The simple fact is there isn't any clear understanding yet of the cause other than a strong correlation to chest depth particularly relative to waist size, and activity before and after large amounts of food & water consumption. Even then, dogs still get it when you didn't break any rules. Its simply a fact of life that you are taking on risk when getting a large dog, in the same you are taking the risk of broken bones in the very danty boned dogs, that a very high drive dog can have EIC (excercise induced collapse). Danes are estimated to have 1/3rd get bloat. If you get a dane, you have to all but prepare for bloat. There is lots of conflicting info (feed elevated, don't feed elevated, diet type, etc). If your dog has ever burped, then you know they are swallowing air. If they are swallowing air, the risk of bloat is increased
The good thing about bloat though (if there is a good thing), is if you're that paranoid, you can preemptively prevent it with a simple surgical procedure for ~$500.
My dog had torsion bloat, and there is no history in his lines of it. Never had any GI problems before or after. I believe the exceptional leanness I was keeping him at (recommended by trainer) led to his waistline being very small compared to chest, and this contributed significantly.
To compound the problem... so many people don't even know what it is, and as such when their dog up and dies abruptly, it may not be ID'ed as bloat, so we don't even have really good figures on how prevalent it is.
I believe the only way to "breed it out" is to breed smaller chested, smaller GSDs. But then we aren't breeding GSD's anymore. There is no such thing as risk-free in life. We will always have to accept a certain amount of risk
Hunter, CWDC UScA Helper
Beschützer des Jägers v.d. Sportwaffen
Katya v. Hügelblick
SG Aska v. Ketscher Wald
Yōkai v.d. Sportwaffen
Arya v. Allrothaus
Last edited by hunterisgreat; 02-10-2011 at 12:23 PM.