Below is our experience with Rupert and a cow hoof that we posted previously on another thread. Raw hides are very dangerous as well.
8:30 p.m. – Rupert finished his normal dinner a little later than we normally feed the rest of the week but the same time for Sundays because Rosco has agility class.
9:00 – boys in crates after feeding as always to keep everyone quiet and from playing and give me a few minutes to do housework without 20 paws assisting. Rupert restless and crying – thought he had to poop. Let him outside. No poop. Wanted inside. Let him in and he was restless, panting and would lay down and get right back up.
9:30 – Rupert threw up, but only a bit of water came up (VERY small amount – tablespoon or so) – remained restless and panting afterwards
9:35 – Rupert barfed again – this time a small amount of kibble (eagle pack) – maybe ½-3/4 of a cup. Still restless etc
9:40 – Rupert asked to go outside – walked around and tried to throw-up but unable to produce any vomit – came inside – had him lie down and abdomen behind ribs felt firm and SLIGHTLY swollen – I was unable to hear bowel sounds with stethoscope
9:45 – had my vet on phone – he was two+ hours away for Memorial Day holiday – told me Rupert would be dead before he could get there – and to go to our pre-planned back-up emergency vet NOW (only 10 minutes away) –like put the leash on and go out the door while we are talking – GO NOW.
10:00 – at emergency room – x-rays show bloat but no torsion and labs indicate lactate through the roof at 6.3 – decompression completed and follow-up x-rays show minimal air and kibble remain in stomach- Only food and air came out. He was already going into shock.
1 am – we are sent home – (much protest) – Rupert came out of the anesthesia fine with no difficulty and was standing up and with it before we left – he is kept overnight and continued on fluid and medication (zantac and reglan for GI and pain meds etc)
4 am – repeat labs and x-rays are ok – no bloat/torsion and lactate coming down
5:30 am – steph really grumpy getting ready for a 12 hour shift in ICU at hospital….
Rupert did great all day at the hospital and tolerated small feedings without any problems. Gastropexy recommended this week once he has had a few days to “recover” from this episode.
Spoke with regular vet regarding gastropexy – stated 100%, without hesitation, that it is a must. Recommended surgeon to do it that does all of the military working dogs, which are ALL prophylactically done as puppies. He is one of only a handful of vets that are doing it in the nation laproscopically and was actually the second in this country to use this technique. Procedure scheduled for Thursday.
Blair took off work for three days to remain with him round the clock - Rupert is on 1-1/2 cup feedings of plain boiled chicken breast and rice (no seasons –nothing but just boiled meat and rice) every four hours around the clock with scheduled doses of reglan and zantac – he has done great no issues until surgery
Surgeon reviewed films from Sunday and performed pre-op lab work and discussed different calculations used for mastiff anesthesia (before I even asked, I wonder if my vet tipped him off to how I am, hmmm….)
7:30 – Rupert dropped off for surgery –
9:30 – Received call from surgeon with Rupert on the operating table. He thinks there is an object in Rupert’s stomach. He needs to go in and see what it is. Of course we give permission.
10:30 – Rupert out of surgery. Surgeon found a large triangular piece of hoof in his stomach. We have not given hooves and chews since the beginning of the year when Buster started swallowing large pieces and throwing them up (although we used them for years without incident - we always supervised and tried to prevent swallowing of pieces but when buster started gulping them down we quit giving them). Surgeon stated it appeared to have been in there a LONG LONG time (many months). He believes it shifted and blocked the pylorus and that is what caused the bloat on Sunday. It was just luck they bumped it and found it. They don’t show up on x-ray and he would have continued to have problems and we would have thought it was related to the gastropexy.
11:30 – Rupert awake and okay. Vet says he is “happy go lucky”. He is going to come home tonight for us to “pull an all nighter”. He will go back in the morning and they will try a bit of water and he will stay with them through the day. Saturday we will try a bit of food if all is well.
Without the forums I don’t think we would have been so urgent to call the vet on his cell phone late on a holiday. We might have “waited to see how he does” and he would be dead now. I thank everyone who has shared their experiences with bloat and all health issues. Before we got Rupert we read everything we could find about mastiffs and your stories/advice saved his life.
The tips I got and used which I found most helpful plus my own thoughts are:
1: Read everything you can BEFORE you have a mastiff or ASAP and know what to look for.
2: Follow your gut if something just doesn’t seem right – better to be safe and look like a jack ass to the vet if turns out to be nothing, than to find out it really was something and have a dead dog.
3: Have a way to contact your vet 24/7- if your vet isn’t willing to do that, find one that is. Have a backup plan if you vet isn’t available. Drive to the backup place one day when you have nothing to do – don’t get lost and be panicked even more when the emergency occurs.
4: wait to cry until after the vet takes the dog back – mastiffs are sensitive – this was hardest for me…….I am crying now too.
5: even if you feed good food, limit exercise before and after, do as much as you can, sometimes things happen. It isn’t your fault.
6: Have a savings account just for the dogs – between Buster’s ACL repair and this, it has been an expensive year and it is only May, but I would not want to be in the position to have to decide my dog’s life based on money issues. I recommend $5000…seriously.
7: Obedience train your dog – when he is sick is not the time to realize you can’t examine your dog/get him to lie down/get him into position for x-rays, blood draws, IV’s etc.
I might think of more later – since I will be up all night – lol
Corrected the times - realized I got off an hour, sorry.
Thank you to all who have posted about health stuff.
Blair & Stephanie Pilgrim
Never argue with an idiot; People watching may not be able to tell the difference!