Don’t take dog bloat lightly

 This past weekend my wife and I lost the dearest & sweetest dog we have ever known to Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) commonly known as Bloat. Echo was an otherwise healthy 12ish year old lab who was fine and in a playful mood at about 3pm on Friday who was dead following emergency surgery by about 11 the next morning. In her memory, and as a way to cope with my grief, I have made it my mission to raise awareness of the early symptoms of GDV in hopes of saving someone's else's dog from a premature death and another family from the overwhelming grief we are grappling with now. I will leave it to you readers to look into the condition further but basically, for hard to explain reasons, a dog's stomach can spontaneously rotate making it impossible for anything to get in or out. At the outset the dog will act uncomfortable; pacing, lying down and getting right back up repeatedly. Intermittently the dog will gag as if to vomit but nothing will come up. If you see this in your dog get to the emergency vet hospital immediately. Do not mistake a period of calmness or even sleep to fool you into thinking your dog is okay; the stomach will not return to it's normal position on it's own. Veterinarians refer to GDV as "the mother of all emergencies" with good reason. You are, essentially, on the clock as blood flow to the stomach has been cut off and fluid and bacteria are building up inside. It is this buildup that causes the stomach to bloat but in Echo's case it was several hours before the bloat became apparent. Several crucial hours during which irreversible damage was taking place. Our mistake was thinking that Echo had "gotten into something" in the woods as she had done many times before. So I implore you...if you see the restlessness coupled with the unsuccessful attempts to vomit drop everything and get to a hospital that has a surgeon on site and the odds that your beloved dog will survive and thrive will be so much greater than Echo's. And when it's done and your best friend is once again by your side please thank Echo for her sacrifice which led me to write this to you.