Thursday, November 24, 2016

Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is Unproductive Retching an Emergency?

Most problems come with a combination of symptoms. Rarely will your dog exhibit a sole symptom or a sign. With some issues, it is important to consider them in context. Some, however, are reason enough to seek emergency care even if that's the only thing you notice.

Only 59.38% of you believe that unproductive vomiting is an emergency. Perhaps I should have used different wording, such as unproductive retching.

A dog who is trying to vomit but nothing is coming out is a major emergency. This is a telltale sign of GDV/bloat!


Photo Preventive Vet

Other symptoms of bloat can include:

  • distended/bloated abdomen
  • pained/incomfortable posture
  • pacing/restlessness
  • panting/difficult breathing
  • excessive salivation
  • rapid heart beat
  • pale mucus membranes
  • collapse

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) is the mother of all emergencies. Every minute counts.

Immediate, aggressive treatment is the only thing that can save your dog's life.

Why is GDV/bloat so dangerous?

In dogs, bloat goes beyond simple what we consider bloat in people. Yes, it involves an accumulation of gas, food or fluid in the stomach, causing it to expand. The stomach then puts pressure on other organs, restricting blood flow to the stomach lining, and the heart, and therefore to the rest of the body. This can cause hypovolemic shock.

If that wasn't bad enough, sections of this trapped stomach wall can necrotize (the tissue dies). It can also cause blood clotting to go crazy with small blood clots developing throughout the entire bloodstream ... When things get this far, prognosis is extremely poor.

And just imagine the pain from all that.


Note: The video was taken at the emergency vet's office while Flash's x-rays (confirming GDV) were developing. Unfortunately, he didn't make it, though.

The video was taken in hopes that even just 1 large-breed dog owner who is not familiar with the symptoms of bloat would watch this and be able to identify the symptoms and seek medical attention before it is too late.

Grueling picture?


If I painted a truly grueling picture, it was my intention. This is indeed the worst of emergencies. Know the signs of GDV/bloat and know that if you see them time is wasting. Particularly if your dog is large, deep-chested breed.


Further reading:
Help... My Dog's Stomach is Bloated! Understanding Canine Bloat, Torsion, and GDV

Related articles:
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat); RIP Barbie



Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle.
Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency. 

43 comments

  1. I worry about bloat sometimes because Mr. N likes to play right after he eats. Our vet has told me he should be fine though due to his build.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, build plays a big role. Also, if concerned, splitting daily ration into multiple smaller meals helps as well.

      Delete
  2. I wasn't familiar with the signs of bloat in dogs or how serious an issue this can be ~ thanks for an informational post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is certainly one of the things that is good to know.

      Delete
  3. I've often worried about bloat with our Lola, and now Penny. It's a scary thing for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very much so. There is actually a preventive surgery out there now, which can be done during spay/neuter. Giving more smaller meals rather than one large one also helps, as well as slowing down the way they eat.

      Delete
  4. I just lost a canine friend (and fellow blogger) to bloat this week. So scary and I am glad to know the signs to watch for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no, so sorry to hear that! It is very scary and very nasty.

      Delete
  5. I have worried about this since I read about it but my vet said not to worry but I still take precautions and if I see she has eaten I will not take her for a walk for at least an hour, as I feel rather be safe than sorry, thanks for this post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Risk varies with the breed and constitution. It is mainly large, deep-chested dogs who are most at risk. Being careful and playing it safe is always the best bet.

      Delete
  6. I've never had a dog suffer from bloat, so I really appreciate this article, and the signs to look out for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hope is to never have to rush to a vet with this emergency. But it's good to know what it would look like as time is of the essence.

      Delete
  7. So important! Thanks for sharing. So scary.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was at the vet when a dog came in afflicted with bloat and was rushed to emergency surgery. Good idea to inform pet parents with articles like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So scary and so heartbreaking, isn't it? Knowing the signs can literally mean the difference between life and death.

      Delete
  9. Bloat is really scary. This video was so disturbing, I feel so awful for Flash. Please tell me that it was filmed at a Vet's office and that he was going to receive treatment as soon as possible! It seemed a bit cruel to be videoing him and talking about the immediate need for action at the same time. My Husky is also deep chested & weighs about 50 lbs so I do worry about it.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The video was taken at the emergency vet's office while Flash's x-rays (confirming GDV) were developing. Unfortunately, he didn't make it, though.

      The video was taken in hopes that even just 1 large-breed dog owner who is not familiar with the symptoms of bloat would watch this and be able to identify the symptoms and seek medical attention before it is too late.

      Delete
  10. Bloat is so scary! It's good to see an easy list of symptoms. I'm always worried about foreign bodies so I keep that list of symptoms at the ready.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Foreign bodies are bad too. They have nothing on bloat, though. The scariest one of them all.

      Delete
  11. I'd never heard of bloat until reading some of the post by dog lovers. Thanks for the information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully you will never hear from it again either.

      Delete
  12. We're dealing with a dog, Taffy, that's had some serious digestive problems. Then we lost a beloved blog pal, Easy, to complications from bloat. It's very important to know the signs so thanks for this valuable information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry about Easy. What is happening with Taffy?

      Delete
  13. Thank you this makes so much sense! Appreciate the knowledge and will keep it in mind if this every happens to our Lyla.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's hope it never ever happens to Lyla or any other of your dogs.

      Delete
  14. Wow this bloat sounds terrifying! I would be scared stiff if that happened!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is. Particularly because of how fast it can kill.

      Delete
  15. Thank you for this information. I'd heard about bloat in other animals, like horses, but didn't know about dogs and the signs to watch for. I've shared it everywhere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The worst thing is when the torsion happens - the stomach twists around. Surgery is the only way to save them then.

      Delete
  16. Bloat is indeed very serious and time is of the essence. Fortunately, I have ever experienced it with my dogs, and pray I never do. Thank you for your informative post, and I'm pinning and sharing this very important post with others.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am so glad you did such an informative post about GDV most large sized dog owners are either clueless or dont use simple preventive measures in place like no exercise or play at least for an hour after a walk. I had assisted a vet for a surgery with a boxer who came in with a bloat we could luckily save him but the post operative care was long and not an easy road for at least a month

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Often people don't learn about things until they happen. Knowing before hand can be life-saving.

      Delete
  18. Do you know if Slash was treated? The person in the video said he couldn't get into the car and also that he was in need of immediate medical care (while filming him in discomfort). Hopefully he was at the vet's office? Thank you for sharing this. Most people wouldn't know what to look for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The video was taken at the emergency vet's office while Flash's x-rays (confirming GDV) were developing. Unfortunately, he didn't make it, though.

      The video was taken in hopes that even just 1 large-breed dog owner who is not familiar with the symptoms of bloat would watch this and be able to identify the symptoms and seek medical attention before it is too late.

      Delete
  19. My friend's German Shepherd was sick, they took him to the vet and was told it pancreatitis, but the next day he was worse and they took him for a second opinion. That vet said it was bloat and unfortunately they were too late. I don't know if the first vet missed the diagnosis or if he developed bloat the next day. It was very sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG that is so truly tragic, particularly since they did bring him to a vet!

      Delete
    2. The really rough rule of thumb, pancreatitis comes with actual vomiting. Bloat comes with unproductive retching. Some other signs can be the same, particularly all the pain signs.

      Delete
  20. Very interesting! I hadn't thought of how unproductive wretching could be such an emergency in dogs. With cats, you sometimes get unproductive wretching because they are working on getting a hairball out, but it isn't quite ready yet. It is still something to be cautious about, but not exactly an emergency on its own. This is great to know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully most people will recognize the dog is in big trouble from the other signs. But knowing this combo can be deadly fast can save lives.

      Delete
  21. bloat is awful. have thankfully never had a dog have it

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bloat is definitely one of my worst fears. Though fearing that I won't be able to recognize it is probably even worse. So thank you for sharing this information! Definitely bookmarking.
    -Jessica from Beagles & Bargains

    ReplyDelete

MINIMAL BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig