On Monday February 16, 1998, "Mozart", a male Mastiff, was brought to Berkshire Veterinary Hospital. It was 8:30 PM and his owners knew he was seriously ill. Mozart seemed fine when his owners arrived home late that afternoon but during the last hour his condition had rapidly deteriorated. His abdomen appeared hard and distended, he made repeated attempts to gag and only foam was produced, he quickly became very quiet and lethargic.
Gastric torsion is an extremely serious condition. The prognosis for each patient will vary depending on many factors. This is a condition that must be corrected surgically at a time when a patient has a high surgical risk. The amount of internal damage will be one of the factors that dictates the success or failure of each case. Extensive pre and post operative monitoring will be necessary to give each patient the best opportunity for recovery. In some cases, in spite of doing everything possible, the outcome will not be good.
After discussing the necessary surgical procedures and risk factors with Mozart's family, a decision was made to do all we could to save him.
Mozart was immediately started on intravenous support in an attempt to stabilize his rapidly deteriorating condition. His fluid therapy included not only the routine intravenous fluids but also a colloid solution called Hetastarch. The high molecular weight molecules in this fluid would give us a better chance of maintaining Mozart's blood pressure throughout his surgery and postoperative period. Several medications were given intravenously to counteract damage done by toxins and oxygen radicals released as the stomach is returned to its normal position.
record Mozart's EKG
Mozart recovered from surgery and was placed on intensive care. He had gotten over the first hurdle and the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours would reveal the extent of his post-operative complications. Throughout the night his EKG, blood pressure, and intravenous support were monitored closely. Pain relief medication was used to minimize the discomfort usually associated with this condition. Mozart wasn't sure he wanted his IV to run throughout the night but after several "discussions" with the overnight technician, he agreed to leave his drip set intact.
he returned to Berkshire Veterinary Hospital
for staple removal.
On Wednesday his progress continued. His surgical incision looked great, his EKG and lab work were normal and plans were made for him to leave the hospital Wednesday evening.
Mozart's owners continued to administer his medication and monitor his progress at home for the two weeks following his surgery. On March 2nd he returned to BVH for a follow up examination and staple removal. We all felt a great sense of satisfaction to see him saunter in for his exam.