Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Johnny's Intestinal Blockage: RIP Johnny

by Johnny's Journey

I passed away yesterday. My mum wants other pup parents to learn from our experience so you don't go through what I went through.

I was an avid chewer. 

My mum thought I was really good at spitting pieces out but I died because I had pieces of discs and string from a rope chew toy stuck in my stomach. Toys that break apart, even if you think we don't swallow them, are not a good idea.

What really breaks my mum's heart is that I was sick for nearly two weeks before I had surgery.

I was vomiting violently, but then I seemed to improve, although I was still spitting up frequently and not eating and drinking as I should.

One of my vet's thought I had a blockage and took an xray, but nothing showed up there. 

I was still pooping and still alert. I became dehydrated a few times and was given fluids via IV and subcutaneously.

Another vet didn't think it presented like a blockage at all and prescribed pepcid AC. 

I finally saw a third vet, who worked closely with the first vet, who told mum that 95-98% of cases of young dogs that have vomiting that don't resolve within 24 hours is due to blockage. It doesn't matter if you're pooping, if you have energy and are playing fetch, or if you are keeping some food and fluids down.

If a young dog is still vomiting after 24 hours, then a blockage is very likely. 

On day 12 after exhibiting symptoms, I had a barium x-ray series done that showed I had a blockage.

I had surgery on day 13. The pieces of rope were caught in my intestine which worked hard to pull the blockage through, but the tangled mess of plastic and string wouldn't leave my stomach, so my intestine overstretched and eventually perforated.

The vet repaired me and I went to an overnight hospital. The following morning, I couldn't keep my blood glucose levels up and I went into cardiac arrest twice. The second time, I did not come back.

Maybe things wouldn't have worked out differently if the blockage was diagnosed right away. 

However, I was stronger at the beginning and my intestine hadn't been ruptured for long. I definitely would have had a better chance if I had surgery sooner.

Pup parents, if your dog is vomiting for more than 24 hours, please insist on a barium x-ray series to rule out blockage.

Blockage can be a death sentence and the test is pretty straightforward. 

We had a lot of time to address what was wrong, and we were too late. Mum is heartbroken.

Do you have a story to share?

Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did you dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from yo


  1. One of my dogs was a beaver when she was young and I worried constantly. This is so sad.

  2. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry for your loss. I'm crying as I read this. I try to be ever so cautious and watch my pups with everything they eat. It's tough though. My heart breaks for you........poor Johnny... rest in peace. :(

    1. Thank you for your condolences. Please share Johnny's story to help educate other pup parents so this doesn't happen to them.

  3. My thoughts & prayers are with you. thank you for sharing this story, it will help many pups in the future.

  4. How heartbreaking! Thank you for posting this sad but very important information.