15 October 2004

Bleary Emergency

Or maybe not. I haven't slept yet tonight (or this morning, either). I may not sleep until much later in the day. Darwin (my big boy greyhound) was a little restless this evening, but then he often is--especially if Bast (Her Highness, Fuzziest Cat in the Universe) decides it would be fun to gargoyle at him. She freaks him out. But around when I settled in to read a little before sleep, Darwin kept lying down for few minutes, then pacing, then lying down, then pacing. I took him out many times before I realized he wasn't going to do anything more than pee a little. I began to worry. I began to think bloat. He was licking his chops a lot. Dogs with bloat salivate more than normal. He did a few little pukes. Dogs with bloat retch. Bloat (aka gastric torsion) is a scary, scary thing, and greyhounds are rather more likely to get it than many other kinds of dogs. It can kill dogs fairly quickly. It can mean expensive surgery. Scary, scary, scary.

After waking my poor sister (er . . . do you have a test today, Sue?) to see if she knew any more about bloat than I do, we decided I should call the 24-hour emergency line at the vet's. Turns out, a 24-hour emergency line is really a call to find out the on-call vet's pager number line; you then call that and leave a message, then wait for the poor sod to wake up and call you back.

Anyway, he was really nice, and had me describe the symptoms. Just as I was doing so, Darwin threw up about a handful of soggy dog food. This is a good sign. With bloat, the vet assured me, the stomach twists (hence "torsion") so that the dog can swallow air in, but can't throw anything up (exept saliva or white foam--Darwin wasn't producing white foam). So the vet said I didn't need to bring him in, but to keep a close eye on him. He told me various things to watch for and what they might mean, and advised giving Darwin Pepto Bismol to help settle his tummy. I don't have any Pepto Bismol, and didn't ask for dosage on any of the other antacids mentioned, so now I have to google and see if I can find out if Rolaids are okay for dogs and how much I should give him.

So, phew. Probably just D's tummy objecting to me switching his brand of dog food.


Rowena said...


So how's Mr. D now? Your post has me all worried about him and his tummy. Was it just the change in food?


Niko said...

He's fine now. Back to his usual silly self. The antacid seemed to work, so I went out and bought Pepto Bismol in case it happens again. I'm probably going to send a thank-you card to the vet. Phew!