Bentley, the gentle giant’s story outlines the importance of having access to 24 hour emergency care.
Two weeks ago, on call vet Ian Killian received an emergency phone call just before surgery closed.
Bentley had collapsed in the garden and was refusing to move. His abdomen was enlarged and uncomfortable. Ian immediately suspected Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (GDV), otherwise known as bloat.
This is a condition where the stomach twists, closing it off. This leads to the food and digestive juices in the stomach starting to ferment, filling the stomach with gas. It is particularly common in large, deep chested dog breeds. Cases of GDV are very serious and can be fatal without prompt veterinary treatment.
Bentley’s owners brought him in to the practice, where Ian examined him and carried out diagnostic x-rays, which confirmed his original theory that it was GDV. Bentley underwent a procedure that evening to pump his stomach of any trapped gas and food. He stayed with us overnight to recover and be closely monitored by our out of hours team that night, a combination of the efforts of Ian, and the nurse on call, Jason.
At one of his checks later that night, Bentley had deteriorated again and his abdomen had become tender once more. So, after much consideration, Ian concluded that the best course of action was to go ahead with surgery.
In the middle of the night, Ian performed an exploratory laparotomy, in which the abdomen is opened to be able to assess the abdominal organs for injury or disease, with Jason closely monitoring Bentley’s anaesthetic.
Upon exploring the abdomen, Ian discovered that not only was Bentley’s stomach twisted, but his spleen was engorged and had rotated as well. Ian needed to perform a splenectomy to remove the organ, in order to de-rotate the stomach back into a normal position. Once in position, the excess gas build up was released and the stomach returned to a normal size.
Bentley’s stomach was then stitched to his abdominal wall to prevent a recurrence of the problem. After two hours of surgery, Ian and Jason knew that the night was not quite over – they monitored him closely as he woke up, through the night and the following day. They were very pleased to see Bentley showing great improvement over the course of the day.
He was allowed to go home that evening so that he could continue to recover in the comfort and familiarity of his own home. After a course of antibiotics, several check ups and 2 weeks recovery time, Bentley’s stitches were removed and he was given the all clear.
We are so glad to see him feeling better again!
If you are concerned that this is something that could affect your pet, there are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of GDV occurring:
- Feed your dog a diet lower in grains and fermentable carbohydrates, spread across two to three small meals per day as opposed to one larger meal.
- Also try to allow him to eat as slowly as possible, perhaps look into investing in a specially designed slow-down feeding dish.
- Don’t exercise your dog for an hour before, or two hours, after eating.
- Finally, as a permanent solution, we are able to perform an elective procedure, via keyhole surgery, to anchor the stomach to the abdominal wall in order to prevent bloat in dog breeds that are at greater risk of suffering from it.
- This can be done at the same time as spaying in female dogs or as a stand alone procedure at any other time in both male and female patients.
To learn more about anything detailed in this article, give us a call on 01435 864422 and our team can discuss this in further detail.