Words can only help to heal the pain my family and I are feeling as I strike the keys below. My heart aches, my thoughts are filled with all the memories of my first dog Candy.
It started out as a grand evening, celebrating the arrival of my Daughters 2nd birthday. My wife and I had taken her to friendlys where we enjoyed three scoop sundae's. When we returned to our abode, we were greeted by Candy, wagging her tail, happy to have us back home. Who would ever have thought that within the next couple of hours my sweet Candy would go from a healthy vibrant German Shepard, to a bloated, suffering, animal.
It all began after midnight, the nightmare that will haunt me forever, her life taken from me within hours, by a horrible condition called "Bloat." This @#$%^ thing came without warning. Earlier this eve, I was at my computer writing, my wife and daughter fast asleep in the bedroom together after our birthday bash, and Candy was by my side resting. And then it happened. She stood up and started to vomit a white marshmallowy substance that I've never seen before. I cleaned it up, thinking she was just having another sour stomach attack that has always appeared on occassion, and within a few hours of vomiting up her food, she'd be back to her normal loving self. But not tonight. Something just wasn't right.
I watched my Shepard begin to go from one area to the next, whining, seemingly uncomfortable, and a bit distressed. But this has also occured with her in the past, suffering anxiety attacks for whatever reason, and eventually she would calm down. I always said she was a nervous nilly. Nonetheless, tonight it seemed to progress.
She began pacing back and forth, now howling, a sure sign by me that she was in extreme pain. I tried again to push it off, thinking she was just having a really bad stomach ache. What was I to know, she's been down this road before, to a lesser degree. But when my wife was awaken by her bouts of howling, she feared the worst.
She called out to the Animal Emergency Hospital, a staff member telling her point blank, your dog maybe experiencing bloat, a fatal condition if not attended to immediately. And so we panicked. At this time however, she was outside, after I let her out back because she insisted on going. She was howling out in the dark like an injured wolf, and all I could see as she approached was a stomach that looked distended.
She ran under the stairs and by now, I was unable to retrieve her because she was becoming weaker not wanting to get up, which I later found out by the vet, that this @#$%^ condition takes the dogs insides, specifically their stomach and intestines, and twists them all up. This causes the the air to be blocked, blowing up their stomach so it grabs hold of their attached spleen and rips at it, and then these organs begin to press on the ateries to the brain and heart, causing a drop in blood pressure, which in turn sets the heart up into an arythemmia.
Well, I was done watching her suffer, my wife and I dragged her out from under our stairs outside and brought her back in the house. By now, her sides were pushing out so far she looked like she swallowed a #$%@^ huge ball. Candy then did something I'll never forget, she responded to a final command.
"Candy, let's go for a ride, you always love going for a ride with daddy right." It worked. She stood up, wobbling though, but walked with me out to the car. She jumped in, I started the engine and we were at the Animal Emergency within a few minutes.
I parked, opened the door to the back seat, and there was my sweet precious everything, in laboured breathing, her @#$% stomach even bigger then before. The staff came out and gave me a hand putting her on the gurney, we wheeled her in and the doctor looked at her, grabbed his stethescope and listened. And listened. He then looked over to me and told me the words I just wasn't ready to hear.
"I'm sorry, she's passed," he said.
I just stood there holding her leash, in shock, that this !@#$ condition called bloat, took a healthy
8 year old loving , wouldn't hurt anyone, German Shepard, and snuffed the life out of her in under two hours !@#$ time.
Please, anyone with large breed dogs, google bloating in dogs and do your research. Although it is almost impossible to follow every rule, especially if they are predisposed with this, knowledge is the key to possibly, and I say this liberelly because there is a 70% chance that it could come back again, while your away or sleeping and steal your loved one from under your nose. Being informed is better then getting caught with, well you know. It doesn't hurt to get whatever information you can.
Unfortunately, as I was unaware until having spent three hours in the wee hours before sunrise today googling "Bloat in Dogs," that it's the second leading cause of death in dogs, after Cancer.
Son of a bitch, who would of known.
Rest in peace Candy we all miss you and you'll have a place in my heart until it takes its last beat!!!
Your proud owner and daddy,