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Im hoping someone on here will be able to to calm my fears. We have a 3 year old gs named Ramsee pup and a 5 year old gs named kuma. Ramsee pup always has been a fussy eater ( so hes a small sized) and a high stress dog. Hes a world class champion bred animal ( not by choice i just wanted a long haired shepherd)
The reason im mentioning this is because supposedly these are the risks of the nightmare disease called bloat.

4 days ago We fed our dogs a half a can of this cosco meat that we had around. That day my dh saw Ramsee pup eating grass. I did not look to see if had eaten his food. That early morning My DH saw vomit on the stairs that we knew was from Ramsee pup. I also some a small amout of vomit with canned food content on a rug he sleeps on. My dh was concerned as there was a lot. That morning my Ramsee pup jumped up on my bed like normal and tried to fet my attention. Everything seemed normal. No panting. Nothing from him. Later that day we saw that he had thrown up again. I was getting concerned and was glad he was drinking as i was worried about him getting dehydrated. I noticed he was very thirsty. A short time later he threw up the water so i decided to call the vet. I took him down there and left him while i waited in the car because of social distancing, They basically sent me home with a bunch of pills saying he has a stomach irritation and they gave him anti nausea mdication and put liquid syringe of some stuff in his ears because they said he had an infection. When i picked him up he was out it. I assumed it was from the medication.
When i got home i noticed he was not doing well. He drank more water and shortly thereafter got sick again. Then i looked away and could not find him. We looked everywhere then we found him behind the shed where it was cool. He had dug himself what i assumed a grave and had laid on it. He refused to come out. He was very lethargic and i screamed at my dh to call the vet again. We rushed him back snd the vet and nurses came out to see him. They brought him in and we left to do a delivery ( we run a small business) When we came back we were told he had gvd. I was in shock.. i asked how could that be as he was not swollen. We were told he was past that stage and that if he didn't get surgery now he would die. We didnt know what to do as financially we could not afford it. Also in the back of our minds mind we did not know if Ramsee pup would even be able to mske it because he was such a little thing. We scrambled to fet the funds together and chose the surgery and went in to see him. He was all happy to see us and I kissed him between tears and went out in the parking lot to wait. Friends of ours came down to support me as i was losing my mind because of my grief.
Long story short... hes home. Hes eating very little and drinking. No vomiting. Hes disoriented and seems mentally slow. Its scary but im assiming its the meds hes on, But he does have his energy so it looks good. So my question..
Ramsee pup had NO bloating. I would have noticed. He didnt whine. He didnt pant. I never saw him drooling.. could he have been misdiagnosed? This was a serious blow to our finances and just the thought of us struggling now to pay it as well as him having unneeded surgery makes me so sick.
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At this point doubting the diagnosis is mute. The surgery has been done. If the diagnosis was correct the surgery saved your dogs life. Be thankful for that as many dogs don't survive. That said you could ask your vet to see the xrays they took to make the diagnosis.
I have never had a dog with bloat or GVD so I have no experience with it. Our current GSD did have an ileus that almost required surgery and set us back with a healthy vet bill to diagnose and treat. The thing that strikes me as similar to our case is the fact your dog was actually vomiting and bringing up food and fluid. I could be wrong but I always thought bloating/GVD dogs retched without bringing much or anything up. Not a vet so I could be wrong on this.
Ilieus may require surgery if there is an actual blockage that can't be passed. Either way I would like to believe no vet would perform such a surgery without proper cause.
I know it was a stressful time and you were asked to make big decisions quickly without the benefit of the face to face with your vet. If you still have questions call your vet and ask them how they came to the diagnosis, what did they do during the surgery and what if any precautions you need to take if any in the future. Just tell them you were panicked at the time and didn't get all the details. I would hope they would be happy to answer your questions and ease your mind.
Wishing your dog a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.
 

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I only skimmed this but I did not think bloat could go on for multiple days and the dog survive...?

Your dog had been sick awhile? I guess vets assumed he bloated after the fact of some other illness?

Did he have bloodwork? I'd be curious to know what that said.
 

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I only skimmed this but I did not think bloat could go on for multiple days and the dog survive...?

Your dog had been sick awhile? I guess vets assumed he bloated after the fact of some other illness?

Did he have bloodwork? I'd be curious to know what that said.
The way I read it it all happened in one day. They went to the vet twice the same day and surgery was the same day.
 

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Regardless, nobody here is a vet. Nobody here has access to all tests they did to diagnose the issue. I think it's really unfair to the vet and to anyone here to ask us to second guess the vet, especially after the procedure. If you have any questions, you should direct them to your vet and have them thoroughly go over all the tests and how they diagnosed him. If you still aren't satisfied, then you should take all the records to another vet for a 2nd opinion.
 

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I agree, if it would ease your mind, I'd ask about x-rays and blood work that was done. When Keefer bloated they put him on fluids, did a blood test to check his lactate level which was still within normal range (a higher than normal lactate value indicates necrosis and a lower chance of survival), and did x-rays that showed a 180 degree torsion. Even though he was just days from his 12th birthday, his heart was strong and we'd gotten him to the emergency vet very quickly. Fortunately he came through surgery well and made a complete recovery.
 

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By the time you see the dog’s stomach expanding, it would be too late and he would have died. Bloat conditions can be present for several days, and you would not always know it. Signs of bloat are anxiety, unable to settle in one spot, extensive lip licking, non productive vomiting and excessive drooling. From above, the stomach area might look lopsided with one side more extended than the other. When my dog had bloat surgery, the ER vet said his stomach may have been twisting a little for days, that it does not just happen instantly but the end stage symptoms do. He did not look bloated at all until I saw the xrays. That is where people get confused. If they saw it in the xrays, it’s bloat. If you don’t trust them, get the xrays and have a radiologist tell you what they see. Don’t ask if it’s bloat, ask what they see in the images and let them tell you.
 

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Hug your pup, and whisper words of gratitude that he's still with you. Had you lost him but kept all that money, you would have surely said, "I'd gladly trade this money just to have my dog back" -- but we don't get a rewind on that choice.

When your mind is clear, do a search on this forum for "pet insurance." A $50/mo policy would have paid for most of that surgery. That's water under the bridge (too late now on that one), but it would give you peace of some mind for the future. (FYI, insurance will probably no longer cover anything bloat related during his lifetime becuase it's now "pre-existing," as dogs that bloat have risk of bloating again unless they're "tacked." However, it will cover unrelated other stuff -- and "stuff" just happens with these dogs.)

I would also check his family history, and let his breeder know. There's a suspected (but not definitely proven AFAIK) genetic component to it, so the breeder should at least be aware.
 

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Only another Vet could give an opinion after seeing all of the diagnostic tests and x-rays. I am so sorry this scary experience happened but am glad your pup is okay. If it gives you any comfort, your story sounds exactly like the one my neighbor went through 2 weeks ago with his 2 year old Black Labrador. Vomiting, not eating, some panting, given meds, and lethargic. Sent home and then no improvement. Told it was gastric irritation from eating some onion. Getting worse and then rushed to the emergency Vet in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, the surgical Vet on call did not answer for 2 hours and they lost the dog to confirmed Bloat.

Devastated as this dog was his child (no kids) and they had just begun training for water fowl retrieval.

Hug your pup tight.
 

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I would not doubt the vet. Barker the Elder the 1st had a bloat episode. Much as you describe. The vomit was very bubbly. Earliuer, she had planted herself on top of an area I had sprayed with deer repellent and I had to lug her off. I didn't think "bloat" until I went to put her out after the frothy vomit and touching her side, that stomach wasn't normal.
I called the two emergency vets, the closest one (by just a little) didn't have a patient right then and would be able to handle her right away. I only ran one red light getting there. She survived. The recovery was slow but complete. She lived several more years. (despite the vet continually warning me that it might not come out that way. I kept saying - go take care of my dog, I'm good for whatever this costs.)
So I think the vet was right. Your dog is alive. He is recovering. Money well spent.
 

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Regardless, nobody here is a vet. Nobody here has access to all tests they did to diagnose the issue. I think it's really unfair to the vet and to anyone here to ask us to second guess the vet, especially after the procedure. If you have any questions, you should direct them to your vet and have them thoroughly go over all the tests and how they diagnosed him. If you still aren't satisfied, then you should take all the records to another vet for a 2nd opinion.
Good points. Agreed
 
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