BLOAT true medical emergency: a must read for GSD owners - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 11-21-2006, 09:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default BLOAT true medical emergency: a must read for GSD owners

How can I prevent bloat from happening again to my GSD? I had to take him Friday in to the vet due to bloat. The vet was able to pass a tube thru his stomach with no problem, thus releasing all the gas within a few hours (most within minutes). He didn't think his stomach had twisted, and if it did, problably not all the way. We did not opt for surgery due to his age and other health related problems (his chance for survival was 50-50 at that point). Since Friday he has had normal BM, is eating and drinking normal. he is on metoclopramide (to be taken 20 min prior to a meal)and Flagyl (for 10 days) to help bring good bacteria back into his system (he was on other meds/antibiotics which we took him off of them).

Anyway, how can I prevent from this happening again? Will this happen again just because we opt not to go thru surgery? We are making all the necessary "preventive" changes....We are slowly switching him back to his old dog food (he never had a problem until we started switching things around) and i'm feeding him 3 times per day, giving him the metoclopramide 20 min before a meal. I also removed the water bowl 1hr before and 1 hr after his meal and I'm hand feeding him 1 cup per sitting taking me about 7 to 10 min to feed him.

I heard not to give foods containing citric acid, beet pulp nor soy base in it. Now here is the conflict, his food does not contain citric acid. Can I moist his dry food or not? My vet said to do it (I guess to make all the "increase before it's fed to him", but....I see websites that say to do it others that say not to. Who's right? HELP!!!

Thanks all!
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed with bloat

I don't know enough about bloat to give you advice, but if you do a Search with "bloat" as the keyword, I'll bet you'll find a bunch of information. I am so lucky I haven't had to deal with this and pray that I don't ever have to! I'm very glad your boy is doing better. It's such a scary thing, isn't it? I'm sure some very experienced people will post soon. I know there are many who have had to deal with this terrible condition.
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed with bloat

How fortunate that you got there so quickly and were able to avoid surgery. Bloat surgery is VERY hard on dogs. Bloat stats are depressing. An awfully high number of dogs do not survive. Of those that do, many have a second incident.

I'm not "very" experienced with it but I have had one dog bloat. She's close to 3 years post bloat.

Now I think it is OK to moisten dry food that has no citric acid content. I don't. I do feed a little bit of moist food along with the dry. If I need to switch feed, I do it gradually. I would not withhold water but I would monitor water consumption and limit what is consumed at any one time to avoid gulping water. I feed on the floor vs raised feeders and I feed two to three meals a day. I keep some symithicone(?) around in case I hear what I consider an excessively rumbly gut. But that stuff can cause loose stools so I do not give it regularly. I like to think that what I am doing helps my dog. ...

Good luck with this. Some of us have relatively healthy survivors. May you join our ranks!
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed with bloat

A lot of vets will recommend having the stomach tacked down after a dog bloats to prevent the stomach from twisting should the dog bloat a second time. As far as I know, this is the only preventive thing you can really do.

If you ask around, you will get totally conflicting advice on this and each person that you talk to will say they swear by their method as it works for them. When you dig deep into actual scientific research on this you won't really find anything definitive. There was research done out of Purdue a number of years ago and all they found was elevating the food dish might increase the risk of bloating, yet there are a lot of people that swear by raising the dish. There isn't any evidence that wet food, dry food, water drinking, or anything really affects it, it is just a crap shoot as to who is going to bloat and who isn't.

My personal opinion is to not elevate a food dish above the point that the dog doesn't have his head all the way down. By this, I am talking about feeding the older dog that has trouble bending all the way to the floor to eat. I will put my dish on an upside-down icecream bucket to ease their necks but not elevate too much. I also am careful about exercise right before or after eating. I want my dogs to be calm with a resting heart rate and resting temperature.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed with bloat

Here is all the info you need, print it out. Also order a bloat kit and ask your vet to show you how to use it. This is a link to The Bloat Book

http://www.dachshund.org/bloat_instructions.html

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Old 11-22-2006, 08:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed with bloat

Here's a link they may be helpful:

http://www.globalspan.net/bloat.htm
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed with bloat

Okay, can someone point me to a study that explains why NOT to moisten food that contains citric acid?

~Kristin
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed with bloat

I don't think that you will find the answers that you are looking for, since you've asked the million dollar question.

Our boy bloated and torsioned about 2 1/2 years ago. He has had a long process of recovery from the surgery, and maybe just about now he might be back to where he was.

The trigger for us was heavy activity after drinking lots of water, but he was going to bloat -- it was only a matter of time.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed with bloat

Link to Abstract of a Study done at Prudue with Bloat and Dietary Risk

http://www.vet.purdue.edu/epi/GDV_abstract.doc

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Old 11-22-2006, 06:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed with bloat

this is sooo hard.... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/22_headscratch.gif[/img]..so many opinions, and no concrete evidence....I don't think we will ever know how to avoid this terrible problem...I have fed raised bowl with King for almost 3 years..(no problems, so far), and feed the 6 month old Max, ground level...neither gulps their food, or drinks too fast..

I believe those factors "can" contribute to bloat...each others guess/solution, is as good as the next persons?....I believe in trying to learn about the major contributor's to bloat,(so they say), and avoid each senario, as best as you can...

avoid hard exersize prior to, and after meals...
feed at the same time, every day...
restrict heavy water consumption, before and after meals...
lessen gulping of food, by putting something in their dish, to slow them down...
avoid abrupt changes in food...

"maybe", these simple steps "may" help to prevent them from bloating...I have been diligent in following these "theories", and so far, all has gone well, Thank God....Best of luck for "all" of us, as we continue to research, research, research!!!... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/29_headbang.gif[/img]
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