Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stomach Obstructions in our furkids

Written by a CP foster mom and volunteer

I hope I am not misspeaking here as I am not a vet or any other type of doctor but I just feel so bad for Celeste, who lost her Indy, and Deb, who almost lost Bows tonight, so I thought I would share some of the tips that I have learned in dealing with a dog who has or may have an obstruction.


Just a little history, I adopted Ellie in 2007 from CP and she lived with us for 18 months. She had a bladder infection and stopped eating all of a sudden after being on the antibiotics for a day. I took her back to the vet after she had vomited twice and the second time, the food was undigested. Unfortunately, she had a tumor right at the beginning of her stomach and I lost her that day as she would have never been able to eat again.

So two years later, I get Jenner, my foster, who is a ball of energy. I often think he has ADHD because he is just so hyper! I had him for about six months and one day he was his hyper self and the next day he started vomiting. He ate his dinner, but vomited about 3 hours later. The next morning, I fed him again, this time, 12 hours later, he vomits and the food is still undigested. I knew then that I was dealing with another Ellie situation and I got him to the vet. That was his first surgery and he had a rubber foot from a toy stuck in the back of his stomach. A year later, again, he was playing hard one day and the next day he was sick. This time we almost lost him and I had to move him to an emergency overnight vet so he could be watched 24 hours. This time it was a plastic piece of a ball that he had chewed off and swallowed and it was again blocking his intestine. His last surgery came a short three months later when he swallowed a large hair tieback. In this surgery, he lost 6 inches of intestine and became painfully thin. I swore that I was going to have him moved and never take another foster again, this dog was killing ME along with himself...

Well, it's been almost a year and he is doing very well. He has put on quite a few pounds and is a healthy 14 pounds and although I still have to watch him like a hawk, every day, he is doing great with the drop it command and now hunts things down to take out to the kitchen to the treat jar. He is not a dumb dog.... He has swallowed socks (I have to stop buying the small ones!) and I have made him throw them back up. I buy a 12 pack of peroxide so that I always have fresh stuff and it has been quite a while since he has swallowed one, I am now just looking for things to trick him into eating the peroxide now.

So here are my lessons learned from dealing with Jenner, the sweet loving..cairngoat..

1.) If you have fed them and they vomit after a couple of hours and the food is undigested, you could be dealing with an obstruction. Like I said, it was a couple of times that I actually fed him and then he would vomit and after 12 hours that the food was undigested, I knew he was in trouble.

2.) He usually drinks alot of water when he is blocked. At one point, he drank the whole large bowl of water before I thought about what he was doing. He then went outside and got sick again and wanted more water. He was very dehydrated and that was less than 24 hours into him feeling punky. I have now been taught how to give him IV fluids here at the house to save on the costs of the vet visit until we can see if he can pass the object himself. I was told to not let him drink lots of water for the obvious reasons as above, it makes him throw up but give them a little water every hour.

3.) The biggest sign we have with Jenner is the fact that he doesn't leave my side when he's sick. He doesn't bark at the cars that go by, he follows me and lays by me all the time. Then we know that we keep a watchful eye on him and watch his progression as he is not doing so well.

4.) When he is feeling punky, we have also started giving him the food the doctor gives him, which is just Science diet (I can't think of what's it's called) but just a teaspoon with lots of water, mostly water actually, about every two hours. Even if they have just a stomach bug, that is what I give him and it works really well.

5.) One of the simplest signs for Jenner is that his nose gets warm and dry and usually its very wet, then I know he feeling ill

Well, I think I have covered it all and I again I don't know everything, none of this is scientific, just what I have learned. You should always talk to your vets, but if we can help our furkids along the way to feeling better before we get them to the vet, it's more kisses for us! ;)

Again, I am so sorry for everyone's loss and feel free to ask me about Jenner anytime! I am still working on bringing out his positive sides to find him the perfect home, but for the time being, he is just fine with us, making me crazy, but making me one hell of a foster mom...

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