Sometimes you do things you say you never will. Two days ago it just happened. She ate, she drank, she chased a cat and her stomach failed her. It twisted in on its self and she began to die. Our beautiful faithful Great Dane friend was in pain and all I could do was hold her and weep in the very packed vet’s office in front of a room full of strangers. They told me that cancer had caused the torsion (read about bloat/torsion here). They told me they could operate and they WOULD find cancer so we could do the expensive surgery for nothing, or put her out of her misery now. I left the vet’s office bewildered and panicked.
I drove Ella home, and on the two-minute drive from the vet to the house, I called Ella’s breeder Debbie. Debbie told me there was hope. Before I even reached our driveway I turned around and headed back to the vet. I phoned Coffee Guy and, despite our agreement that we would never do surgery if our Dane was a victim of bloat, I found myself saying “We have to try. We have to. I can’t live with myself if we don’t.” He agreed.
Within an hour she was in surgery. Dr. Morris searched her entire insides for traces of cancer and found NONE. He untwisted her stomach and stapled it to her abdominal wall. Later that day she woke up. She was happy to see us, she did not look at all like a dying dog. The next morning I camped out at the vet’s office with her. I brought the vets some coffee and homemade peanut butter cookies hoping for an early release. By 1pm I had convinced them to let her go home.
As I was signing paperwork Dr. Morris tried to pet Ella. She jumped up on the seat behind me and stuck her head in my armpit. She is definitely not his biggest fan, but he saved her life. Actually, the guy who really saved her is Coffee Guy. He had seen bloat up close and personal with the death of our other Great Dane, Durbie. He recognized the symptoms right away and he mobilized us!