Surgery can be a frightening experience for both pet owners as well as dogs. Not knowing what to expect for the outcome after surgery may be just as nerve wrecking as not being sure of what health symptoms to watch out for in the way a dog behaves that may require immediate surgical attention. However, understanding that a dog’s body may not require surgery for certain ailments in the same way a human body does may be the most important fact to keep in mind when caring for a pet. It may be better to be safe than sorry when observing a dog’s behavior that could seem out of the ordinary, although not every sign of strange activity would require a necessary trip to the nearest veterinary hospital’s surgery department. Knowledge may be vital for the owners of dogs who do not want to face regret later for not having enacted upon symptoms that could require surgery. One symptom that may be overlooked in dogs are signs that point to the need for gas relief. Gas relief from bloating in humans may only require just a simple home remedy and not the always necessarily the assistance of surgery, depending on the situation.
For dogs, the symptoms of bloating takes on an entirely different perspective of seriousness as the anatomy of a dog’s digestive system functions in somewhat of a different manner than that of humans. A life-threatening condition that can occur in dogs during the prime of their life, known as gastric dilatation-volvulus, may have the largest fatality rate for the canine species. During an episode of gastric dilatation-volvulus, the dog’s stomach begins to twist in a similar manner to that of wringing out a wet towel. As the dog’s stomach begins to rotate in this coiling motion, this may cause the nearby attached organs to also become entwined within itself in a similar coiling motion. The coiling position itself is what cuts off any possible way for the trapped air and fluid inside of the stomach region to escape. If the position of these organs should happen to stay twisted in this manner for any prolonged amount of time, eventually the tissues of the dog’s digestive system will die from a lack of being unable to receive an adequate amount of oxygenated blood. The fatality rate for dogs with this condition may range anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent: it is for this reason why it is intensely crucial for dog owners to be able to recognize the first sign of gastric dilatation-volvulus.
It may be imperative to pay close attention to a combination of symptoms that may require immediate surgery for relief in dogs with gastric dilatation-volvulus before the excessive gas build-up causes irreparable damages. Signs to keep a careful watch on that may sometimes go overlooked include unusual amounts of saliva production, repeated attempts at trying to vomit that appear to be unproductive, signs of excess stress or irritability, and most importantly, an unexpected noteworthy enlargement of the abdominal area. Whenever these signs exist in accordance with one another in dogs, it may be wise as well as vitally important to immediately take the dog to the veterinary hospital just in case surgery is needed and to not assume relief from the gas will automatically happen on its own. While no dog breed is “immune” from experiencing gastric dilatation-volvulus, it is said to be a condition more common in breeds who are deep-chested.
Opinion by Stephanie Tapley