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I've been in GSDs for over 40 years off and on and have yet, knock on wood, to have a GSD experience this condition. BUT, I have heard of so many who have had dogs go through this, have surgery, or even die from this. I've also heard so many schools of thought as to why the GSD is one of the top five breeds to experience this condition. If there is such a factor as Dark DNA upon which attaches the marker for the incidence of a predisposition for a dog to carry or experience an incidence of bloat/torsion. then perhaps somewhere there is a database of dogs known to have experienced B/T or who have been related directly to a dog that has had B/T. Does anyone here wish to divulge names of dogs that may have experienced or been related directly to GSDs with Bloat or Torsion? This information would be of interest to other GSD breeders or people who may wish to acquire a GSD who might wish to have this info so they would not have a dog in their life that would inherit this predisposition and then lose their beloved pet. Life is short and I've had many more deaths of dogs with inherited conditions that I wish I had known about and perhaps I would not have suffered the loss of those dogs...I could have made an informed decision instead that would have prevented so much pain. Thanks to anyone who wishes to put the info out there for compilation of such a database. There is OFA who compiles a similar list of hip and elbow dysplasia and others who compile lists of dogs with heart defects, eye disorders, etc. Perhaps it is time we compile this list as well.
 

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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
 

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Yikes.. just read a study showed the average weight for dogs with bloat is 58lbs (across all breeds of course)
 

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Fortunately it is less than half of 500.00.
-off topic-
May I ask why you didn't just say it is less than 250.00?? hahahahaa!!
 

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Every good GSD warrants a gastropexy here. Fortunately it is less than half of 500.00. Darned torsion..grrrrr.
Really? Thats the annoying thing about vets.. prices fluctuate so wildly from place to place for the same service

I will probably do this with all future male GSD's. Females I don't know if the risks out weigh the benefits.
 

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I don't know how frequent it is in females.
I have known one Female GSD and one Swissy bitch that torsioned. My friend did her two females and my vet pexied his girl. My females aren't pexied and I do worry.
 

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I don't know how frequent it is in females.
I have known one Female GSD and one Swissy bitch that torsioned. My friend did her two females and my vet pexied his girl. My females aren't pexied and I do worry.
The stats range from twice as like for males, to 4 times as likely. Def much more likely at any rate. I may do my female sometime this year. Dog expenses are stacking up on me. Possibly have to do crowns on my male's canines
 

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If it gets to the point where dogs have to have preventative surgery because people are afraid their dogs might bloat isn't that a sure sign of the breed's deteriorating health ?? :(

Is it better to ask what type of environment and selection pressure there has been/currently is that allows dogs with all sorts of issues to be bred from that in decades past would either have had a hard time living or would have died without all the medical advancements available today.

I don't have any stats on bloat in wild dogs or large working breeds in a non- western environment but it would be really interesting information to find out. If bloat was such an issue in those type of dogs, you'd think populations would have trouble thriving.
 

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I don't know what the cause is, but it does occur in many breeds. In German Shepherds i don't think any lines are free of it. Perhaps it is the large chest depth.

When selecting animals to create a breed, one can not select only the good and leave off all the bad. It doesn't work that way. If selecting for only health characteristics, other desirable breed characteristics may be lost.
 

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I hear some vets not recommending the gastroplexy unless the dog has bloated before. I also had a friend where the vet recommended doing it while his female was getting spayed. I work at a vet clinic and need to ask both of their opinions on it. I'd be interested in doing it with Brody once I get him fixed.
 

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I don't know what the cause is, but it does occur in many breeds. In German Shepherds i don't think any lines are free of it. Perhaps it is the large chest depth.

When selecting animals to create a breed, one can not select only the good and leave off all the bad. It doesn't work that way. If selecting for only health characteristics, other desirable breed characteristics may be lost.
Yes but nowadays a dog can have its stomach stapled after suffering bloat and continue to be bred from. I don't think anyone would seriously suggest breeding from such a dog to maintain other desireable characteristics. When the breed was being created such dogs with health issues would have fallen out of the genepool naturally, without medical care available today. The selection would have been there.
 

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The average age for bloat is perhaps around 7 years old. The dog may have been bred and a couple of generations of progeny bred.

I don't know how easy bloat would be to breed out of the breed entirely.

It did not go away during the many years of breeding when prophylactic gastropexy was not very available.
 

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The average age for bloat is perhaps around 7 years old. The dog may have been bred and a couple of generations of progeny bred.
True. It gets complicated re: age.

I don't know how easy bloat would be to breed out of the breed entirely.

It did not go away during the many years of breeding when prophylactic gastropexy was not very available.
I wouldn't expect it to go away entirely just like many other health issues. The genes are always there, just the % of incidences change in either decreasing or increasing.
 

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Of course, whenever possible, it seems wise to not breed animals who have bloated or their close relatives. There really may be a genetic component to this. Toy poodles can bloat and it may be due to their shared genetics with larger poodles. Terriers don't bloat with exception of one breed.

I have known lines of GSDs where bloat was too common, even in the females of those lines.
 

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Simple fact is large deep chest = bloat risk. 1/3 of Danes get bloat. GSDs get bloat Bc of size. Those are the shakes. Can't do a whole lot about it without making a gsd not gsd like anymore. Just like bulldogs have over heat and breathing issues. Sure you can breed it out, but you don't have a bulldog anymore
 

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Of course, whenever possible, it seems wise to not breed animals who have bloated or their close relatives. There really may be a genetic component to this. Toy poodles can bloat and it may be due to their shared genetics with larger poodles. Terriers don't bloat with exception of one breed.

I have known lines of GSDs where bloat was too common, even in the females of those lines.
I thing that's probably more a factor of depth/breadth of chest and waist characteristics than anything else. If all other aspects of the dog were strong, I thing the best bet is breeding to a more mal shaped gsd to shrink the chest a touch. But then your taking away what made that line unique. At this point there isn't a strong amount of data to say a whole lot beyond the bigger the dog the higher the risk, and don't exercise before/after meals/water
 

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If it gets to the point where dogs have to have preventative surgery because people are afraid their dogs might bloat isn't that a sure sign of the breed's deteriorating health ?? :(

Is it better to ask what type of environment and selection pressure there has been/currently is that allows dogs with all sorts of issues to be bred from that in decades past would either have had a hard time living or would have died without all the medical advancements available today.

I don't have any stats on bloat in wild dogs or large working breeds in a non- western environment but it would be really interesting information to find out. If bloat was such an issue in those type of dogs, you'd think populations would have trouble thriving.
The consequences being so high, and the time to correct so low, it's rather cheap insurance. The vast majority of GSDs won't bloat, and even fewer females... But if yours did and died, that $250 wouldn't seem like such a dumb idea
 

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What really sucks. I just read a study that followed several thousand dogs of high risk breeds, and of the GVD cases 1 year later, 52% were blamed on elevated bowls :( which I did at the time, as it was my understanding I was reducing the risk, not drastically increasing it
 
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