10 February 2008

Public Service Announcement

It is easy to love dogs more than people. Dogs are friendlier, kinder and simpler than humans. They are also covered in lovely warm fur (don't talk to me about hairless dogs).

My friend is going to put her dog to sleep this week. The dog is in horrible pain and can't stand up to pee anymore, so it is time.

It brings tears to my eyes. Nothing makes me sadder than when a faithful dog leaves this world.

I would like it if, when I am sick and old and in pain, someone would put me to sleep. I hope that idea takes hold before I get there.

Here's the public service announcement portion of our post:
If you have a deep chested dog like a greyhound, pointer or weimarauner, do NOT let them eat immediately after getting hot.

If they drink and eat too much while they are hot, like from a walk, they can get their stomach twisted and will need immediate surgery to survive.

I only learned this when Goldie was at the emergency vet after the exMrStapler's dog fought with her and tore up her ears. While I was waiting, a man came in with a weimarauner who was trying to vomit but couldn't.

The staff quizzed the man. The dog had been out for a long walk on a summer morning, came in, drank a bunch of water, ate a bunch of food, and started acting funny. The emergency vet staffer told the man that it would be an immediate $1500 charge to his credit card to get started on trying to save the dog's life.

At this point, I started sobbing. I was already on edge from Goldie's injuries and this put me over the cliff. Just then, Goldie came out, ready to go, so I never found out if that man's dog lived.

I'm just trying to prevent the same scenario happening to anyone else.


Working Girl said...

I'm sorry about your friend's dog. I used to share a backyard with a family that had rescued a retired greyhound. Whenever a car backfired, she would start doing superfast laps around the yard. She was quirky and sweet.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

It's called bloat and it happens to a lot of big, deep chested dogs like goldens, labs and greyhouds . Great Danes are particularly susceptible. A family friend lost their golden recently because of bloat and it was so tragic. Good for everyone to know, Suebob!

meno said...

I had no idea!

So sorry for your friend. It's so sad to lose a (furry)friend.

lizgwiz said...

It always sucks to lose a furry friend.

And it sucks to lose them to bloat. I have a very deep-chested Dobie mix, and that's one of my big fears. The key to successful treatment is to start it FAST, so if you even think they're bloating, you should head to the vet.

I think, too, that we're much kinder to animals than we are to people, when it comes to ending life. I'd love to go peacefully, surrounded by loved ones holding me and telling me how loved I am.

Kizz said...

I knew enough to be afraid of bloat but not how to prevent it. Thank you.

It's so sad when one of them goes. We have a rule among my friends that when one goes everyone else gets extra treats for all the tricks they do. "Good breathing." "Good dog, good sitting there." "Aw, pretty girl." We're just so glad to have them around.

debangel said...

So sorry to hear about your friend's dog =( It's so hard to say goodbye, but so merciful to at least be able to take their pain away. Give your friend an extra hug for me.

Thanks for posting about bloat! I actually never knew that specifically- I know to feed large dogs in elevated dishes to avoid gastric torsion and just by instinct have never fed or watered an overheated dog (little sips only, just like a human), but I just thought it would make a dog feel ill, not become so dangerously sick. Now that I have a Lab mix that will exercise with me, I will definitely keep that in mind, and tell everyone else I know, too.

Can I spread another pet tip here? If you have a cat, and a dryer? Check the dryer for the cat, EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU OPEN IT. Especially if you have a cat, a dryer, and a toddler. Just sayin'. (The cat is fine, but he could easily have died, and my wallet? Still overheated.)

Lisa said...

Am so very sorry to hear of your friend's dog! How heartbreaking.

Abbeydog is a lab/pointer mix. She has a pointer body and spots (but a lab face, tail and personality). You'd better believe I'll be keeping this info in mind the next time we are out on a hot day.

Minnesota Matron said...

My heart goes out to your friend. We diapered our fifteen year old Irish Setter/ Spaniel mix for a year. Then one day he lost his ability to stand and just lay, whimpering in pain, despite quadruple the doggie morphine. We all were there to put him to sleep, including our three children. How bad could it be? Worse. Screaming. Hysteria. We're all better now, but it's hard to lose a dog. They are better than we are (at least me).

Suebob said...

@debangel - I did not know that about elevated dishes! Thanks. I tried it tonight and Goldie took the food, put it on the floor, and ate it from there LOL. Old habits die hard I guess.

QT said...

Losing a good dog is heart wrenching.

I always limit my dog's water intake after intense playing for the reasons you mention.

grace said...

We lost our first dog, Chance, to bloat. He lived through two surgeries for it, but ended up dying of heart failure right after. He was less than 3. It was horrible.

The elevated dish thing really depends on who you ask--most people seem to agree that the important thing is that the eat slowly, not so much that they're elevated. If you have a dog who munches really quickly, I suggest putting old spoons in his/her bowl so s/he has to eat around them. It's also better, esp. with larger dogs, to feed multiple small meals so they don't ever eat too much at once.

Unknown said...

I love my dog more than my kids. Is that bad? Just seeing her little brown eyes blink at me makes me melt.

Jhianna said...

Hmmm... I knew bloat was a problem with my Great Pyrenees, but I thought it was the large dogs that had the issue. Not deep chested - interesting.

We always make her wait to go out after eating to lessen the chances that she'll have problems. And she has a raised food dish because that's supposed to help too. But like Grace said - it all depends on who you ask. Our Pyr seems to like the raised dish because she doesn't have to bend to eat or drink as much.

And Kizz - us too. Heck, we loved on our beastie the entire weekend after we saw I Am Legend.

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