I was on a late season pheasant trip to ND last week. We drove from the TC to western ND on Thursday morning. We hunted for just a couple hours before sunset and then got unpacked at our lodge. After a late dinner, I checked on my dogs and found my six year old golden retriever foaming at the mouth and dry heaving. She would drink water, but was in obvious distress. We were an hour from the nearest ER vet who was very kind and knowledgable over the phone. He was very candid that emergency surgery was the only option for this injury and that too much time had likely already passed to have much of a chance of survival. There is no “in-the-field” treatment to untwist the stomach and the twist cuts off major blood vessels killing surrounding tissues. She was dead before we reached the highway.
I knew a little bit about this injury and took precautions to try to prevent it from occuring (e.g. not feeding before hunting and minimizing water consumption at one time). I have no idea when the twist occurred and if there is a more immediate way to diagnose the injury. If you haven’t ever heard of this injury, please do some research and educate yourself on the symptoms so you can catch it earlier than I did.
She was such a loving dog and had birthed 33 pups over the last four years. She was in her prime and a proven hunter. I’ll miss her so much! RIP Ivy.