I don't limit the water at mealtimes, but then again the type of kibble we use doesn't swell in water. The vet also recommended soaking the kibble. The weird thing is Ginger had not even eaten that day when she bloated. I was away for the weekend and came back that morning, so a family member was petsitting over the weekend and they had not fed her Monday.

I know, I've read things that were against elevated feeding dishes but my vet says to use one. I am going to see what the holistic vet thinks when I take Ginger for acupuncture, our vet recommended acupuncture for her recovery.
post #5 of 9
Sending lots of vibes for Ginger!
post #6 of 9
Ouch - gastric torsion is nasty!! I'm glad that she made it through the surgery well and sending that she recovers quickly.

My vet always has me put my dogs on boiled chicken and rice for the bland diets. My golden mix, Sam, has regular digestive problems and we have him on that a few times each year. Might be another food option to discuss with your vet.
post #7 of 9
How scary! Sending lots of get well vibes to Ginger.
post #8 of 9
sending lots of vibes to Ginger
post #9 of 9
I hope Ginger will get better soon !

Animals are amazing, just 2 days ago my mom took her dog (mini shnauzer) which is 16.5 yrs old for surgery, she had a tumor in her breast and they were not sure if she would survive the surgery but wanted to try anyway... and she did !! she is better now because the tumor was pressuring the bladder the vet said the tumor was maligne so she will have a few more months ...
I did not think she would make it through the surgery because of her age but they have strong hearts !!
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