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Twisted Stomachs

So, what I really want to write is about our brief time down south to a big city to get away for a little bit. What I’m actually going to write about is the panic attack our oldest puppy gave us today… and the reason I’m happy that we didn’t have to make an extremely hard decision this afternoon.

We boarded the dogs at their usual doggie daycare place, where they love to go. We’ve been with these guys for almost two years now. Tyr literally throws a fit in the car whenever he sees the the pick up shuttle. We picked the two of them up about noon today, got them home and shortly there after Luna started acting strange. Fiance gave them a small amount of food and then we let them outside. She usually goes out second after Tyr.

She was out there for a while. I finally went to check on her and pulled her back inside. Luna started pacing and looking generally sick, ears back, eyes with a bit of pain. She laid by me, then would get up pace, then she’d try to throw up and run to the door (she is one not to make a mess in the house). I let her back out. She is out there for a really long time again.

She comes back in and just looks awful. Her belly is noticeably distended and she seems to be panting a lot. The fiance and I talk about it, watching her. I convince him to call the emergency vet because it doesn’t feel like her usual ‘I ate something I shouldn’t of so I’m going to throw it up until I feel better’ routine.

We end up taking her to the emergency vet. Pain shot, bloodwork draw, and an xray later, somehow Luna managed to twist her stomach. Like literally twist it on it’s axis, which in turn causes a host of problems (cut of blood supply and oxygen, blockage, etc). It was the strangest thing to see in an xray and we are still puzzled by how she did it.

I was also grateful because we are savers, we were able to pay for her surgery to fix the situation and that we didn’t have to face an extremely hard decision. It was so hard to watch her in the waiting room because she was not doing well by the time we got there. She was in pain and making whimper sounds. It tore me up and you could tell that both of us were fighting to stay in control and calm.

We got her in soon enough that she didn’t go into shock and no tissue started to die as a result of being deprived of blood. She went right into surgery and they were able to fix the situation. They’ve kept her overnight and we get to bring her home tomorrow morning. I have to see if I can get the afternoon off to monitor her while Russ is in class. I told Russ that we should probably place her in the kennel so she can keep from moving around a lot and keep Tyr from trying to play with her. He’s already confused about her not being around (and he was super perturbed as to why he didn’t get to go in the car with us).

It was just so fast and I think that’s the thing that surprises me. Life is short, enjoy all of the moments you can with it, the small ones are probably the most important. What I’m even more grateful for? Parental instincts. If we had decided to wait and see if she got better, things could of ended up very dramatic this evening for us. I’m glad we didn’t wait. I’m really glad that she’ll get several more years with us now too.


  1. I had no idea what you meant with twisted stomach! I had to look it up so now I know what it is and I’m so glad you got her to a vet in time! We have a similar name for it in Swedish but I just didn’t think of it because I’ve never seen it in English. I’m more familiar with ileus as it’s a very common problem where I work.
    I hope your baby recovers well from surgery.

    • K K

      I think I spent all sunday evening thinking about what could have happened if we had waited several more hours. I think the correct term is Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome or that’s what it is for dogs. Can this happen in humans? I think the thing that scares me the most is that this wasn’t like the result of an accident (like being hit by a car or something like that). She literally ate some food, probably rolled on her back, or pranced at some point and it was enough to rotate her stomach in the wrong direction.

      The concept still baffles me and now I keep finding myself periodically paranoid whenever one of the dogs rolls on their backs now. *sighs*

      • It can happen in humans but I’ve only heard about the conditions happening to the bowels, not the stomach. I don’t think it’s very common either but I’m not sure since I haven’t worked with that type of conditions but I’m more familiar with actual bowel obstructions since I work with palliative care and it’s a very common complication in cancers that grow in the abdomen.
        I totally understand that it’s scary that it just happened out of the blue. You should do some reading about it or discuss it with the vet how common it is and all that.

  2. Oh god, I used to be so paranoid about my dog getting torsion for some reason, I must have read some horror story and for the first year of her life I was on constant alert looking for signs of it. I haven’t thought about it for ages though, so this post is a good reminder!

    I’m glad you guys managed to catch it and deal with it so quickly ūüôā

    • K K

      Admittedly, I still get a little bit of butterflies if I see one of the dogs starting to look bloated. It’s not an experience I’d wish on anyone and I still can’t believe it happened.

      She is very much back to her old self too. Like, three days after surgery, she acted like she didn’t almost die on us! lol

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