There are rarely any good things about coming home from a vacation. However, after a long drive from St. Louis, our whole family was excited to finally see our dog, Ace. Ace, a Labradoodle, is a very mischievous dog, always looking to sneak out through the front door and run around the neighborhood. However, he is also sweet, and purrs like a cat whenever someone pets him.
After we picked Ace up from the kennel and the workers tell us about all of the new friends he has made, we were all excited to jump into bed after a long day of travel. All of us, that is, except for Ace. Like usual, he is super hyper, and is running around the house. After a few minutes, he lies down to rest. When we try and bring him outside to go to the bathroom before bed, we notice that he is limping.
After we see that Ace is limping, we become nervous. When we finally bring Ace outside, the limping becomes even worse. He is frantically circling around the yard, and looks extremely agitated. He soon vomits and attempts to use bathroom, but can’t. At this point, we know something is wrong. We decided that we had to bring him to the 24 hour animal hospital to see what was going on.
When the doctor came back from examining Ace, he diagnosed Ace with GDV, which consists of a twisted and bloated stomach.This was a serious and scary diagnosis, because GDV is one of the most common life-threatening non-traumatic diagnosis for dogs and is a very common reason dogs die other than old age or an accident. Surgery was necessary to move the stomach back into place and remove air from it. Thankfully, if the surgery went well, the doctor was going to tack the stomach back into place so that he doesn’t encounter this again. According to Purdue University, “the mortality rates for GDV are reported to be as high as 15-25%.”
Before Ace’s surgery, we went back with the doctor to say goodbye, hoping it wasn’t the last time we would be seeing him. He seemed tired, and the fur on his chest and paws was shaved in preparation for the surgery. After saying goodbye, we drove home, and awaited the doctor’s call. Regardless of the outcome, Ace would have to stay overnight at the hospital. We all sat in the living room, trying to take our minds off of Ace and the surgery.
It was around 2 am when the doctor finally called. When my dad picked up the phone, we nervously waited, hoping more than anything that he was ok. After what seemed like the longest few seconds ever, he finally gave a thumbs up, and we were flooded with feeling of relief. The horrible tension was finally lifted.
For approximately two weeks, Ace had to be on pain medication and slept for most of the day. He couldn’t run or move around for a few weeks, but at least he was able to return home. This scary experience not only brought us closer to our dog, but reminded us that all animals, no matter how much you love them, are mortal.