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From: Callie (
Subject: Intestinal obstruction
Date: May 5, 2005 at 10:43 am PST

In Reply to: Callie I need advice posted by jenikki on May 5, 2005 at 8:12 am:

So this is the first I've seen this. Given that I don't know ALL you know, I'll tell you how it goes and YOU decide.

Put a mental picture in your head of an elementary diagram -- mouth, throat, stomach, small intestine, large intestine.

Dog eats "something" that obstructs SOMEWHERE along that route. The problem diagnosing is no one knows WHERE it 'stops'.

dog continues to eat, oblivious to there being anything 'wrong'. However, nothing can fully pass 'thru' the digestive tract -- it only goes TO where the obstruction is. The dog will typically continue to eat, but eventually since nothing is going all the way 'thru' the digestive tract will 'fill up' and food will simply back up all the way to the stomach. THEN nothing will pass thru because there is no where for it to go. The digestive juices will simply churn in the stomach trying to 'digest' whatever is there so it will leave, but it can't. When THAT happens you get throwing up. The dog will throw up whatever is recently eaten, and will then continue to throw up EVERYTHING it eats. It may throw up just bile (from the stomach acids continuing to churn trying to get rid of what has backed up into the stomach.

From the 'other end' -- remember there is something stopped up in the digestive tract SOMEWHERE. So, whatever has been digested BELOW the obstruction will continue to work it's way out of the body, but once that is going NOTHING ELSE will come out that way.

Once you get a dog NOT pooping further AND not able to eat anything and keep it down, you have likely got an obstructed dog. THAT is time to go to the vet for an X-ray. The problem is, unless it IS bone, it may not show up. But usually you will see a 'back up' in the digestive tract -- the vet can tell the difference between gas and 'poop' -- and if they reach in with a plastic swab for a fecal and it is 'dry' in there, that's further cause for concern.

SOMETIMES obstructions are easy to find. SOMETIMES they are not. But if Abbey has stopped pooping and stopped being able to eat, you've got a problem.

WATCH HER TOTALLY -- you absolutely ***must*** know if she passes further poop, and you ***must*** know if she can eat something and not throw it up. You must account for everything she's eaten SINCE the cantalope and see if it stays down or see if ANYTHING comes out for poop.

EVEN IF IT IS diarreha, pick it up and take it to the vet. Take stomach contents too -- anything so the vet can see the digestive state may help.

If she's obstructed she is VERY ill. You already know that but I'm gonna say that in case anyone is 'searching' for the words 'intestinal obstruction' and lands on this post later on.

You might also email Audrey -- or email me and I'll forward to her. Just about everything *I* know I learned from her when Cedar got obstructed years ago. They x-rayed and found NOTHING repeatedly. But he continued to be SOOO sick. They ran thousands of dollars of tests before they finally did an ultrasound and FOUND it. He had ingested strings from a stored hammock -- it didn't show on an x-ray.

I know you, Jenna -- you will keep track of this and that's the saving grace here. She AND YOU are on my prayers and good thots list. This isn't easy. Let me know, ok???

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