Emergency Surgery for Blockage

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 20th, 2010, 11:48 am

Michelle called me last night as she was driving Connor to the e-vet. He was hunched over, shaking, very obviously in pain and had thrown up a few times. He had been pooping, but Michelle says they were little "rabbit turd" pellets. He stayed at the e-vet last night receiving fluids as he was severely dehydrated. They said there was no apparent blockage but some odd masses and pockets. They thought that lots of fluids might help him pass whatever it was.

Unfortunately he was still throwing up and it looked like pieces of string or rope, so they called Michelle this morning and told her he needs surgery for a probable obstruction. She is currently driving to the e-vet to pick Connor up and take him to her vet (not due to cost, but because her vet is 10 miles away and the e-vet is 45 minutes away). The fact that he is stable enough to be transported is a good thing, but her vet will do immediate surgery when he arrives.

Michelle wanted me to post and see what exactly they are going to do, what she can expect afterwards, experiences you guys have had, etc. I'm also requesting that people send LOTS of good healing thoughts/prayers for Connor.

I'm sure she'll be on sometime today, and if I hear anything more before she gets on I'll keep this thread updated. Thanks.
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Postby airwalk » February 20th, 2010, 11:55 am

:goodthoughts: coming Connor's way.
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Postby HappyChick » February 20th, 2010, 12:14 pm

:goodthoughts: :goodthoughts: :goodthoughts:

My gosh, how awful! Sending prayers and positive vibes to Connor and Michelle.
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 20th, 2010, 12:16 pm

Oh no...poor Connor! Sending lots and lots of good, positive, healing vibes his way...
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Postby Pit♥bull » February 20th, 2010, 12:37 pm

Plenty of :goodthoughts: :goodthoughts: :goodthoughts: :goodthoughts: headed Connor's way.
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Postby plebayo » February 20th, 2010, 12:41 pm

Michelle wanted me to post and see what exactly they are going to do, what she can expect afterwards, experiences you guys have had, etc. I'm also requesting that people send LOTS of good healing thoughts/prayers for Connor.


We've done quite a few obstruction surgeries. Depending on how blocked the dog is they usually remove any pissed off intestine and the object causing the problem. Then the vet will suture the intestine together, check the sutures for leakage by filling the section of intestine with saline and close the dog up. Recovery wise we put them on a constant rate infusion with morphine, day two involves offering bland diet in small amounts, depending how the dog acts pain wise we might take them off of the CRI at which point they usually want to eat once they are off the morphine. Day three consists of offering small meals of bland diet, if the dog is not vomiting and is eating well they usually go home with instructions of feeding small meals, pain medication etc.

I'm sending tons and tons of good vibes!
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Postby hugapitbull » February 20th, 2010, 1:23 pm

Lots of good thoughts for Connor. Get well soon, handsome.
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Postby katiek0417 » February 20th, 2010, 1:41 pm

plebayo wrote:
Michelle wanted me to post and see what exactly they are going to do, what she can expect afterwards, experiences you guys have had, etc. I'm also requesting that people send LOTS of good healing thoughts/prayers for Connor.




first, lots of good thoughts for Connor, Michelle, and Demo...:hug3:

Next, Jue had to have emergency surgery for a blockage...in fact, it was so emergency on him, that the vet said he normally would've tried to get jue more hydrated before doing surgery on him, but he was afraid if he had waited, Jue would've been dead.

Connor will have about a 6-8 inch incision in his stomach...and they may or may not keep him overnight (with Jue, there wasn't a choice, I had to bring him home because no one can touch him).

He was not allowed to eat after surgery (that day), but we were allowed to give him 1/4 cups of water about every 2 hours (the vet had dumped 2 full bags of fluids into him during surgery so hydration wasn't a concern at that point)...

The following day, we were allowed to start him on chicken and rice...however, he was only allowed about 1/4 cup every hour...

On the second day, we were allowed to go to 1/2 cup every hour...

On the third day, we were allowed to do 1 cup every 2 hours...

By the end of the first week, he was allowed to do 1/2 meals twice a day....but still chicken and rice

He wasn't allowed to go back to eating normal meals (once a day) or food (raw diet) for about 2 weeks....which is when he also got his stitches out (well, our vet just allowed Greg to remove the stitches himself)...

Also, only leash walks during that time, no bones, or anything else that he could get pieces off of and swallow...and no work for about a month...
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Postby Ino » February 20th, 2010, 1:55 pm

Sending good thoughts to Connor, Michelle & Demo. I hope he has a speedy recovery and as pain free as possible.
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Postby Malli » February 20th, 2010, 2:00 pm

In my experience what will be done will vary...

They will open the dog up, and along with incising any areas of "angered" intestine and checking out inside, they may palpate the intestine from end to end to check for more blockages. They may or many not remove a section of intestine, depending on if the vet thinks that they are viable enough to heal - intestinal resection (removal of intestine) will mean that the risks during recovery are moreso.

Sometimes, intestinal motility is slowed (the intestines aren't moving things through with the speed they should) and a tube from the nose to the stomach will be required to pull off accumulating stomach acid/fluid in the stomach, this is also occaisionally caused by pain medication and may resolve itself as the dog is weaned off the pain drip or med.

Depending on the dog's pain tolerance, how bad the intestines were injured, and the dogs overall attitude (yes, I'm serious, some just seem to have determination to get well right off the bat).

As for home care, small meals of "Gastro"(various vet canned diets) or boiled chicken and rice frequently, strict rest and leash walks (read : outside to the yard on leash, do your business, and back inside) while the multiple incisions heal up and the incised muscles get a chance to regrow, they will also require that Connor be kept from licking if this is an issue. He may or may not get pain medication for at home which may or may not make him high or drunk :)
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Postby maberi » February 20th, 2010, 2:07 pm

My thoughts are with the big guy

Everyone gave great advice and great descriptions of what happens. When Kayden had his blockage his intestine was pierced by the obstruction and they had to remove a section of his. There was a window of a few days where they said we needed to watch him because there is an 8-11% chance of a re-tear after surgery. They kept him for a few days to monitor him and keep him hooked up to pain meds but after a few days he was home and doing well
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Postby maberi » February 20th, 2010, 2:08 pm

PS - I have an inflatable e-collar if you need it. Kayden went through 3 of the plastic ones in 2 days
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Postby BullyLady » February 20th, 2010, 2:14 pm

:goodthoughts: :goodthoughts:

Prepare yourself for the incision. People have mentioned it, but really, it's going to be huge. They usually have to find the stomach and then thread the intestines to find the blockage and make sure there are no others, so the incision is shockingly big most of the time. Your vet will try to save the bowel, but they may end up having to excise some. Hopefully not, that can sometimes affect nutrition absorption. Recovery is slow and long, I think that most vet's requirements for sending the dog home is them having a bowel movement, be prepared to be more excited for a bowel movement than you have ever been in your life. :)

I'm so sorry this is happening, it's so frightening. :hug3:
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Postby madremissy » February 20th, 2010, 2:36 pm

I am so sorry Michelle. Sending lots of good, positive thoughts for Connor. Sending special calm thoughts for you and Demo.
He will be fine. He has to be.
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Postby Hundilein » February 20th, 2010, 2:44 pm

Good thoughts on their way.
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Postby iluvk9 » February 20th, 2010, 3:39 pm

Oh my goodness....Positive thoughts sent their way!
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Postby blabsforbullies » February 20th, 2010, 3:52 pm

Wow... I sure hope everything goes ok. :sad2: Done many, many in my time (Mac...are you listening?!?!?! :rolleyes2: ). Recovery really depends on what is done. If it is one simple incision made into the stomach, no intestinal resections, no other incisions, it might be a lot easier of a recovery than the alternative. :wink: Most do very well, regardless, as long as they are rested. :wink:

Let me know if you need anything, and we are keeping you in our thoughts!!! :goodthoughts: :groupHug:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 20th, 2010, 4:28 pm

Talked to Michelle - they took Connor into surgery at about 1:30. So now it's just a waiting game.
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Postby amazincc » February 20th, 2010, 4:30 pm

:shock:

Sending tons of good thoughts their way... :hug3:
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Postby mnp13 » February 20th, 2010, 4:43 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for all the posts and support.

Last night he came out of his crate when we got home and ran straight to the water bowl, not to find a toy and go out side. It was very odd. He was just very "off." He didn't want to eat, though when I gave him some raw eggs he drank them right down. He sat next to me on the couch without a toy in his mouth :shock: and just shivered constantly. He vomited twice, then sat back on the couch with me, and when he started to get down, he fell. That was it.

I brought him in, and they said he was severley dehydrated. She felt his belly, and there was nothing there. He's been peeing and pooping, though his poops were little hard rabbit turds, instead of the large volume yellow poops he should be having right now (they had bones this week.) Of course, he was acting more energetic and happy - everything is a "fun game" to Connor - but I told her that no matter how it looked, this is not "him." He should have head butted her at least once, and knocked her on her butt when she squatted down infront of him. I couldn't tell if she believed me or not... of course, he was acting more energetic when deathly ill than Ruby is normally. They kept him overnight to have IV fluids, but this morning he vomited again, and brought up a chunk of green rope.

I wanted to bring him to our vet for the surgery, they are much closer to us, and we know them. The vets spoke and decided that he was in good enough shape to move. He was the happiest boy in the world on the trip between vets, he got to ride in the back seat and not in the crate! What excitement!

The vet called around 2:00, she was getting ready to go in and operate. She said she wasn't going to know the extent until she got in there, and said I shouldn't expect to hear before 3:30 or so. She did laugh that when she opened the folder to see my signature next to the surgery cost estimate, it said 12.00 - 16.00. :doh: I said I was perfectly ok with spending sixteen bucks on this whole thing, so they could go ahead. She couldn't give me an estimated time that we'd be able to bring him home because they can't see the blockage on the x-ray. I asked if he was behaving, and she said "yes, he's behaving very well, he's under anesthetic."

All I can say is thank God for CareCredit, it was a huge relief to not have to second guess any of the treatment costs. Of course, now I have to figure out how to pay it all off (especially since I signed the purchase contract for my car on Thursday evening - I'm going to try to get out of it, but they could sue me for the value of the car.), but the e-vet has to say over and over how much things cost and have you pre-sign for everything. I felt kinda bad for them, because I'm sure that people flip out when they hear some of the charges.

Vet called while I was in the middle of the last paragraph. He's out of surgery. He had a piece of rope toy wound around a large piece of bone. The bone had made it out of his stomach and into the intestine, but it was still firmly attached to the rest of the rope that was in his stomach. She had to open up his stomach and intestine to get it all out. The bone had begun to perforate, but hadn't. She didn't have to remove any parts, just sliced it open and then stitched it closed. She said he might be able to come home on Monday.

Thanks everyone...
Michelle

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