Saturday, July 4, 2009

Abbey's Hundred Dollar Flatus

I think I've mentioned before that Abbey is our vet-lover. Well, she got us again today.
Golden Retrievers are very prone to a nasty condition called "bloat." If you've ever read "Marley and Me," you know that labs are also prone to bloat and that Marley was a bloat statistic. With bloat, a dog's stomach essentially turns itself in a knot and they swell up and their stomach is hard as a rock. They can die within hours. So that's a primer on bloat...
Last night, Hubby and I had some friends over for a little party. Hubby has a very nice smoker in the backyard and decided to make a brisket and a beer butt chicken. I contributed a heart-attack inducing "Bacon Explosion" log that I'll blog about tomorrow. Like most grills, the smoker has a drip can at the bottom to catch all the bits of grease that are released during cooking. Last night, we caught Abbey snout deep in that can. We knew she'd have an upset tummy today and we weren't surprised by some vomiting and loose stool. I was a little surprised to find the stupid animal snout deep in the grease again this morning though. After a severe scolding, I didn't let her out without supervision the rest of the day. Hubby and I were not at all surprised that she kept drinking a lot of water. Abbey is part camel anyway, and after eating all that grease, we couldn't blame her for trying to wash it down.
Then about 3, Hubby mentioned that she looked bloated to him. I went into the hall where she was laying and agreed 100%. She looked like she'd gained 20 pounds in just a few hours. I went over and started feeling her belly to discover that it was hard as a rock. Hubby and I debated for about 3 minutes what to do and then loaded her up for a trip to the emergency vet; we just could not risk it being bloat.
Animal emergency rooms are a lot like human emergency rooms. You spend a lot of time sitting around being ignored and they charge a lot of money. Two and a half hours later,while being totally ignored in an exam room, Abbey let off a few flatus that had us opening the door so we could breath. Then she stood up and we noticed that the floor under her tail was wet (not brown or gross looking, just wet). We figured we'd been there a while and she might need to pee, so we took her outside where she proceeded to pee twice and at considerable length. She also seemed to lose 10 pounds before our very eyes. Whilst we were outside, a vet tech told us the vet was NOW ready to see us. We told him about the grease and the water and that she'd just gone to the bathroom like a racehorse and that she looked and acted much happier now, thank-you-very-much. He said that she most likely drank too much water after her grease snack and the combination of the gas from the grease and the overindulgence of water had made her bloat up like a water buffalo. Hubby and I were like "Ya think???" The vet told us to bring her home and monitor her food and water intake tonight and tomorrow. He then proceeded to give us a bill for $103. Yes, that's right. We paid $100 for our dog to take 3 hours to fart at the emergency vet. :-) Happy Fourth of July!

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