This past week we were able to work with one of those really gratifying cases: a pet that was in great danger of dying, but who hung in there and went home with a normal life expectancy. Gracie is an older Labrador who was perfectly normal in the morning. Later in the day she began clinging to her owner more than usual and wretched once or twice. He noted that Gracie ™s abdomen seemed distended and firm, and luckily knew that could be dangerous. He called us and our wise customer service team told him to come in immediately. The timing could not have been worse. We were in the middle of seeing appointments and had an involved case under anesthesia. Our outstanding nursing and doctor team were able to diagnose Gracie with a gastric dilation and volvulus (her stomach had twisted and was losing blood supply) and get her ready for surgery in less than 30 minutes! In surgery we could see that her spleen was also twisted and all of her intestines somewhat compromised. We were able to undo the twist, save all of her organs and suture her stomach down so it could not twist again. She then spent several days in intensive care. Dogs that recover from a GDV often develop cardiac arrhythmias, bleeding disorders, kidney failure and other life threatening complications. Gracie was monitored closely and all of her complications were managed successfully. She has gone home a happy girl.
If you ever have any concerns that your pet is just acting œfunny, don ™t hesitate to call us or a local emergency clinic. Minutes can sometimes be difference between life and death.
by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP