We went to bed at 10:30pm. At 12:30am we had an agitated dog, pacing and panting. We checked her gums for circulation (fine), her abdomen for distension (none noticeable). Her temperature was a little elevated and rising.
We got her to the emergency vet by 1:00am. The staff there took X-rays. The vet came back to explain to me that it looked as though Mira had developed bloat.
They gave us the alternatives of lavage (inserting a tube to remove the gas), surgery to correct the problem, or euthanization. As the vet went back to the operating area to begin lavage a technician brought a second X-ray: Mira’s stomach was beginning to twist. Lavage was no longer an option. Given Mira’s youth, good health, and the early stage of the condition, we chose an operation to correct the bloat.
After two hours in the operating room, the vet walked into the examination room in which I was waiting. What had initially been diagnosed as something that could be treated by releasing the accumulated gas from her stomach and monitoring the situation had progressed rapidly into something that required emergency surgery and then was declared inoperable.
I followed the vet into the operating room, touched Mira’s paws, kissed her goodbye, and within moments she was dead.
I’m still reeling. I can’t even write a proper tribute. She was so young—only four years old and had so much left to do.