kristin m asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

My dog died last weekend of bloat and I'm sick with sadness and guilt?

My precious 8yr old dobie (9 in Jan.) Missy died last Saturday of bloat/torsion. I had never heard of this condition and the signs she was showing were so subtle. Some signs that I had seen before. When I brought her into my home three years ago, she fell ill with a number of digestive problems. Her previous owner who was my uncle had died and she was thrown in a pound. I rescued her and flew her back to CA. My vet thought that the stress caused her body to go haywire. Anyway, we were at the vets a couple of times a month and she was even in the emergency hospital for about four days twice in six months. She had a problem with her platelets and was put on prednisone and then had pacreatitis and a number of other things, but came through. I was with her every step of the way and nursed her back to health.

About a year ago, at least once a month, she would show some restlessness and would not eat for at least a day, or maybe once during the day. I would catch her vomiting bile and eating grass every so often. I brought this up with my vet and he really wasn't too concerned. She was a very fussy dog when it came to her eating. He did a full blood work up and everything came back normal. He didn't think anything was abnormal and said that some dogs' stomachs are just more sensitive.

Last Saturday, I woke up early to take my other dog to the vet for routine shots. I returned home at about 11:30 and Missy, my dobie was her usual self. My husband had fed her at about 9:30 and whenever she ate, she never drank water. The water was out in the garage through the doggy door. She didn't even eat that much. He left to run some errands and I had just put my six month old twins down for a nap. I came down the stairs and saw Missy in the living room...a place where she never really went. I immediately thought she was going to vomit so I chased her into the garage. She looked a little sad but nothing I hadn't seen. I then put her out in the backyard and as I glanced out a few times, she was walking around and then lying down. I even saw her trying to vomit and thought she was having another one of her stomach upsets. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. She even barked a couple of times at the neighbors. I let her in and she just walked around. There was no panting, no drooling, no whining, no yelping, nothing. About an hour and a half later, my husband returned home. She jumped on the couch and then a few seconds later, jumped off and laid right in front of me. Again, nothing told me that she was in distress. My husband took her outside to see if she wanted to go pee. He came in and told me that her abdomen was hard and distended...something that I did not notice. I immediately called the emergency vet b/c my vet had closed at noon. I described the situation and the receptionist told me to rush her in. Well, the vet was forty minutes away so I was nervous. As my husband was cleaning out the back of his truck, she got up and walked towards him and looked very unsteady. I then noticed that her abdomen was huge. He left for the vet and called me about a half hour later to say that they arrived, but unfortunately, she did not make it. She passed on the way. The vet came out to the car and told him that it looked as if her stomach twisted. That was the worst day of my life. I am beside myself with guilt, grief, anger, you name it. If only I had taken notice and called the vet sooner, she would be here today. The signs that she showed were signs that I had seen on previous occassions. Nothing stood out to me. The day she left me, a part of me died. I can't believe a week already has gone by. It feels like it just happened a couple of hours ago. My husband doesn't understand and keeps telling me to snap out of it. Missy and I shared a special bond. I cannot just snap out of it. I cannot get rid of this guilt. It is tearing me up. Of course now I am educated on bloat after sitting on the internet hour after hour. It seems to be that everyone knows about it except for me. Has anyone else been in the same situation? If only I had known.....

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    That's so sad. I'm so sorry. She was part of your heart and I can imagine what it would be like to have lost her. It's normal for you to feel guilty and angry and sad, that's part of grieving. But after a while, and for some people it's longer than others, you need to go on. Your beloved Missy would have wanted nothing more than for you to be happy. If she could know how sad you are, it would make her very sad. But if you can grieve and then finish the grieving part and keep living and be happy again, Missy would be so happy. Remember, our pets want nothing more than to make us happy. So think of what Missy would want. Would she want you to be sad for too long and feel guilty? Or would she want you to be sad, then keep living and feel happiness again in other things?

    I know she would want you to be happy.

    About the guilt, you didn't know. It wasn't out of the ordinary for Missy. Sometimes she acted like that when her tummy was upset. You didn't know. If you knew you would have done something sooner, but you didn't. None of us humans can know the future, we just know the now and what we know. You didn't do something wrong, you just didn't know.

    It will take a while and you will feel better, but at your own pace. It is a little insensitive for your husband to say "snap out of it". It's not a bad thing that you care so much. It is a good thing and I'm sure that's what attracted him to you, because you are kind and caring. Not a lot of people are like that anymore. That is a very good quality.

    You were there for her while she was alive and you took care of her and saved her! She loved you for it. You loved her. It will just take some time.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I know what you mean about a special bond...it's very hard to lose a dog you were close to. Try to explain to your husband how upset you are and how close you felt to Missy, it might at least get him to stop telling you to "snap out of it." As for the guilt, there wasn't a lot you could have done differently. If no one ever told you about the condition then you couldn't know what to look for. Even if you had, the only real signs that would have been out of the ordinary would have been the attempting to vomit without producing any and the distended stomach. Bloat is a terrible thing and even the most knowledgable owners that can lose a dog to it. This is not your fault. As an akita owner, it's something that is always in the back of my mind and I am still afraid that I might miss the signs until it's too late.

    It sounds like you have been a wonderful and caring owner, so try to take comfort in all the great time she spent as part of your family. You'll see Missy again, and in the mean time, my special girl can keep her company.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not sure how common bloat is, or that it is fully understood, as there is not much on prevention.

    Grieving and guilt are very personal things, and the road to recovery is different for everyone.

    I often come here specifically to try to look for opportunities to help with pet concerns. I too am grieving and feel guilty over the loss of a beloved pet. The best advice anyone can get here for an ill dog is to be encouraged to see the vet asap. Sometimes relaying our experiences helps others toward a positive resolution.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have not had a dog die of bloat, but i did have a dog that bloated and I was lucky enough to be home.

    The usual breed you here about getting bloat are dobermans, GSD, Great Danes, Standard Poodles etc. anything deep chested. What is little known is that Beagles and Dachshunds are also prone to bloat.

    My dachshund (not my current dog) bloated a couple of years ago. You can't blame yourself. It came happen so fast and if you don't know the symptoms, you don't realize how dangerous it is and how important to get the dog to the vet **Now**.

    When my dachsie bloated, I was home, she was looking very uncomfortable in the home. Trying to vomit and couldn't, she seemed gassy and was "hunched". I took her out thinking maybe she was going to have a direahh and realized her stomach had completely expanded, almost double in size. I immediately called me vet, who told me to get her into the Emergency right away.

    They ended up using a tube down her throat to get the air that was in her stomach out. After that she was on 48 hour bloat watch and was given oxygen.

    Usually surgery is done which tacks the stomach up, so that if the dog bloats again, the stomach will not torsion. My dog was approx 13 when it happened, so vets decided not to do surgery. However, usually, once a dog bloats, there is a 50% chance of it happening again.

    Not much is known about what causes it. There were some thoughts about feeding the dog with an elevated dish, then it was decided that maybe an elevated dish my increase the chance of bloat. Also, don't feed the dog before he goes out. Take the dog out to exercise first then come back and feed. Also don't make dog drink 2 much water at once.

    I am so sorry for your loss. Don't feel guilty. You didn't know. I didn't know that bloat could happen in dachshunds until I saw it happen. I was just lucky to be home or else I could have come home to a dead dog.

    BTW, I'm also sorry your husband is being an insensative clod about it. You don't just snap out of it, after all, it just happened and it was a traumatic experience. Don't allow him to make you feel bad or worse than what your already feeling.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Bloat is insidious. Dogs that have bloated can show several or only one symptom and many of the symptoms are vague and can be caused by many non-life threatening causes. As I'm sure you are starting to realize after researching it so thoroughly, no one really knows WHY bloat occurs in the first place. Deep-chested, large breed dogs are most prone to it, but that doesn't mean that all deep-chested large breed dogs will bloat. Often it seems to occur after eating too quickly, but it can happen at any time of the day and may or may not have any correlation to meal time. Sometimes it seems to be related to exercising too close to meal time, but again it may or may not have any correlation to either exercise or meal time. About the only thing we can be 100% sure of with bloat is that dogs with a family history of bloat are more likely to bloat themselves than dogs with no family history of bloat. But even then, just because a close relative of a dog bloats does not mean that that individual dog will ever have a problem themselves.

    If you had known about bloat, then *maybe* you would have thought something was amiss and taken her to the vet sooner. But probably not. Your dog was not really showing any symptoms that were unusual for her. Given her history of GI problems you probably still would have assumed that it was her "normal" GI issues that morning. Even if you had taken her in to the vet and done surgery, the prognosis for bloat is ALWAYS guarded. Bloat can literally kill a dog in LESS than an hour, even with prompt emergency care. And many dogs who do get to the vet in time to perform emergency surgery still don't survive.

    It is normal for you to be feeling guilty and angry with yourself about this. Guilt and anger are part of the grieving process. Every pet owner wonders if there was something they could have done to prevent death or suffering, especially when the death occurs suddenly and unexpectedly. In most cases, the answer is no.

    www.petloss.com is a wonderful website designed to help pet owners through this difficult time. This website provides helpful suggestions for remembering your pet as well as links to support groups (both online and over the phone if you need a more one-on-one human connection).

  • delacy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Prednisone Bloating

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First, I am really sorry for your loss. She sounds like she was a great dog. Also, don't beat yourself up. Stomach/intestinal torsions are very subtle events. Usually, by the time you notice anything significant, it's too late. It's common in many breeds with deep chests and narrow waists, like dobermans, greyhounds, great danes, etc. The bowel sort of flips over itself and strangulates. Nothing can move and the abdomen begins to fill with gases and other waste that can't pass. The end result, unfortunately, is death. If caught earlier, there is sometimes a chance to save them through emergency surgery. But that is risky too if the gut has already died due to lack of blood supply. They can remove the dead part of the intestine (if it's not too extensive), but there is always a big chance for peritonitis setting in. I know how terrible you feel, but I believe you did the best for her that you knew and she is no longer in pain.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That is such a sad story you must be feeling terrible. Try please not to blame yourself you done everything you could dogs act funny sometimes but you are not at fault here its a terrible shame especially when your pet is so close to you i often feel something is wrong my dog you know but then all of a sudden there fine don't distress and blame yourself for this you give that dog all the love and attention it deserved and your dog knew that unfortunately it became sick and the signs were not there that you would expect sorry for your loss

  • 1 decade ago

    You can't blame yourself for not noticing. Even if you had, many times the bloat is too late to catch.

    Your husband is wrong to tell you to snap out of it. I made the decision to euthanize a physically healthy dog about a month ago. He was aggressive and unadoptable. I still think about him, and many times, it makes me cry. I sometimes think maybe I didn't give him enough of a chance. But then I realize that he was a dangerous dog and I did what I could do. Just as you did what you could do.

    Please do not blame yourself. Grieve for as long as you need.

  • 1 decade ago

    My cat Marbles had something kinda similar happen to her. For a couple days she was just sitting around in places that I didn't know she'd want to sit down in. We took her to the vet and there was a lump in her stomach that might've been cancer. They wanted to ultrasound it but my parents didn't want to pay for a big surgery if it was needed. We had to put her to sleep. Funny that on that same exact day I got my little chihuahua. My mom probably planned that so I wouldn't be too upset. I think you should probably get a new dog. Maybe not immediately but after a while when you think you should.

    I'm so sorry your dog died.

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