The Last Furlong

Comments on the race of life.

It will forever be known as “that Bloat night”


Saturday night last was horrendous for us. The Furlong dog was in danger of loosing his life!

I’ve heard of it, but never thought it could happen to a medium-sized Standard Yorkshire Terrier who eats natural food, exercises, has perfect teeth, and is our constant, carefully monitored pet.

Let me tell you what happened. Our little dog turned into a vastly swollen balloon very swiftly after his evening nosh. He was obviously in excruciating pain – we couldn’t touch him. His stomach was so distended, he could not walk or sit. He simply stood hunched over, head drooping, tail sagging, bunched up in a dark corner under our dining table.

This Furlong immediately fell apart in panic. I shook with fear, could hardly use the phone to get an emergency vet, and explain that we weren’t registered with any local vet because we’d only just moved here. But when I said the word the magic word “Bloat”, everything went professionally quickly. We were to get the dog to the surgery, which, fortunately, as with things in this town, was just around the corner. And they would set up the staff, theatre and vet to meet us there.

Mr Furlong was great. He drove. He knew where to go. And, he carried the dog (swaddled) to my lap, in the car. And he seemed much calmer than me.

Bloat is an emergency – absolute emergency. There is NO home remedy for Bloat. But with speedy attention, dogs can live through it. Bloat has a 95% death rate, except when swiftly medically, attended to. And even then, it is dangerous.

So, Bobby-the-Furlong-dog, ended up under general anaesthetic, was X-rayed, and had the gas drawn out via tube inserted via mouth into his stomach. The vet said luckily there was no stomach “twist” which often happens with Bloat. But there was still a lot of gas in the bowels. I’m sure I heard the cash register ringing loudly, with a theatre, a nurse and a vet doing an emergency operation late on Saturday Night. “Couple of hundred” I think the vet told us. We haven’t got the bill yet – the story continues…

Because of the weekend and the fact that no one could monitor the dog (which would normally have happened on an overnight stay) we were told to bring him home and “watch him” and phone if aught happened.

The dog didn’t sleep and nor did I. I “watched” him all night. Mr Furlong, on the other hand entertained us by snoring loudly in the bedroom.

The next morning, the stomach had blown up a little, and Bobby was having walking problems, still in discomfort. A second (Sunday morning) visit to emergency ensued. This time the vet tackled the problem from the other end, because he said “The X-rays show most gas in the bowel.” And a big pain-killing injection was helpful, I’m sure.

By  the afternoon, Bobby-the-dog was looking much better.

But we are feeding very tiny amounts of only meat (can’t ferment) and tiny amounts of water between the several mini meals he has had during the day. Oh – and pain killers.

Dogs can do the whole Bloat thing again, if you are not careful. We are being VERY careful. I’m sure the vet mouthed “Couple of hundred” to me as we left on Sunday morning!


Author: Elizabeth

I'm someone also pounding the Path, just like you.. I'm retired, going into Old Age and loving my life. I'm hoping to remain happy and well for as long as possible. Old Age is not SO bad - yet!

8 thoughts on “It will forever be known as “that Bloat night”

  1. Hope Bobby-the-dog gets better soon! Poor little soul! Another name for Bloat as you probably know is Gastric Torsion. About 25 years ago, a dog breeder I knew lost one of her Old English Sheepdog show dogs to it. the dog died from shock after its stomach twisted. Still upsets me to think about it. Long story short – after two post-mortem exams and a few other tests, the cause was the dog food. One of the ingredients was soya which is toxic if not processed properly and the company hadn’t processed it properly resulting in the bloat. She sued them and won. The company then changed its name and was eventually bought out by one of the big corporations – Mars!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thats a sad story – I don’t like Soya anything – except Soy Sauce which is fermented soy. Bobby doesn’t eat commercial food. Just raw meat with some cooked veg. I have a theory that, was it three weeks ago?, he was on antibiotics (first time in his life!) for an infected tick bite. I think that killed all his good gut flora and the bad ones multiplied producing the gas. I think it was building up awhile. We are very fortunate there was no twist and I think that’s because much of the gas was in the colon/bowel and not so much in the stomach. What do you think?


  2. Well a course of antibiotics certainly mucks up the good stuff in humans as well as getting rid of infections so it looks like that might have happened to Bobby-the-dog.

    Also if the gas was in the bowels that would back up your thoughts that it was down to antibiotics upsetting the balance of the “good bugs”. Some doctors advise us humans to take natural (organic!) yogurt alongside antibiotics to prevent that. I wonder what your vet thinks about that from a doggy point of view? Some dogs can’t tolerate lactose but I give my two a spoonful every now and then, usually after they’ve been wormed. It doesn’t upset them! One of my dogs was given a short course of doggy probiotics when he was about 5 months old for a tummy upset which wouldn’t go away after a short course of antibiotics. We are in France so I couldn’t say if they do that in England?

    It was lucky you acted so quickly in any event and lucky your vet did too! We have an emergency number to ring at our vet here but it is rarely manned! Having said that our vet is opened on Sunday mornings. We have to remain vigilant and hope nothing untoward happens after hours. I keep a stock of homeopathic remedies on hand, just in case along, with Bach’s Flower Rescue Remedy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Today we are going to buy doggie probiotics and also fresh Green Tripe. It is evidently FULL of nice bacteria for consumers of it. I ansolutely went to pieces with FEAR. I’m ashamed of myself as I’m not usually like that. I have loads of rescue here – and never thought to take it! For me, that is, not the dog! 😀


      • The probiotic we used/were given by the vet was “Fortiflora” by Purina or maybe Proplan? I remembered the name because it sounds like a garden fertilizer! 😀 Don’t know if its available over there…. It comes in a little sachet anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

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