Thursday, July 29, 2010

Introducing Glacier! The Walking Garbage Can!

So, he's done it again. Glacier has managed to eat himself into trouble. I don't know what it is about this dog, but this is the fourth time in less than two years that he has eaten so much food that his stomach has gotten huge! The first time was totally my fault. I had no idea he would eat like that-Jetta never did. After that I became hyper vigilant and yet he has still been able to get himself into trouble. The second time he did it, vet attention was necessary and it was a hefty bill that my friends generously let me borrow some of the money for. At that particular instance the vet had to make Glacier vomit and his weight was a kilogram and a half less than after the vomitting than before. He still pooped elephant poops for three days afterwards.
The third time was while I was here in Michigan visiting Mr. K and his family. His dad came to visit and has a nine month old yellow puppy and he lets her graze from her dish, which I was unaware of. So, Glacier got into a bit of food then, but it was quickly rectified after a few walks and a few good bowel movements.
This fourth time was the same food, but Mr. K's dad and puppy are gone and so I thought the food was gone as well. I had kept Glacier on leash while they were here after that to ensure it wouldn't happen again despite Mr. K's dad's reassurances that Glacier couldn't get into the food bag. After he left, I thought it was safe, but apparently not.
Yesterday around five PM, I hopped in the shower after exercising and that is when it happened. He came upstairs carrying the bag in his mouth and that is how Mr. K knew it happened. His stomach was gigantic and I contemplated taking him into the vet since "bloat" is a real possibility with the amount of food he ate and how fast he ate it. I decided to keep him home and monitor him instead. We were supposed to go to church, but I chose to stay home and tend to my garbage disposal dog.
I sat on the floor with him for a while and just gently massaged his entire body. I don't know which way the dog's intestinal tract runs, so I didn't touch it. In massage school we were taught how to massage people's abdomens in order to relieve constipation. I tried looking up the direction of the tract on Google, but nothing was helping and I couldn't see any of the pictures that were popping up. So, I remembered the school talking about how relaxation massages cause the parasympathetic nervous system to fire, which then gets digestive juices flowing. After I massaged him for a good 45 minutes, I gave him time to rest and then took him for a slow walk and thankfully he had a bowel movement. When we got home I just had him rest again.
I knew Glacier was very thirsty, but I didn't want him drinking too much because the water could make the food in his stomach expand even more or he could gulp air while drinking. That meant restricting his water intake. Every hour or so I'd let him have about twenty slurps and then I'd make him stop. It was hard because he kept whining because he was thirsty and kept trying to take me to water the water dish or toilet.
I walked him twice more with no poop, but with the hope of getting his metabolism moving. The walks were very slow and controlled because over exciting the dog can also cause the bloat to become worse and could cause the stomach to flip.
Finally, at midnight I called it a night. Mr. K was awake though and he kept an eye on Glacier for another two hours when he finally laid down to sleep too. I woke up at eight this morning and immediately took Glacier outside. He peed, but still no poop. I was beginning to worry that the food wasn't moving out of his stomach. I could still feel the large bulge where his stomach is. I brought him back in and gave him more water than before and brought him back out to try to get him to go and he did. I've never been so happy about a dog pooping before.
Since that fantastic bathroom break, we've spent the morning resting and drinking little bits of water now and then. He's ben out again and went and on palpation it feels like the food is moving out of the stomach into the intestines. The stomach isn't as swollen, but there is a bit of a bulge in the intestines now. His stomach isn't as hard as it was before either.
All and all, I think things are going in the right direction, but keep your fingers crossed because he's definitely not "out of the woods" yet.
It's been pretty scary. He whined a lot in the first hour or so because his tummy felt so bad. Roscoe was very concerned and kept coming over to Glacier and sniffing and giving him kisses. They are really best friends. I'm not sure what I would do if something happened to Glacier: I don't think Roscoe knows what he would do without Glacier either. We love our big fat head.


L^2 said...

I know several labs that have done this once or twice, but 4 times! Wow! I hope Glacier feels better soon. *hugs*

Jess and Glacier said...

He's much better. Silly guy. lol He definitely worries me. We're in our own house now though, so hopefully stuff like doesn't happen again.