I debated posting this but rather than texting the same story over and over, this seemed the best way to go. Right now I'm grateful to be sitting next to Hugo as he snoozes by my feet with a blanket tucked under his now hairless stomach.
He nearly died Saturday night when his stomach inexplicably flipped and he bloated like a balloon.
We had planned a great weekend. We drove the two hours from Nashville to the small town of Camden to stay at the Nathan Bedford Forrest State park. We set up camp late Friday night, roasted marshmallows and gazed at the stars. It was a chilly night's sleep.
The next morning we hiked, then packed up to move to a more luxurious, and warmer, cabin with five of our friends.
The day was beautiful. We grilled steaks and cooked baked potatoes. Both my dogs, Hugo and Millie, seemed extremely tired. Hugo slept under the table as we played cards.
At around 11 p.m. Michael let Hugo out to go to the bathroom. Michael noticed Hugo tried to throw up and he rushed back in the house to tell me. When we ran outside, Hugo had disappeared. We searched intensely for half an hour calling for him through the woods and along the lake shore line. He was no where to be found.
Michael saw something move in the water and called out. Hugo was moving slow and stumbling to come to him. When Michael finally had a good view of him he could see his stomach was swollen at least three times its normal size.
We knew his was gravely serious. We picked up Millie and piled in the car. Michael drove as I navigated us to the nearest vet. We were in luck. The vet was about to close in 10 minutes but were still there.
We drove so fast (70 miles an hour in a 30) the cops pulled us over but when they saw what was going on, they graciously escorted us to the vet and even stayed with us when Hugo was being examined.
The vet looked concerned and stated plainly, "I think he flipped his stomach. He could die."
They moved quickly to x-ray his stomach. Her presumptions were correct. Michael and I paced the cold waiting room floor, panicking with anticipation. The prognosis was good. The surgery went well and the vet put his stomach back in place. His stomach flattened to its normal size. Still, there's no real understanding as to why his stomach flipped. This is the problem with most bloat in dogs, you can't pin-point why it happens. You just have to waste no time in getting help.
Hugo stayed at the vet for the next few days to monitor his heart and his progress. I picked up a very sleepy dog today and drove back to Nashville.
If your dog's stomach ever looks swollen, don't hesitate to get it checked out. We're so lucky we did.
I know dogs aren't humans but for us, Hugo and Millie are as close to having kids as we may ever get. We're just so lucky we caught it in time!