Friday, June 27, 2014

Our Ollie & His Scare with GDV

Two Monday's ago, June 16th, this big guy gave us quite the scare.

We were having a BBQ at our house to celebrate the end of year one of medical school. Our roommate and his friends along with my closest girlfriends and their significant others we're enjoying the evening, playing yard games, munching on delicious food, celebrating and laughing and pretending the year didn't suck as much as it sometimes felt like. A few of the guests had brought their furry friends along with them and the little pack of dogs could be found chewing on sticks and playing chase in the yard having a bit of a party themselves. And then things just weren't right for our O-dog.

8:30pm he slowly walked over to J and I, seeming a bit off but we brushed it aside.

8:35pm wandered to the other side of the yard and acted like he was going to be sick, but couldn't. hung his head, wretch, drool but nothing would come up. from across the yard we could tell something was wrong, we just knew it.

8:45pm looked in his mouth thinking maybe something is stuck in his throat, tried to get him to walk around. more wretching, more drooling, still no progress. attempted to give him hydrogen peroxide to force him to puke but it was like he couldn't even swallow it. felt his belly and it was solid as a rock.

8:50pm made the decision this wasn't normal and got him in the car. I drove him to the emergency vet while J stayed at home with all our guests. of course I would hit every stop light on the way there making it the longest drive ever.

9:00pm as we're checking in at the desk explaining what was going on there was more wretching and no vomit. a nurse watched it unfold and immediately took him in the back to get him checked out.

9:02pm same nurse came out asking for consent for abdominal x-rays because they thought it was GDV, gastric dilatation volvulus, aka twisted stomach. I immediately okayed it, filled out some paperwork and was placed in an exam room to wait for news.

9:10pm different nurse came in with his x-ray results and pulled them up on the screen. it was GDV and life threatening. he asked if they could put a needle in his side to release the gas in his stomach and make him feel better. I sent him out of the room to start the procedure asap before we talked any more.

9:13pm the nurse came back in and we discussed what would happen next. surgery was the only option to make it better. surgery to flip his stomach back to normal and attach it to his chest wall to prevent it from happening again. a quick phone call to J to make sure we were on the same page and I was quickly signing consent forms, being asked questions about performing CPR should he need it, handing over a credit card.

9:30pm I was taken to the back to be with him, laying on the floor, hooked up to all sorts of machines, wearing an infant-sized blood pressure cuff with half his belly already shaved from the first procedure. I sat on the floor with him, rubbed his ears, touched his soft shaved skin, told him he was the best boy in the whole world and how much we loved him. meanwhile the nurse was shaving the rest of his belly and the surgeons were on their way in.

9:45pm I gave him one last kiss and headed home to wait for the phone call that surgery was over. I hated leaving but knew there was nothing else for me to do there and that J would need me at home.

11:30pm my phone finally rings from the surgeon. everything went fantastic. he was waking up like he should, there were no complications to worry about, he was able to keep his spleen and there was no part of his stomach that died while it was twisted. "you must have gotten him here fast" he said. boy did we try.

He spent the next two days at the vet making sure there were no lasting complications or concerns and we were thankfully able to visit him and call for updates whenever we wanted. Early Wednesday morning we were finally able to bring him home equipped with pain meds, a cone and instructions on how to take care of him. He was on a boiled chicken and rice diet for the first few days which I happily cooked for him. I would have made a 5 course meal for him if that's what it meant to have him home again. We stayed home with him around the clock so he didn't have to wear his cone, we kept him calm and on pain meds the best we could just thanking our lucky stars our sweet boy was where he was supposed to be.

As of today he is doing a thousand times better. He's going to have the dozens of staples taken out of his incision and check in with the doctor later this morning but we know he has a clean bill of health already. He's back to his normal silly self and we couldn't be more thankful. Every tail wag is a sign that he's happy. Every meal he eats and the burps that follow mean things are moving like they should in there. Every panting smile with his tongue sticking out directed towards us still makes me tear up if I think about how close we were to losing him. Every chance I get I drag my big belly onto the floor for a big hug, a good scratch and more kisses than I could count.
Yes, Ollie is our dog, our 85lb 4 year-old golden retriever. But even more important than all of that is that he is our family. We love him with the same love we have for each other, for the rest of our family. He brings us so much joy, so much laughter, so much happiness every single day. And after a scare like this, the thought of actually losing him, we have a new perspective. We are so thankful, so grateful and feel so blessed we get more time to show him how much he means to us.

We love you Ollie boy, don't ever think any differently.

1 comment:

  1. How scary! I was tearing up while reading this, I think I need to go home and give my pup some extra hugs! I'd never heard of GDV before I'm so glad you were home to get Ollie to the vet so he had a happy ending!

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