This is our experience of bloat.
Having had Great Danes for almost 15 years we’ve always been aware of bloat and the effects it can have on dogs and always strived to minimise the risk.
Like most owners, our dogs are not pets but family members, our weekends and spare time is scheduled around them and their needs.
We raise their food nor do we walk them an hour either side of feeding time and we certainly don’t let them play after they’ve eaten. We're your typical dog owners.
A typical Sunday morning in our household involves a pack walk down by our local river with between 20-30 other dogs of all breeds and ages. Both our Danes like to police everything, so when a couple of pups go too far they like to step in and bring order back to the pack. Luna likes to do her own thing whereas Zeek loves to play with the pups, he can sit there all day and let them jump all over him.
After the pack walk we usually go to a local market where we can socialize them even more and subject them to different situations, which we think is paramount to the well being of any dog large or small.
After this they’re both too tired to do anything so it’s time for rest, on Sunday 30th June they’d both been sleeping for well over 2 hours before they were fed. We were just about to settle to have our food when we noticed that Zeek was trying to be sick and nothing was coming up. His back was arched, he was pacing up and down, panting and he was drooling uncontrollably as well as being very unsettled.
We knew this was serious and after feeling his stomach, which was now swollen, we had a horrible feeling this was bloat. We’re lucky enough to have a vet nurse in the family so a quick phone call to her and within 30 minutes of first noticing his condition we were in the out of hours surgery.
We’re very fortunate to have a vet nurse in the family and fully understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to have this added benefit, which is why knowing the signs and symptoms of bloat and acting instantly can mean the difference between life and death of your fur baby.
We were told it was either bloat which didn’t need an operation or twisted bloat which obviously did and the only way to find out was to have an x-ray.
The dreaded news came and as expected his stomach had twisted and within 10 minutes was being sedated. We went in and said our goodbye’s which was very hard to do, especially when Zeek tried to follow us out.
And so the waiting started…
3 hours went by and then the phone call came, 10:45pm with the news that Zeek was awake and in recovery, the operation had been a success and that there was no damage done to his stomach. The relief was amazing and the next day we went to see him.
He wasn’t eating which was to be expected after what he had been through and they wouldn’t let him come home until he’d eaten although again he tried to come home with us when we left.
The very next day he came home and is recovering very nicely and we are all back together as one happy family.