The Day We Almost Lost Hero

We were all looking forward to spend the weekend at the beach in the east coast, a 4-hour ride from the city. The day started off normally as we made our way out of the city towards the east-coast expressway. It was a beautiful sunny morning and the traffic was clear.

We arrived at the beach resort at around 3pm and immediately went about settling down and unloading the luggage from the car. Hero was sniffing all over the place excitedly whilst marking every tree in sight. I gave hero some water to drink which he gulped down ferociously. We left him alone and went about settling Meimei in the room.

After a while, I came out to find hero yelping in pain outside the chalet. His stomach was bloated as if he had swallowed a ball, with excess salivation from the mouth. When touched, it felt tense. He was retching and attempting to defecate unproductively in a panic stupor. Immediately I knew something was wrong and it’s serious. I vaguely remembered reading on the internet about stomach bloat in dogs and how such condition could be life threatening. Without wasting time, I ran to the resort office and asked for the nearest veterinary clinic. Ruby, the resort owner, said the nearest would be in Kuantan town, about an hour drive from the resort. She quickly made a phone call to the veterinarian whilst I ran back to get hero and the car.

The journey to the clinic took about an hour but it seemed to have lasted forever. While Ruby took the wheel weaving in and out of traffic along the coastal road, I was holding on to hero whom were in great distress as he could not find a comfortable position to sit still or lay down. He kept whining and changing his place and position throughout the entire ride. A sign that he was in great pain.

At the clinic, hero was immediately sedated to have an x-ray taken for further diagnosis. The veterinarian explained that if the stomach was indeed twisted (gastric torsion), cells may die (necrosis) due to the lack of oxygen supply and this could lead to further complications. Ruby and I waited at the clinic as the vet drove hero to the x-ray center, located a distance away.

About close to an hour later, the vet returned with hero, still sedated in the crate. With bated breath, I waited as the vet reversed his truck into the porch. As he alighted, his expression did not tell me it was good news. He promptly confirmed that hero had a condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) and immediate surgery was recommended to avoid further complication to his organs which could result in shock. He further added that the surgery would take about two hours.

The time was 9pm. We were back at the resort having BBQ dinner when the vet called to inform us that the operation went well. We were told to come over at 10.30pm to see hero and if he was well enough, we can take him back, as the clinic would be closed the following day. Cheche and I arrived at the clinic punctually and as we entered the clinic, we could hear the lone cry of a frightened dog from afar at the back, and instinctively we knew it was our boy. Hero was so happy to see us and likewise for us, it was a deep relief to see him responding playfully again without the pain, at least for the moment. But we knew this was not over yet, as post-surgery care could be perilous, where intensive monitoring was needed.

We arrived back at the resort close to midnight. Hero did not sleep, and so did we. Poor hero was in such pain that he just stood still on all four legs throughout the night, wobbling at times due to sleepiness. Each time he tried to lay down, it was too painful even though he was on pain killer. And he would vomit white slimy substance each time he drank any water.

The next day, we thought of leaving for home early, but given the condition hero was in, we were concerned whether he could withstand the long journey in the car. Thus, we decided to stay on for hero to have a proper rest at the resort. However, his condition took a turn for the worst in the afternoon when his stomach started to bloat again. We rushed him to another veterinary clinic as the one where he had his surgery was closed. At the clinic, the vet gave hero a massage on his abdomen and to our relief, the bloat subsided after a couple of hearty burps. Apparently, the bloat was due to the accumulation of gas in his stomach due to post-surgery complication.

We finally made it back home the following day and upon reaching, we noticed that the incision on hero has split open and blood was dripping from the wound. It must have been from the car ride or he had scratched it. We have to clean the wound several times a day to keep infection at bay.

We fed hero several small meals a day at short intervals and limit his water intake during the recuperation period. He would still vomit occasionally after his meal due to the effect of the antibiotic he was taking. And because we controlled his fluid intake, he would licked on wet floor at any given opportunity.

It has been two weeks now since the bloat incident and hero is recovering well. He is still on special diet and since he has finished the course of antibiotics, the vomiting has stopped too. With proper care and good rest, we hope hero will make a full recovery soon.

After what we went through with hero, we do not wish for anyone to go through such horrible experience with their beloved furry friend. Bloating is the second leading cause of canine death, after cancer. I hope the information here would one day be able to help someone out there to act immediately upon recognizing the symptoms of bloat... cause every second does count.


Ronnii, Uji, Izzy + Ziggy said...

OMD How scary for you all, thank dogness you got Hero to a vet quickly. Prayers for his continued recovery & hugs for him too, bless him he is such a brave boy

Momma Tea, Uji, Izzy n Ziggy
xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

Mitch said...

What a scary experience for you and for Hero! Thank doG you acted so quickly! We're sending lots of healing vibes your way, Hero!

Love ya lots

kimberlycun said...

teared up reading this, can't imagine how scary it must had been. get well soon, hero! stay strong!

Bolo said...

Oh my DOG Hero! I'm glad you're getting better. We're sending nose kisses and snuffles to you and your family and plenty of Power of The Paw to help you heal.


Pei-Ess It looks like MeiMei has been taking good care of you.

3 doxies said...

Oh my goodness! I knows ya'll was just petrified withs fear. But I am glad dat ya'll acted quickly and gots him to a vet.
We is sending our best healin' vibes to ya'll.

What a wonderful nurs Mei Mei makes, her sure is growin' up.

Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Bibi-Chan, Gen-Chan, Vidock said...

Hi. We read about what happened to Hero on Bolo's blog and came over to with him well. It all sounds very scary but we're glad he's doing well.

Tommy (and the rest of the Poupounette Gang in France)

verobirdie said...

It must have been so stressful, andbpainful for Hero too!
I hope he is fine very soon.

zeeFM said...

Oh Hero, hope you are getting better now and kudos to the humans for quick acting ! Thanks for letting us know about it even though it must have been painful.

We just bumped into you at Desa Park earlier this month! Seems like a lot has happened since then!

Priscilla said...

So glad to hear that Hero is on the mend and our paws are still crossed all the time!

Hugs to you all!

Suka said...

What a heart-wrenching story. I am so deeply sorry for the trauma and pain Hero experienced. I cannot imagine how horrible it must have been for him, especially having to stand up all night since it was too painful for him to lay down. I can't believe the Vet did not have pain meds strong enough for Hero. What a horrible experience. And how scary for you!

Our thoughts, love, and prayers are with you and Hero as he continues his healing journey. He is very fortunate to have such loving, caring, and alert parents. You saved his life and took such great care of him. Good luck to all of you, and paws crossed that Hero comes back to a full 100% recovery!

Suka and K

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Wow, that must have been such a scary experience for all. Our human brother-in-law's parents lost their black lab due to a twisted stomach. The first time it happened she had surgery to fix the problem, but it happened again just a few months later and she didn't make it that time. It is good to get the word out about bloat - such a terrible thing to have happen.

We are all so happy to know that Hero is OK now. We applaud you for doing all that you could to get him help.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Kari in Vegas said...

OH what a VERY scary experience

Stop on by for a visit

Lady Z said...

Thinking of all of you and hoping for Hero's swift recovery. What a scary experience. It looks like Meimei is taking good care of the patient!

Cara said...

So worried for him, So glad he is better now, all my wishes, xxxxxx.

Mango said...

Oh man! That is so scary. I'm glad you were on top of things and rushed him to the emergency room. Hopefully he will continue to improve and never bloat again.

Mango Momma

H and Flo said...

We've just hopped over from Mango's blog - we haven't visited before. I'm glad to see Hero is recovering, it all sounded very scary. Bloat is something that I always worry about happening to Flo too. Your description of how Hero was behaving is really useful and I hope he continues to get better. :)

H and Flo

Sam and Pippen said...

Just stooping by from Mango's bloggie... We have our paws crossed for Hero so he'll have a speedy quick recovery!

Sam and Pippen

Mitch said...

We continue to send you lots of healing vibes, Hero!

Love ya lots,

Oskar said...

What a scary & horrible time for Hero & all of you. I'm so very glad that he is recovering & we will send prayers that he is totally well quickly.

Nubbin wiggles & hugs,
Oskar & Pam

rottrover said...

Sending special, healing rottie kisses to Hero. How SCARY!!

-Bart and Ruby

Lorenza said...

Sure it was super scary!
And being away from home!
I am very happy to know you are doing well now!
Paws crossed here for you!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Asta said...

Sank you fow telling us all. I'm so vewy sowwy deew Hewo had to go thwoo this pain, but I'm so gwateful that he has such wondewful, clevew, cawing pawents to act quickly and save his life. I am sending some eztwa healing smoochie kisses fow his total wecovewy

The Boston Lady said...

So glad Hero is recovering. We went through bloat with our German Shepherd about 20 years ago. At the time the doc held him up under his front legs while a tech inserted a long tube down his throat as the vet swished him in circles. This worked in this case and we avoided the surgery. Such a scary experience, so glad yours has a happy ending. Ann TBL

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Oh that was just awful. So sorry that poor Hero (and your family) have had to go through this. We have paws crossed that he continues to get better and never gets bloat again. Take care all. Love Stella and Rory

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

We are so sorry for Hero's bloat and so very happy he is recovering. Did the vet who did the surgery tack his stomach to help prevent a recurrance? Bless Meimei for being so sweet and loving to Hero as he recovers.

Jed & Abby

cdog said...

Hero! OMG we were wondering how you were doing lately. Get well and heal fast! I'm so glad you got through that. And you were on vacation too!
take it easy and get lots of rest!


chicamom85 said...

Hero I am so glad that you are doing better now. What a scary thing for you and your Peeps to go through. I hope you can rest now and will soon be out playing.

Take care my Pal

Loveys Sasha

hero said...

Thanks to all for the well wishes... I'm doing fine now and I just had my stitches removed yesterday. Yes, the vet did tack my stomach to the internal wall to avoid future bloating. It's a horrifying experience to say the least and hope no one would ever go through this.

Licks to everyone, hero

monica said...

Oh my god, what a story, and what a weekend you had! So glad hero is recovering. Just reading about how he stood up All Night in pain just broke my heart...

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

We are just so glad Hero has such good and smart humans and that he got the care he needed as quickly as pawsible. I know we haven't been around for like almost s year, but you all have always been in our thoughts the whole time. We just want to wish Hero a speedy recovery and also all of you who must be just pooped from being stressed out.

lotsa love and licks,

Lola and the whole gang

Fiona, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

Hero, buddy! We are glad you are on the mend! Very scary stuff there! But you look quite dashing with that shave job of yours. Take care, and heal quickly!

*kissey face*
-Fiona and Abby the Hippobottomus

Lord Fernandez said...

Hi Hero. I'm so sorry to hear that you had to go through this painful experience. I'm happy to hear that you seem to be recovering from it. Char Siew, Midori and I are sending healing hugs to you.

BTW - Char Siew is also under the weather. He is throwing up and his stool has blood. He was at the Doggy Hospital overnight and became better so he came home. We will need to take him back to the hospital because the bloody stool came back.

georgia little pea said...

What a shock to read this! I'm sorry I've been away from the blog the last week.

I know about bloat. That was part of the complication with Jordan the night we had to put him down. At the time, while I knew about the condition, I didn't put 2 and 2 together :(

I can't believe the 1st vet asked you to pick him up so soon after such major surgery. Surely he/she could have suggested another vet/hospital where Hero could have stayed under supervision. Not good.

Anyway, I'm glad it all turned out alright. I love a happy ending! Get well soon Hero! BIG HUGS to all of you x

Lois Lane/Laney said...

Poor Hero! I'm so glad it turned out okay. Hope you're feeling better soon! How scary!

Elizabeth said...

Poor Hero!
This is awful.
Please let us know how he is doing.
I feel so sorry for the poor chap.

buster sends lots and lots of love and is sorry he missed this post before


Anonymous said...

Hero is so luck to be so loved. Our sharpei is 15 this month. I hope Hero makes it to at least 15.

northernbliss said...

Hero has 9 lives!!! What relief that he - and you - are doing fine.
Take Care...

Taffy and Angel Twix said...

Oh, Hero! We hope you are doing much better now! We just wanted to stop by and say hello and was so afraid when we saw the post. Mom said she misses you terribly and hopes you can feel the hug she is sending you right now. We are hoping to get back to blogging sometime but life isn't letting us right now. You take care of yourself and we will check in on you again soon.

Love and hugs,

MadameMoiselle said...

I'm so sorry to hear you are not well hero and I'm so sorry for not visiting for the longest time as my mom has been lazy with The blogging. Mom was hoping to see you at ruby's but I guess it's not happening now..

Please get well soon and we really hope to meet you and koko n cheche and Mei Mei soon!

Lots of licks
Zelle and family

Ann Oon said...

Its been a month... i am sure Hero is all back to his normal self. Your quick thinking did save his life. Thank you for sharing this information with all of us. It is thru this circle of doggie buddies that we learn.

He is a sweet sweet boy... looking at him with your lil girl just melts the heart.

Sorry we didn't comment earlier.. i think i read this story on my phone... and it didn't allow me to comment..

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that and I hope Hero is doing good now.


Chloe and Libby said...

We just read up about the bloat, how dreadful! I'm so very glad to be able to tell mommy that you pulled through and are now taking it easy. We are so very sorry to hear that you went through this. Thank Dog there was a clinic nearby, but must have seemed so very far away at the time.
Sending nose rubs to you.