Tag Archive: surgery

What is Bloat?

Bloat; The Mother of All Emergencies

By: John Crumley DSC_0303-001

I want to take this opportunity to let you know of a severe, life-threatening syndrome that affects large breed dogs and a recent advance in preventative surgery for the condition.

Since your pet is a large breed dog, you may have heard of gastric dilatation volvulus complex, also referred to as “bloat” or “GDV.” This syndrome occurs in certain breeds, specifically large “deep-chested” breeds. The stomach dilates with gas and food and then begins an abnormal rotation (illustrated on the illustration-dog-bloat-500ximage to the left). This can happen very rapidly, often in hours, and if untreated results in obstruction of the stomach and death. Treatment consists of aggressive fluid therapy and prompt surgical correction. The success of treatment ranges from 60 to 80%, thus unfortunately, some of the patients die despite our best efforts. Cost of the procedure, excluding the obvious emotional cost, can range from $1,500 to $5,000.

Although this syndrome is not encountered every day in predisposed breeds, the severity of the condition has incited us to explore the latest surgical techniques to both correct and prevent it.

In the past the surgical procedure to prevent this syndrome (gastropexy) had to be performed with a more traditional surgical approach with a recovery time of 7 to 10 days and a 6 to 12 inch abdominal incision. Our hospital has invested in laparoscopic equipment and advanced surgical training for our doctors to enable us to perform surgeries such as this with minimal incision size and recovery time for the patient. We often recommend preforming this procedure during the time of great_dane_stock_7_by_sigarnistock-d3hwnnjthe spay or neuter. The surgery for the gastropexy can now be performed with two small incisions (less than 1 inch in many cases) with a recovery time of 2 to 4 days. If you have any questions on whether your pet would benefit from a preventative surgery please call us and speak with Dr. Baker, Dr Davidson, or me about the details of this surgery.

General Post – Operative Care

General Post – Operative Care 

The following points are very basic and broad in nature and are meant to provide only the most basic of information the first evening after an anesthetic procedure. If in doubt – call or come in.

  • The best way to ensure that everything is being done correctly is to refer to the paperwork you were given at your pet’s discharge: This will typically be in the form of discharge instructions placed in a folder you were given when you picked up your pet, or it may be a note included in the printout of your invoice. Please contact the hospital if you have any questions about care for your pet after the procedure.
  • Most patients will be tired for the rest of the evening; the older or very young patients may take more time to completely recover from an anesthetic episode.
  • A small amount of food and water can be offered in most cases the evening of discharge from the hospital. Some patient will require a soft diet (Dental procedures including extractions, upper airway repair including soft palate resection, upper GI studies). The length of a soft diet requirement will depend on the specifics of the case. Contact your veterinarian if your pet is not eating by the morning following discharge from the hospital.
  • Exercise restriction is paramount for most post – operative procedures (Spay, Neuter, Foreign body removal, Fracture repair, upper airway repair, Laceration / Wound repair, and ALL emergency surgeries). The length & extent of exercise restriction requirements will depend on the specifics of the case.
  • Medications dispensed need to be administered on schedule. Typically, these will include pain control meds and possibly antibiotics for most elective procedures. Generally speaking, the antibiotic can be started the evening of discharge and the anti-inflammatory can be started the following morning. It is important to give the full course of treatment with these meds to provide for optimal healing and comfort for your pet after the procedure. Any pet seemingly in pain needs to be re-examined by your veterinarian.
  • Some mild blood spotting in the water bowl may be seen after drinking when a dental procedure including extractions has been done; any active bleeding from the mouth warrants an immediate recheck at the hospital.
  • Any active vomiting or refusal to eat or drink warrants an immediate recheck at the hospital.
  • Any over swelling or discharge from an incision warrants an immediate recheck at the hospital.
  • Bottom line: If your gut tells you your pet needs to be re-examined, then it does need to be seen. We would rather deal with a possible post-procedure complication as early as possible to prevent it from getting any worse if in fact anything is in need of corrective care.

Written by:  Renaud Houyoux

 Boomer presented for exam on Tuesday, his Owner states that he might have swolled a saftey pin that morning around 6am, he noticed that Boomer was trying to vomit, and then fell over.  With Boomer’s history of well, being a puppy his Owner was concerned it might have been stuck and brought him in right away.

With Boomer now at Baring Dr. Luchetti decided the best thing to do would be to take some radiographs.  We took 2 views of Boomer’s abdomen. After sending the report off to the radiologist their conclusion was  that there is evidence of metallic gastric foreign material, with granular mineral debris scattered throughout the gastrointestinal tract. It is uncertain whether the larger radiodense structures in the stomach are additional foreign material, but this is suspected.

After discussing Boomer’s treatment plan with his Owner, Dr. Luchetti and Dr. Crumley decided to wait several hours to see if the foreign material would move/ pass through Boomer’s system. After taking the second set of x-rays later that afternoon the material had not moved. Boomer was headed to surgery.

Dr. Baker preformed Boomer’s exploratory/ gastrotomy, he was able to remove large amount of plastic/hair/ foreign material. Due to the large volume of material the was removed we took an x-ray of the material to make sure the safety pin was removed.

Can you see the safety pin??? The next day Boomer was bouncing off the walls and back to his normal crazy puppy self and was able to go home.