Monday, May 31, 2010

The Face of Trouble—Part Two

If you have been reading my blog for a while you might remember this post.
“The Face of Trouble” (aka “Bo,” one of our German Shepherds) has struck again and this time he REALLY got himself into BIG TROUBLE.
Almost life or death trouble.
The kind of trouble  that required emergency surgery which resulted in this BIG incision in his belly.


One afternoon last week, he vomited.  Then he proceeded to vomit after he finished his dinner, and a few more times throughout the evening. 
I mentioned to my husband that several days before, I had seen him shredding his toy rope.  When I saw he was tearing it up, I pulled the loose strings out of his mouth and threw the rope in the garbage. 
It was a big German Shepherd sized toy rope just like this one…

rope dog toy

We once had a German Shepherd that got an obstruction in her intestines after she chewed up a tennis ball and swallowed the pieces without our knowledge.  Repeated vomiting was her first symptom.  Between our 18 hour delay in getting her to the vet (because we thought she just had an upset stomach) and the vet waiting an additional 24 hours to see if she would pass it naturally, she almost died.  Fortunately, after the pieces of the tennis ball were removed surgically, she eventually recovered and lived many more years.
In Bo’s case, we were quicker to put 2 and 2 together.
Shredded toy rope
repeated vomiting over a span of several hours
trip to animal emergency clinic at 10:00 p.m.
After preliminary x-rays, the emergency clinic vet said she suspected a malignant tumor  was pressing on Bo’s stomach.    
That news was quite a shock because he has been perfectly fine.  Typical Bo...VERY good appetite, no weight loss, VERY good energy, absolutely nothing to  even remotely suggest  he might have a malignant tumor.  
I just kept thinking it HAD to be an obstruction of some foreign substance he ingested… very possibly part of that darn rope I caught him chewing up!
The vet wanted to put him on IV fluids and monitor him for a few hours and then repeat the x-rays.  She said she would call us at 6:30 a.m. to report his condition, or earlier if his situation deteriorated to the point she felt they needed to do emergency surgery.
The vet did call at 6:30 a.m.  She said he was basically the same so she wanted to refer him to a specialty clinic for an ultrasound.   Three vets at the specialty clinic looked at his x-rays and they were also convinced he had a malignant tumor because his x-ray results didn’t look consistent with an obstruction. 
After ultrasound, the diagnosis was foreign body obstruction… which was serious but certainly much better news than malignant tumor,  for sure!
So off to surgery he went.
$4400.00 later (um, no that’s not a typographical error…unfortunately) the obstruction had been surgically removed and we knew the source…
a mass of strings from the toy rope!
He’s home now and resting, getting lots of sympathetic hugs and kisses,  but this surgery has obviously taken the wind out of his sails for a while. 


(He’s wearing a t-shirt to discourage him from licking and chewing at the staples .  It hangs down over his incision but isn’t as big and bulky as one of those cone-shaped collars.)


luvtodecorate said...

Oh no! Bless his heart and yours. I am so sorry this happened but I am so glad he is doing better.

jen said...

Im so happy to hear he is doing well! I have 2 tiny dogs..I dont know what I would do without them!

Sylvia said...

So glad this has a happy ending. Our "first child" was a GSD named Ginger. Give Bo a hug from a lurker and major GSD lover.

Shari @ My Cottage of Bliss said...

Sylvia, I really appreciate you "delurking" to send a virtual hug for Bo. Thanks! :)

Justine said...

Oh Shari, how scary for you and the hubby! Yep, this is just the type of thing that Strudel does, although it seems in recent months she doesn't usually swallow much of what she destroys. She will take an entire plastic hanger and chew it into bitty pieces, but I never see it come out the other end, so go figure.

I'm so glad Bo made it through okay, but holy shit... $4400???? That's insane!!!

Justine :o )

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

What a fantastically beautiful pup....I'm so happy to hear you found what was wrong before it was too late. I'm constantly taking things away from Ruby too.... She's an aggressive chewer....odd for a small dog....I'm tossing the rope toys today!

Thanks for the compliment on my chair....I'm soooo happy to have it finished.

I have wondered a million times whatever came of the w/d situation....


Wendy said...

Oh no! Poor guy. Glad he's okay!

Anonymous said...

That poor baby! Sending love his way...marcia

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

Oh my gosh! How scary! My Beau is always chewing his toys up! I'm going to be more careful now! I never realized something like this could happen! I glad to hear your Bo will be okay! wow, those vet bills can sure be expensive!