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Thread: Intestine twisting (mesenteric torsion) ???

  1. #1
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    Question Intestine twisting (mesenteric torsion) ???

    Has anyone ever had a dog have this - intestine twisting, better known in the vet world as mesenteric torsion?

    My 6.5 very healthy lab had this two weeks ago - survived the surgery and now I'm looking for what to expect next. I'm told it very rare and dogs don't usually survive the surgery.

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    Senior Member Erin Lynes's Avatar
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    Yikes! I have no experience with this but am glad your dog survived. What symptoms occurred that alerted you to a problem?
    Erin Lynes
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    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Hey Jen
    can you post what happened, the symptoms, how you noticed it, and what the treatment was? It may be very helpful to others to know what you and the muddy paws bunch went through.
    My guess is there are others who have had this happen. The weekends are not that busy on here so it may take a few days to get good comments.

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    Corey Burke

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    Junior Member JHolmes's Avatar
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    I experienced this with my 2.5yr old lab,....Sadly ours was not a happy ending. It is rare that a dog survives a bout. Glad to hear of a positive outcome!!

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    Senior Member wheelhorse's Avatar
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    Mine died too. 15 months old. Ripped the heart right out of me.

    There is usually a less then 1% chance a dog will survive because by the time we realize that something is wrong the blood supply to the intestines has been cut off for too long and the entire GI tract is dead.

    As for clinical signs, they are incredibly vague and usually nothing we rush to the vet with. A little off, picking at their food and some loose stool. By the time the signs become significant for us to get the dog to the vet, the blood supply to the intestines has been blocked and the intestines are dead.
    Kathleen

    "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you're not, in fact, just surrounded by a**holes" -William Gibson

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    We have had several dogs ( gsds and an occasional mal) stomach flip. Some make it some don't. One thing we always do is have the vet tack the stomach to their back so it doesn't happen again. Most of the dogs that die after the surgery only live a few days.

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    Senior Member Trifecta's Avatar
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    A mesenteric torsion is different than the stomach flipping- bloat, or GDV. With a mesenteric torsion, the intestines twist around the mesentery, or blood supply. I tried saving one when I was in regular practice and the intestines were literally black and dead when we went in for surgery. No one is really sure what causes it, and thankfully its uncommon. I think its amazing that the OP has a dog that is pulling through. Typically by the time the dog is symptomatic the damage has long been done.
    Natalie Fraser, DVM
    Trifecta Labradors

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    Senior Member Trifecta's Avatar
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    I just searched on PubMed to see if I could find more info for you about prognosis. There is one case report from Canada from 2000. It appears to be the only case report of a surviving animal as the mortality rate is considered to be 100%. Apparently that dog had diarrhea for several months after wards, but was alive at the last followup visit 8 months after surgery. I wish I could offer more as far as what to expect, but your dog has already done amazing things by beating the odds!

    Please keep us posted- it would be great to know how your dog does long term. I think its a great sign that you're already 2 weeks post-op.
    Natalie Fraser, DVM
    Trifecta Labradors

    Home to my heart dog, Hudson:
    Am/Can Ch. Marshyhope's Satisfaction, CGC, WC, CDX, RE, JH

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    Thanks so far for the responses!

    What happened - Alex and I were traveling from Fort Myers to St Pete - we had been in the truck for 90 minutes - he lays in a kennel and usually just adjusts - if he has to go he will sit up and cry - this time he kept moving around the crate like he was hurting - we had done no activity before leaving since it was raining. I stopped to see if he had to go - he would walk about 3 feet then sit, he ate some grass then walk a few more feet, I noticed that he would pull his back legs to the back of his body like he was trying to stretch his tummy - then immediately sit - as Corey can testify Alex is a very healthy vibrant and athletic pup even at 6 years old - we were on our way to the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge on an invite for dock jumping - Alex seemed stressed so I immediately looked for a vet - I went to one that was right off I75 - mind you my best friend/breeder of Alex is also my vet - I was in constant contact with her - she suggested a GasX thinking he just had gas - she had just seen him before we left the area because I always get his microchip read when leaving for an event - he appeared to be perfectly fine 90 minutes before - the first vet was not equipped for surgery per se and only took xrays - the doctor talked to Teri and was concerned of a stomach flip - he sent me to a specialist to get an ultra sound - after a 30 minute drive to the specialist and 1 minute under the ultrasound I was sent to an Emergency Hospital where I was fortunate was close and there was an Emergency Critical Care doctor on duty - Alex was no longer able to walk in and I carried him - he dropped one ball of #2 in the lobby and no longer could move - I carried him to the back and they started IVs, several xrays and laid him in a kennel. On Duty doctor had reviewed the films and could not tell what was wrong - she sent them to my doctor who also could not tell - he was in more pain - I decided to let the doctor go in and do exploratory surgery so approximately from the time I stopped to this emergency hospital another 90 minutes had passed - as soon as she went in his intestines were purple - she started to untwist them and was unsure if he was going to make it - after a few minutes they turned pink - there were no tears, nothing but some mushy debris in the intestines. The doctor tacked up his stomach and closed. Of course the next 18 hours were critical since he went into shock. 10 hours after the surgery he did stand up and walk out of the kennel to go pee. As of today (18 days post op) he is still eating only canned Rx I/D, he has lost weight (approx 5 pounds) he is very playful yet after he eats he does lay down, he is being fed small meals every four hours and we have started B12 injections for the next 6 weeks.

    Symptoms: uneasy behavor in the kennel - not normal while traveling, walking/sitting, stretching of his back legs up and out towards the tail, he did have some vomitting after the drive to the second and third vet, anxious and stressed.

    I'm looking for anything on why it happens, how it happens, what to do to prevent it and most of all - can it happen again??

    I'm not sure what to do about feeding him so at this point its trial and error in very small quantities

    Thanks for reading!! I am so sorry for all who have lost their pups to this and I pray none of you have to endure this scare or pain.

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    Senior Member Labs R Us's Avatar
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    Wow, glad to hear your dog is doing well and hope it continues. As owners, we need to be observant of our dog's behavior as these issues can arise quickly and need prompt attention.
    Becky
    Life is Good . . . Do what you like - Like what you do.

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