German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 308 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,438 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,936 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,765 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,397 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Re: Help needed with bloat

this is sooo hard.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/22_headscratch.gif..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!!!... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/29_headbang.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Re: Help needed with bloat

Thank you all! My vet said for me to moist the dry food (the old food he's going to be back on after the transitional food has NO citric acid). Now, I don't know whether I should or not moist the food. Anyone???? Help!!!
I did a test and got a food with citric acid and one without (and his "old food" that I no longer use). I put water, same amount, on all. The one w/ citric acid made a noise like fermentation. The others didn't. The food he's going back to (the one he was on before this all happened) was the one slower to absorb the water. The one I had changed him to (that i'm discontinuing) was just as fast absorbing water as the one with citric acid. What i was trying to do is see which food would have the most increase in size after putting it in water. Very interesting test!

Please if anyone can answer about moist or not moist food I'd really appreciate it.
He's doing ok, but he still has gas. The vet said he'll have it probably for the rest of his life. I'm just so scared!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
Re: Help needed with bloat

The point here is that there is no real answer for you. There is no concrete evidence that moistening dry food or whether food contains citric acid has any effect at all on bloat. This is a decision you will have to make by yourself.

I know that you are terrified of your dog bloating again and I don't blame you one bit, but there isn't any real way to prevent it. If there were, we would be all over it and there would be a whole lot fewer dogs bloating.

Has your vet talked to you about the stomach tacking? Have you thought about switching dog foods so your dog is less gassy? Not all foods do well with all dogs so it might be worth trying something else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Re: Help needed with bloat

My vet and I decided to go back to his "old" dog food, the one he seldom had gas. I've always been very careful about feeding him 2x per day, etc, but now i'm more careful. I'll try his "old" food first and see how things shape up. If he's still passing too much gas, i'll try something else. Again, never had a problem until we switched foods, modified a few things, so hopefully going back to the "old days" will help prevent it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
Re: Help needed with bloat

Also, make sure you read the Purdue study that someone was kind enough to paste above here somewhere. This is the only published research that I know of on bloat so any other ideas of what might prevent it is all guess work.

I honestly don't know if just getting rid of your dog's gassiness will totally prevent another reoccurence or not, it certainly won't hurt.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,692 Posts
Re: Help needed with bloat

The Purdue Study didnt have even ONE German Shepherd in it. Personally, I believe ita all genetics. If a dog is pre-disposed to bloat, it will bloat, no matter what you do. If its not pre-disposed to bloat, it wont, no matter what you do..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
652 Posts
Re: Help needed with bloat

I have been researching Bloat for a while, and I have yet to see a GSD mentioned in various studies...(?)...so, why do so many of our GSD's succumb to Bloat?... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/11_confused.gif

Yes, it scares you, me, and all of us...we have a large deep-chested breed...a pre-desposition, for Bloat...but, why are our dog's getting Bloat so much?...I wish, together, we could analize all our information, based on personal expieriences, with this horrible occurance which has taken many of our beloved "children", and try to figure out, why we have such a worrisome dilema, on our hands...

I know I am thinking way out of the norm, (and, please forgive me), but I wish there was a way for us to stop Bloat, and get some answers!!!...(sorry for all the venting)..I just care alot about our beautiful breed, and want us all to live happily with our Shepherd's, without worrying that this horrible event, may take away their wonderful lives, with us...

We all worry about Bloat so much, and why it happens?.. I wish we could do our own research, to prevent such a life-threatening event from happening....Thank's for listening....I pray for you, and all....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,204 Posts
Re: Help needed with bloat

Sometimes it is better for us to be slightly scared that it may happen so we DO watch for the signs - this allows us to take quick action. There are a lot of triggers and some dogs will bloat no matter what you do and others will not bloat despite doing all the supposed things you should avoid doing. So much contradicting advice will not help where awareness and quick action will help and often save lives. Good luck and hopefully the actions you have decided to do will stop a reoccurence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,083 Posts
Re: Help needed with bloat

My Cheyenne bloated...had to have the emergency surgery to correct it. I give my dogs Gas-x with meals and before exercise expecially on hot days. I also do not feed an hour before or hour after exercise. I also stopped using raised feed dishes.

This is NOT medical advice. This is what "I" do with "my" dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Re: Help needed with bloat

I can't say this strongly enough: get a gastropexy done on your dog and NOW. If you've slogged thru all the Purdue research and the many journal articles in JAVMA on GDV, you've seen that dogs that experience one episode of GDV have an 80% chance of another episode. The gastropexy (stomach tacking) cannot stop your dog from bloating, but it will keep the stomach from torsioning, which is the most dangerous part of bloat. It gives you much more time to deal with the emergency, a MUCH greater liklihood of being able to relieve the pressure by passing a stomach tube (which is often impossible if they torsion), and of course gives your dog a much higher chance of survival if you're not there to help him out when it happens again. I had a prophylactic (preventative) gastropexy done on my dog last spring, and in the last 6 wks, he's had TWELVE episodes of bloat and easily survived all of them, no doubt due to the gastropexy. By comparison, a friend's GSD bloated and the vet didn't do the tack, said to wait and do it later when he was healthier and not so stressed....he bloated 8 days later and died. Don't wait.

Lee Baragona
 
1 - 20 of 308 Posts
Top