A few weeks back while I was working in the ER, a 6 year old neutered male German Shepherd dog was rushed into the hospital after collapsing at home. Sadly, this dog arrived DOA (deceased on arrival). Our team immediately performed CPR but were ultimately unable to resuscitate him. On initial evaluation, we were able to quickly diagnose a condition called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV, aka "bloat").
Upon further questioning of the owners, I learned that this handsome boy had been showing many classic signs of GDV over the previous 8 hours that day. When I discussed my diagnosis, they had never heard of it before and asked, "isn't there some treatment or surgery that can be done?" It was so difficult to tell them that yes, there IS a life-saving treatment for this condition, however at this point it was far too late. Had they brought him to me only a couple hours sooner, he likely could have been saved.
In this new series of blog posts, we'll discuss common veterinary illnesses that are ESSENTIAL for pet owners to be aware of. Since we're all busy people with a lot on our minds, we'll just cover the most important points of each condition so they can be easily remembered. If you are a fellow nerd and want to know more, please feel free to reach out! I'm always happy to push up my glasses and get into the nitty gritty of veterinary medicine.