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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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GVD/Torsion/ Bloat

Hey DT.

Although I have owned Dobermans of over 40 years, I am always on the prowl for current info.

My youngest, just 1 yo, has a very healthy good heritage. His sire, Cambria's Highly Regarded (Rayden) was in fact BFL certified. Yet he died of torsion at (I believe) at 7 or 8.

I have never had a dog diagnosed with GVD. As a result I am not really familiar with it. I was just wondering if there were prophylactic measures or pre-diagnostic procedures one should take. Like we do with DCM.

Also, what is the current consensus. Is it genetically inherited?

BTW, McCoy is totally healthy. This is just my brain working overtime.

Thanks

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2015, 11:45 PM
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I've heard of some lines being more prone to bloat than others.

Some people do a gastopexy, where the stomach is tacked to the abdominal wall, so that it can't twist if the dog does bloat. I didn't do that with Leo (GSD are also a breed prone to bloat), and there are times when it crosses my mind that I might have made the wrong decision about that, despite my vet's reassurance that bloat isn't as common as the internet can make it seem.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 01:55 AM
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Last time I looked into it, the current theory was that dogs with a close relative who had an incident of bloat were more likely to get it.

As to testing, not that I'm aware of, hopefully there is or will be shortly!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 02:34 AM
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No rowdy or hard exercise an hour before feeding or for an hour after eating. I stretch that out to an hour and a half.

Feed food moistened. I add 3/4 cup water per cup food...just because I'm trying to even up what the moisture would be if he were eating raw. I didn't feel Parker was drinking enough water either. On another note, someone from a large commercial kennel mentioned not having had a case of bloat since they started adding water to their dogs food.

The only time I know of a male having the stomach tacked is when they have to do an abdominal search for a retained testicle...or two. Females are done during their spay surgery. I've never heard of a vet doing abdominal surgery just to tack the stomach, tho its probably been done by someone. I imagine the vet would do a gastropexy if the dog had bloated before. Oh, a gastropexy will not prevent bloat, but it will prevent the stomach from flipping overall(torsion), cutting off circulation and trapping gas. Now I'm reading this from Wikipedia about bloat. Who knows if those percentages are correct or not. A veterinarian opinion would be great here. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canine_gastropexy

Purdue did a study at one time and came up with some risk factors, but it was argued to study wasn't large enough plus it was not a controlled study.

Age seems to be a factor with older dogs bloating risk being higher. I've also read there is a heritable factor.

That's all I can think of right now.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 09:11 AM
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4x4 do you mind if I add a question?

Are males more likely than females to get this?

I ask because it just seems that way from the posts I have read.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 11:05 AM
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Don't know anything much about bloat, but out of habit:
- we train our girls, to step away on command, from water dish...when half consumed
- and allowed to go back, a minute or two later...their choice

Also feed kibble dry, they can eat on their timetable / don't want wet food with potential bacteria, sitting around.
- never had a problem with bloat, raised 3 dobes here
Great Dane forum review, may offer some further insight on the problem with bloat...more common in that breed.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 11:46 AM
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Kip has bloated five times--or is it six? I've lost track.

He was two the first time. His stomach torsioned and he had surgery to correct that. He was pexy'd at the same time. I had Capri pexy'd when she was spayed because of my problems with Kip and she has never had a problem with bloat (only with obstructions--they'll get to your pocketbook any way they can. *sigh*)

Then Kip had a run of trouble free years as far as bloat was concerned, but he does have allergies. So when he bloated again (he just filled up with gas--his stomach can't torsion) twice within three weeks, we did a full workup on him.

His vet's conclusion is that he has IBD--Inflammatory Bowel Disease--due to his allergies. So he is on a special food (kangaroo-based protein) in addition to his shots and Apoquel, which he gets to deal with his environmental allergy problems. He also gets a low dose of prednisolone daily (5 mg) to help keep his immune reactions tamped down.

So in Kip's case, the bloating seems to be caused, or at least exacerbated, by a probable food allergy? But I don't know if that is a common denominator or not.

With Kip, at the very beginning of a problem with gas, I can see him sort of gulping and swallowing in a peculiar way. Right then, I give him metoclopramide, and I think I have averted or made a few of his attacks less severe that way. I've heard of giving over-the-counter anti-gas meds to help stave off a bloat attack.

The problem with giving metoclopramide is that it increases motility in the GI system, so if your dog is throwing up or gagging because he has a blockage, you're going to make things a lot worse. So it's NOT a blanket cure. Not something I could recommend unless your dog has a bloat history and you know his reactions very well. A vet could tell you more, I'm sure.

Incidentally (and sorry this is getting so long), there is a study on bloat Kip is participating in which is looking for gene markers to the disease. Here's a link to my last update on it https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman...-progress.html.

It is ambitious in terms of the number of dogs they want to involve, so I don't know how it is progressing in terms of funding or if they are still looking for more dogs to test, but if I hear any conclusions they have come to, I'll be sure to pass them on.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Great info folks!

Many thanks
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 04:05 PM
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I believe that there is some suggestion that the predisposition to bloat is genetic, or is at least suggested to be genetic. If there are dogs in the pedigree that have bloated I would definitely be more on guard for bloat.

Richter had a retained testicle so we did a preventative gastropexy when he was neutered. I had my girl 'pexied as well. I don't know that I'd do a separate surgery on a male to do a 'pexy, though...it's very invasive. The retained testicle made it a very easy choice for Richter.


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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 06:15 PM
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Maybe I can give you some places to check--Purdue did the original bloat study--it's fairly old now and as LindaH said it's been criticized for not having a enough dogs included and coming up with conclusions which have often seemed um..."odd".

Recently either Purdue has redone the study or Cornell did a new one and I had a file on it which is missing but check both on line--I know the whole Purdue study is available on line and I believe there was a good synopsis of the more recent one which is the one I think was done by Cornell.

I've never seen a study that indicated that males were more often bloat victims than bitches but just as a matter of anecdotal information (which isn't really worth much) I know of more males that have bloated than bitches.

Bloat/torsion is not directly inherited--as hemophelia or a red coat (just as a couple of examples) is inherited. The inheritance is more along the diabetes--the propensity may be inherited but there is no genetic link (at this point). In diabetes in humans certain groups of people seem to be more prone to end up with diabetes. Same thing happens with dogs--commonly certain body types are more prone to bloat than others. Larger dogs, deep chested dogs--so Great Danes, Dobes, Bernese Mountain Dogs are some breeds who do produce more cases of bloat or bloat and torson than smaller dogs, narrower dogs etc.

The three things that I recall turned up in both studies were that cases of bloat/torsion were dogs who were stressed (I saw my first bloat when I worked for a fairly big boarding kennel--a Bernese Mountain Dog bloated and the emergency clinic we took him to was really impressed with how fast we had spotted the bloat and gotten him in.) The vet who did the surgery said that he's seen many cases that come in from boarding kennels--boarding is evidently a big potential stressor for dogs. The second thing is having close relatives who have bloated and the third is having a dog who has already bloated once.

Along with those three a fourth one is the dogs age as older dogs are evidently much more prone to bloat than younger dogs.

John, Rayden's bloat was really tragic since they had a fair amount of warning that he was bloating and had bloated but were just too far from the nearest vet (in Alaska and not very close to any kind of medical facility) to get him there in time to prevent the subsequent torsion from killing him.

I had a Rayden son and I knew a lot of the Rayden kids since most of his breeding was done when Michelle Santana had him in the lower 48 states standing at stud. I know of none of his offspring who bloated--but because of the close relationship of my Rayden son I kept it in the back of my mind . If I had another I'd do the same thing.

As far as prophylactic measures--do some reading and know the symptoms. From the dogs I saw where I was the first one to spot impending bloat I'd say that the first thing I noticed was that the dogs were behaving abnormally--the Bernese was a pretty quiet dog generally--he'd eat and come inside the kennel and curl up and take a nap. I was out doing a last minute tour of the kennels at the end of the day and noticed he was out--when I came back from the outermost kennels I noticed he was pacing--so I stood and watched--he paced, lay down, got up--repeated that several times--stood with a hump in his back and then started the routine all over. I brought him into the office felt his sides--he was ROUND. I called the kennel owner who was home for once--she came down--looked, listened and felt and called the closest 24 hour emergency clinic and said she was bringing in a bloat dog. Called the owner who was about 3,000 miles away and told her the dog was boating and she was taking him in to emergency--what did she want to do. As it turned out that owner wanted the dog to live and he had surgery. The next bloat case the owner declined--older dog and had evidently bloated in the past--he went in to our local vet and was humanely euthanized.

Drooling dogs who aren't usually droolers, panting, retching without vomiting, pacing, biting at sides and flanks and swelling of the body are all signs of bloat in progress.

For dogs who tend to be gassy some vets and some owners strongly recommend keeping a symethicone product like Gas-X around. But I'd discuss that with your vet.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks bug.
Great insight and advice. As usual......

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 10:28 PM
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Laproscopic pexi is a minimally invasive option to consider versus traditional open abdomen tack. Laproscopic gastropexy is not your father’s Buick um pexi Of course surgery always carries risk.

We did lap pexy as a standalone procedure on our 18 month old dog with close family history of bloat. He is an intact dog and we had no reason to combine the pexi with another surgery. Two incisions about ¾ -1 inch. Home same day after about 7 hrs post op monitoring at the clinic and back to his normal stoopid bouncing self the next morning. Pain med were given for 4 day, but he never acted like he needed them beyond the first day after the procedure.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 03:01 PM
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I also had a male that had a laparoscopic gastropexy done.
2 small half inch incisions and the surgery took about 30 mins. He went home that evening and acted like nothing happened.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dart View Post
Laproscopic pexi is a minimally invasive option to consider versus traditional open abdomen tack. Laproscopic gastropexy is not your father’s Buick um pexi Of course surgery always carries risk.

We did lap pexy as a standalone procedure on our 18 month old dog with close family history of bloat. He is an intact dog and we had no reason to combine the pexi with another surgery. Two incisions about ¾ -1 inch. Home same day after about 7 hrs post op monitoring at the clinic and back to his normal stoopid bouncing self the next morning. Pain med were given for 4 day, but he never acted like he needed them beyond the first day after the procedure.
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I also had a male that had a laparoscopic gastropexy done.
2 small half inch incisions and the surgery took about 30 mins. He went home that evening and acted like nothing happened.
Very good info to know!


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
Drooling dogs who aren't usually droolers, panting, retching without vomiting, pacing, biting at sides and flanks and swelling of the body are all signs of bloat in progress.
Also excessive or strange stretching, twisting, looking at their sides, looking up under their chest, can't get comfortable/settle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
For dogs who tend to be gassy some vets and some owners strongly recommend keeping a symethicone product like Gas-X around. But I'd discuss that with your vet.
My vet says you can't really give too much Gas X if a dog is bloating. I keep the Gas X Ultra on hand, and I've given 6 of them if I thought a dog was bloating. The next thing I do is get them outside and match them (insert a wooden match into the anus) to get them to poop. I've had that relieve a suspected bloat almost instantly. Then I'm on the phone and on my way to the vet if needed. At every possibility, I keep the dog walking (like a horse with colic). If we're waiting for x-rays to be developed/looked at, I'm in the parking lot walking the dog. Walking stimulates normal gastro activity.

BTDT, as recently as a week ago. Although the dog was very gassy, it wasn't a bloat, thank heavens. It probably would have turned into one without the above actions, though, imo. The Gas X was doing its job according to the vet and the x-rays, breaking up a big gas bubble into smaller ones.

I usually chime in on bloat threads as I have lost a dog to bloat back in 2000. Some other things to be aware of -- not all vet clinics have emergency after-hours service. Some vets are not comfortable handling a bloat/torsion crisis and will send you to a more specialized clinic. This is something you should check on NOW. You need to have a very clear plan of where to go in an emergency and how to get there. You don't want to be fiddling around with a GPS or mapquest or whatever - time is of the essence. It's like having a fire plan to get your family out of your house. Plan ahead for this possible emergency. Buy Gas X now, talk to your vet now. Make a pin-up note with the address and phone number of the emergency clinic you would need along with some directions if you need them. Believe me, I was very grateful to just grab that stuff on my way to the car.

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryAndDobes View Post
Also excessive or strange stretching, twisting, looking at their sides, looking up under their chest, can't get comfortable/settle.
Yes to all of those--and the inability to get comfortable enough to settle down is a big one--it was why I stopped to watch the Bernese because it was so unusual for him to do anything after eating a meal other than go into his inside kennel and curl up on his bed.


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My vet says you can't really give too much Gas X if a dog is bloating. I keep the Gas X Ultra on hand, and I've given 6 of them if I thought a dog was bloating. The next thing I do is get them outside and match them (insert a wooden match into the anus) to get them to poop. I've had that relieve a suspected bloat almost instantly. Then I'm on the phone and on my way to the vet if needed. At every possibility, I keep the dog walking (like a horse with colic). If we're waiting for x-rays to be developed/looked at, I'm in the parking lot walking the dog. Walking stimulates normal gastro activity.
That's good to know--I heard that walking was recommended from a vet whose main practice is large animal--he asked a friend who has horses when she called him late at night about a dog, if the dog was acting like a horse with colic--he told her to get her husband up and go to X emergency but to walk the dog until the husband was awake enough to drive.

The other thing I know has been recommended is to buy symethicone as a liquid (they use it for babies primarily) because it works faster but it takes lots and the shelf life is really short on the liquids.

Quote:
As recently as a week ago. Although the dog was very gassy, it wasn't a bloat, thank heavens. It probably would have turned into one without the above actions, though, imo. The Gas X was doing its job according to the vet and the x-rays, breaking up a big gas bubble into smaller ones.

I usually chime in on bloat threads as I have lost a dog to bloat back in 2000. Some other things to be aware of -- not all vet clinics have emergency after-hours service. Some vets are not comfortable handling a bloat/torsion crisis and will send you to a more specialized clinic. This is something you should check on NOW. You need to have a very clear plan of where to go in an emergency and how to get there. You don't want to be fiddling around with a GPS or mapquest or whatever - time is of the essence. It's like having a fire plan to get your family out of your house. Plan ahead for this possible emergency. Buy Gas X now, talk to your vet now. Make a pin-up note with the address and phone number of the emergency clinic you would need along with some directions if you need them. Believe me, I was very grateful to just grab that stuff on my way to the car.
This is great information since one of the MOST IMPORTANT things to know and remember about bloat. Time is important--if you think a dog has bloated or is bloating get to a vet or emergency clinic NOW--don't wait and think about it--and do your homework in advance.

The reason we took the bloating Bernese to an emergency hospital--a big one open 24/7 with surgeons always on duty even though it was early enough our regular vet and for that matter the owners regular vet were still open we KNEW that the emergency hospital had fully staffed surgeries with vets who could deal with both a bloat and a bloat with torsion.

And the first thing I check when I move to a new area is WHERE the nearest emergency facility is and what their hours are--in my area there are two--one is 24/7 and always has surgical staff any time of the night or day. The other one is open days and hours when ordinary vet clinics would not usually be. Weekends, all holidays and nights from 6 pm to 6 am. They always have one surgeon and surgical staff on duty.

The two things that are really time sensitive are cases of bloat and blockages.

And you definitely need to know where the facilities are and how to get there--fast.

Thanks Mary...
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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"in my area there are two--one is 24/7 and always has surgical staff any time of the night or day. The other one is open days and hours when ordinary vet clinics would not usually be. Weekends, all holidays and nights from 6 pm to 6 am. They always have one surgeon and surgical staff on duty."

Once again, you provide extremely important advice to anyone reading.

We are lucky. My daughter in law's father is a skilled vet, diagnostician and surgeon. He has twice saved our dog's lives during veterinary emergencies. He lives minutes from his clinic as do we.

I am sure that one of the Portland area 24/7 facilities you are referring to is Dove Lewis. Although, they take a lot of heat for their charges and their up front deposit requirements. They are, IMO, awesome. When Butcher had a massive cardiac episode, our vet triaged him and diagnosed it as extreme Tachycardia. As he did not have the ability to safely stabilize him, he had my son take him to DL. When he arrived, the canine cardiologist was on his way.

The bottom line is that they were able to stabilize him, further diagnose, and ultimately prescribe a regime of care. (DCM, Ventricular Tachycardia)

Yeah... It was expensive. Was It worth it? Every penny.

Oh, with respect to timeliness: The general consensus, when he arrived at DL, was that he had minutes to live. Without immediate intervention he would definitely have died.

He lived a happy life for several years beyond that episode thanks to our vet and Dove Lewis
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 07:30 PM
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This is an excellent thread with so much good info. Thanks to all who commented.



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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 07:35 PM
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About walking a dog with symptoms of bloat--I'd like one of our vets to chime in....

During our recent bout of obstruction/peritonitis/surgery....

Capri presented in the late afternoon with symptoms of enteritis (the vet thought)--I wondered about the possibility of a blockage or bloat, because she had abdominal discomfort and had vomited. Perhaps the vet should have done an x-ray, but she had been eating and drinking during the day and was not acting too distressed at the time. He sent us home with metronidazole and encouraged me to walk her lightly to help her pass anything through if there was a partial blockage going on.

Turned out she had eaten a stick, and during the night, it apparently punctured her intestines--multiple times. She did start to show much more pain, but was almost eager to walk--perhaps it hurt less then?? Or perhaps she was trying to "run away" from the pain--you sometimes see horses staggering around that way with colic.

Anyway, in that particular case, I wonder if walking was a mistake. Should you always encourage walking in a dog with intestinal/abdominal pain symptoms?

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
they take a lot of heat for their charges and their up front deposit requirements.
That is definitely something else to be aware of about 24 hour emergency clinics. They are probably not your regular vet, they don't know you, and they do often have very large deposit requirements.

One of my puppy owners called in a panic late on a Sunday because her dog was bloating, she believed. The emergency clinic would not treat him until she paid $1500 up front, which she did not have. I raced there as quickly as I could and put it on my VISA. As it turned out, he vomited and relieved his own situation.

However, the point is that if you can manage it at all, have a spare credit card on hand for emergencies of this magnitude. It is not going to be cheap.


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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped;

[I am sure that one of the Portland area 24/7 facilities you are referring to is Dove Lewis. Although, they take a lot of heat for their charges and their up front deposit requirements. They are, IMO, awesome. When Butcher had a massive cardiac episode, our vet triaged him and diagnosed it as extreme Tachycardia. As he did not have the ability to safely stabilize him, he had my son take him to DL. When he arrived, the canine cardiologist was on his way.

The bottom line is that they were able to stabilize him, further diagnose, and ultimately prescribe a regime of care. (DCM, Ventricular Tachycardia)

Yeah... It was expensive. Was It worth it? Every penny.

Oh, with respect to timeliness: The general consensus, when he arrived at DL, was that he had minutes to live. Without immediate intervention he would definitely have died.

He lived a happy life for several years beyond that episode thanks to our vet and Dove Lewis
A few years ago Dove Lewis would certainly have bee my first recommendation. For many years DL was known as a premier emergency facility. Not because they had a lovely new facility (they didn't) but they had great vets and great diagnostitions.

But they've changed some--they are still a good emergency clinic but they aren't now a GREAT one.

If I were on the west side of the river they still might be my first recommendation. But I'm on the east side and my first choice is Northwest Vet Specialties which in off rush hours is only about 10 minutes from my house. They are 24/7--fully staffed to do complex surgeries even in the dead of night.

The other one is Tualaton (I know I spelled that wrong) Emergency Clinic--they are the one who is open when regular clinics are closed.

LOL--I also know an excellent Emergency clinic in West Los Angeles--they saw me in the dead of night so many times with a cat who used to get urinary blockages they offered me a job...
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 07:17 PM
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We have an "after hours" emergency clinic. Its open from 5:00 PM to 8:00 AM, all weekend, and any holidays that a regular clinic would be closed, like Christmas. Its staffed by vets and techs from various area clinics.


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