I have to say I was not very impressed with the ER clinic I took my Dachshund Gretel to recently – Emerald City Emergency Clinic.
They Never Called Me to Pick Her Up
The clinic said she would have to stay 24 hours but then said she might be ready to come home earlier.
I called at 2 pm and they said she was totally fine and ready to come home. Uhhhh…thanks for calling.
She would have sat there all day if I hadn’t called on my own.
The clinic staff were rude when I arrived to get my dog.
The Vet Blamed and Shamed Me
The staff said the cause of the bloating was “unknown” and gave me the standard line about feeding smaller kibble, feeding smaller meals, watching her water intake after eating, etc.
They then brought me back to talk with the emergency veternarian.
The vet did say there were soft, semi-galatinous white chunks in the vomit they induced and shamed me for giving her rawhide.
I insisted that I absolutely did not give her rawhide because I know how dangerous it could be.
The vet insisted that is what it was and if I didn’t do it, my neighbor must have thrown some over the fence.
After denying she had rawhide for what felt like the 10th time, I did mention that I recently gave her a raw rib bone but took it away because she was biting off chunks of bone and swallowing them.
Then the vet let me really have it – telling me how I should never give my dog raw bones. That they were terrible for a dog and could kill her.
The vet then lead me back to the concrete bathtub where they had induced vomiting to show me.
I saw the white chunks. They looked like partially digested bone, like I had said, and I knew that is what happens to raw bone that is swallowed – that it starts to digest and soften.
I did notice a lot of tiny black speks, or grains, in the vomit.
Id discuss “bloat” with the vet and my concern.
When the stomach swells and twists, which is what happens with the classic bloat, it can be deadly.
The vet explained that Gretel’s swollen stomach was not classic “bloat” and was just filled too full with liquid and food.
I asked about bloat in Dachshunds and she said it could happen but was rare.
Determining the Cause of Her Bloated Stomach
I reported back what I was told by the vet and what I saw in the vomit to Doggy Daddy when I got home.
After much discussion with Doggy Daddy, we determined that her stomach bloated because she got into a loaf of moldy bread.
We weren’t negligent. Not exactly anyway.
Doggy Daddy had taken out the food compost and set it next to the garbage can, which was on the other side of a little fence.
The dogs had never jumped this fence before but, unbekowst to us, the lawn guys hadn’t replaced the wood panel properly, leaving a space where Gretel was able to get through to the bread and then return to the yard.
Doggy Daddy saw that something got into the bread but didn’t suspect Gretel because he didn’t think she could get through the fence and it looked like our resident crow had pecked at it.
When I noticed that Gretel’s stomach was really swollen and she looked uncomfortable, he didn’t think to mention the bread incident to me.
The Incident Followup
Gretel’s little legs were shaved when I went to pick her up because of the IV she was on.
Her little leg was bandaged. She was on pain meds. She looked so pathetic. Poor baby.
Once I found out the cause of Gretel’s swollen stomach, and that is was something that could be prevented in the future, I wasn’t worried about it happening again.
Learing from the vet that the harmful stomach torsion bloat that is so harmful to dogs is rare in Dachshunds, my mind was eased about that.
I did more research on dogs and raw bones and, just as I had thought, raw bones do start to digest in the stomach (but not cooked ones).
Most of the time, they can be passed through the intestines.
Although it’s not advised to let a dog break of large chunks of raw bone and swallow them, it’s not an emergency situaiton unless a dog is unable to pass them.
I never went back to teh Emerald City Emergency Clinic and would not recommend them to anyone.
I had a much, much better experience at the Animal Medical Center of Seattle – a 24-hour emergency vet in Shoreline, WA – for later needs.
The veterinarians, and the level of care there, are amazing.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.