Sunday, February 6, 2011

How We Almost Lost Maddie

John and I almost had our worst weekend of all time - we almost lost our girl Maddie on Friday night.  Everything was going normally and Maddie was scarfing up her dinner like she does when we hide a treat in there, then she started acting weird.  

She kept (unsuccessfully) trying to throw up and wouldn't sit still.  I took her for a walk and she didn't get any better.  We kept saying "oh, we'll give her 15 more minutes and see if she's better."  My first thought was that she was sick from licking some cleaning fluid off the floor or something.  It dawned on me she might have bloat, but John thought I was crazy.  As soon as he left to take her to the vet I Googled "bloat" and knew that's what she had.

Ten minutes later I got a text from John - she had bloat and was in emergency surgery.  If you've seen Marley & Me, bloat is what happened to poor Marley.  Bloat usually happens to broad-chested dogs (not those like Maddie) and is when a dog's stomach flips over inside them.  Symptoms usually include restlessness, retching, and a bloated tummy from the build-up of gas inside the tied-off stomach.  We were really lucky Maddie's flipped stomach didn't get too bad and she managed to survive the two hours until we got her to the vet (apparently some dogs die within an hour).

The surgeon flipped her stomach back and tacked it to the inside of her with 5 stitches so it would never happen again.  The vet thinks it happened after Maddie fell over with a full stomach so that everything just sloshed around and flipped.  Her recovery is going well and she even got to leave the animal hospital on Saturday evening.  She's on a strict bland diet of boiled chicken, white rice, and cottage cheese.  At least it makes me feel like there is something I can do for my poor girl by making her home cooked food.  Hopefully she'll be good as new soon.  And if you have any kind of larger dog - whether they have a big chest or not - be on the lookout for bloat (the second leading killer of dogs).


  1. oh my goodness, that's SO scary! i've never heard of it. SO glad that you got her to the vet and she's ok!! hope she's all healed up soon.

  2. I'm so sorry! And very glad Maddie is on the mend!

  3. That is just so scary. I'm so glad you caught it. Poor poor Maddiekins.


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