Our sweet eleven year old Springer developed bloat this morning. As soon as we realized something was wrong, we rushed him to our 'vacation' vet where he had emergency surgery to 'untangle' his insides, his stomach and spleen had sustained too much damage and we had to let him go. We are in shock and devastated to say the least. Even the vet said at first she suspected other serious problems because English Springer Spaniels aren't a breed commonly connected with bloat. Gordie didn't display 'all' the symptoms listed in the articles until he was actually at the vet, but he was sick enough that it was obvious that something was seriously wrong. I write this in hopes that you will learn the symptoms and watch your precious pups and listen to your what your gut is telling you.
Gordie was from a backyard breeder before we knew what that meant. He had quite a few physical problems throughout his life consistent with careless breeding. He weathered these with his sweet temperament. It was very hard for us to know when Gordie was in pain because he was so stoic. Today he wasn't, and that was our biggest clue.
One thing Gordie was, was anxious. When he was a puppy, it showed up in his destructiveness. He ate 2 couches and a chair cushion by cushion; he chewed molding off the walls; he ate the corners off rugs; and scratched doors. As a pup he could not tolerate crating, but when allowed on the bed, stayed put until morning. He outgrew being destructive when trying to 'find' us and began his heart-wrenching howling and barking. He had to be with 'his people' and if he wasn't, he was frantic. Recently he got shut in a bedroom. It wasn't more than a minute before the howling began. We adjusted our lives to ensure that Gordie wasn't left alone. Yet with all this anxiety, he was also the perfect dog. My youngest son often took him to college where he slept with the guys, attended classes, watched skate boarding and Frisbee golf.