My parents Great Dane died yestarday. He lived to the ripe old age of 9. That's not too bad for a GD! Anyways, I got to my parents house to spend some time with my mom and her birthday. I let all of the dogs out, and I noticed that Max wasn't looking like he felt very well. He didn't greet me or try and get my dogs to play with him. I didn't think too much of it so I went inside. About 45 minutes later, my mom got home, and was crying when she came in the house. She said that Max was bloated and he was lying by the bushes.
Bloat is a very serious health risk for many dogs, yet many dog owners know very little about it. According to the links below, it is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer. It is frequently reported that deep-chested dogs, such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Dobermans are particularly at risk. The technical name for bloat is "Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus" ("GDV"). Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air (although food and fluid can also be present). It usually happens when there's an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid, and/or foam in the stomach ("gastric dilatation"). Stress can be a significant contributing factor also. Bloat can occur with or without "volvulus" (twisting). As the stomach swells, it may rotate 90° to 360°, twisting between its fixed attachments at the esophagus (food tube) and at the duodenum (the upper intestine). The twisting stomach traps air, food, and water in the stomach. The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs. The combined effect can quickly kill a dog.
Bloat also took my parents other two Great Danes. Duchess and Izzy. Duchess was Max's and Izzy's mom.
By the time that we got to him, there was no way that we could get him to the vet in time, and there was no way possible that we could have gotten the 200 lb dog into my parents pick-up to get him to the vet. We did manage to get him into the house by me practically dragging him inside so he didn't have to be cold and alone while he passed. We got him in the house and next to the fire so he could be warm, and onto his favorite dog bed. Within 1/2 hr, he was gone. Thankfully he wasn't in hardly any pain. I remember Izzy was crying and yipping she was in so much pain. If he was in pain, there would be no way that I could have put him down myself. So thankfully he wasn't in any pain, and he could go on his own. Anyways, Max, you were a great dog, although a little doppy at times. You'll be missed big guy!