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Samuel Peck
Samuel Peck,
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 306
Experience:  Associate Veterinarian at Meadow Hill's
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My 14 year old lab mix had surgery to correct bloat two

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My 14 year old lab mix had surgery to correct bloat two weeks ago. He is recovering, but has started to gag off and on. Nothing comes up -- it is almost like he has a hair ball. He eats and drinks normally. What could be the cause? Should I take him back to the vet?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: 14 year old dog
JA: OK. Coughing can be worrying. The Expert will know what you should do. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Ojos
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Ojos?
Customer: He is 14, he had surgery to correct bloat two weeks ago

Greetings, I’m Dr. Peck, a small animal veterinarian in general practice. Hopefully I might be of some help. One moment while I reply…

Disclaimer: This communication is for discussion purposes only. Without seeing an animal in person, a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship does not exist, and therefore I am unable to diagnose, prognose, or treat. Any comments made during discussion here are based on the information provided and are simply my thoughts regarding what I’d be considering were this type of case presented to me in person. The BEST recommendation for ANY veterinary-related concern is to seek veterinary assessment in person with your local veterinarian.

Do your veterinarian discuss the stomach being "tacked down" during the surgery? The first part of the surgery for this condition involves correction the bloat and torsion, but the important part in the long run is the secure the stomach to the body wall to keep it from twisting again, this greatly diminishes the chances of a repeated gastric dilatation-volvulus episode. If some circumstances, it may not be done - for example if a patient is doing very poorly on anesthesia. But all attempts should be made to do the pexy part of the surgery to secure the stomach and try to prevent recurrence.

Past that thought, I'd suggest calling the vet clinic that did the surgery. My clinic, and this is common, offers no charge recheck exams with our surgical patients for 2 weeks. If someone called with a concern 15 days out on a surgery I did I'd be happy to see them back at no charge to be sure everything is ok.

If may be that he has some residual upset stomach troubles that something like Pepcid AC or a diet change might help. It could be from being intubated while under anesthesia but that would be expected to have shown up sooner. It could be that he's bloated again but he was tacked down so his stomach isn't flipping like it did before.

Good for you for taking care of him and having this surgically correction at 14 years old. Unfortunately we see a lot of these euthanized, especially at an older age like that. You're doing right by him.

Let me know if you have any follow-up questions, simply write me back! Otherwise, please be sure to kindly rate using the stars, so that I receive credit for helping with your question today (this is how professionals on this site are compensated for their time). Thanks! – Dr. Peck.

Samuel Peck and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Thank you. Yes they tacked his stomach down during surgery. I will bring him back in.

Good and good.

Thanks for rating, have a great week! -Dr. Peck.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Dr Peck, if he is bloated again, despite the stomach being tacked down should I take him to the emergency vet tonight? Can I give him gasx?

GasX is ok to give. If he just seems a little urpy I wouldn't bring him to emergency vet. The point of the pexy / tack down is to prevent the stomach from twisting, meaning he might be bloated and feel like he just had thanksgiving dinner, but he should be able to pass the gas in one direction or the other and not end up in a critical situation again - that's the whole idea anyways and it's usually very successful. If you have concerns beyond him have a little gagging (distended stomach, worsening lethargy, etc.etc.) then you might want to consider emergency.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Thank you!

You're very welcome. :)