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Discussion Starter #1
My 3 1/2 year old GSD Damien just had emergency surgery for bloat on Tuesday night. His stomach had completely flipped, it was so bad they couldn't even get a tube down him, and when they stuck him with a needle to relieve pressure all they got was some gunk. I was very worried about him especially since he was showing signs for about 4 hrs before we got him to the emergency vet. Anyways, So far so good we picked him up Thursday and he is in great spirit. My question is does this mean we are in good shape for now or should I be watching him close, and if so what am I looking for. I now know the signs and symptoms of bloat but is there anything else? The vet said he should be good since they tacked his stomach to his rib, but I am just paranoid I guess. Losing my best friend would be devastating. Thanks for your time.
 

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I'm so sorry that happened. Must have been terrifying. I can't offer any suggestions, but I'm glad your boy pulled through ok.
Hopefully some others with more experience can chime in.
 

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I have no advice but I know others will. I am glad your boy is ok! Welcome...I wish it were under better circumstances.
 

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I hope that he's still doing well post-surgery.

Most dogs make full and uneventul recoveries from bloat. Because of the "gunk" and the prolonged distress that your boy was in, I might consider having bloodwork run in about 3 months (unless you see indications earlier), just to see how everything is doing, and get a baseline for the future.

After my boy bloated, I did make a diet change, and went to homecooked 100%. He was at about 50% before.
 

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I just went through bloat with Max back in march, my first thoughts is to never let him do anything again, but hes back doing what he loves, barking, and frisbee, I kept him quiet for about month, they can still bloat even with the stomach stapled, they will swell up on both sides, but it's a matter of getting them to the vet and evacuating the gas, your very lucky your pup is alive and no problems, being 4 hours before you got him to the vets
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Lisa, thanks for the info. This is all very new to me, I had never even heard of this until we were on our way to the emergancy vet ( gotta love smart phones). What would we be looking for in his bloodwork? I am sure the vet knows, I am just looking to educate myself. As far as his diet is going to go Damien is a very picky eater. The only thing I can get him to eat on a regular basis is Kibble and Bits, he turns his nose to the high dollar foods. Thanks again.
 

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Does anyone have a good website for post bloat info? I have googled this a couple times and haven't really been able to find anything helpful. Most things that come up are just peoples stories on what happened to them.
 

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Definitely get bloodwork in a few months to see if any values are off. Of course if anything is it may not be related to the bloating/GDV, but it will at least let you know if something in him is not quite as it should be. With major trauma like that though the prior GDV incident I would think would be a prime culprit.

The only reason I'd worry about bloodwork is because he went so long between initial symptoms and seeing the e-vet. Four hours in many cases is enough to kill.

With his stomach tacked to his abdomen wall, he can no longer get GDV (what actually kills the dog when he bloats is the stomach twisting and cutting off blood flow to the digestive tract), but he can still bloat.

I don't know if bloating is more likely with the stomach tacked but I do know that once a dog has bloated once they are more likely to do so again. I'm unsure if that's only in dogs without a tacked stomach, though.

You should really switch him off the Kibble and Bits ASAP. Lower-quality kibbles are a suspected risk factor for bloat. Starve him out if you have to - he will eventually pick up on the better stuff when he gets hungry enough. Of course you should never do this with a little dog but with a large dog you can go a few days if you have to. I've had to do this with my dog when he decided he didn't like beef kidney and heart. Now he gobbles them up like candy.

If raw or home-cooked is not an option, I'd recommend a brand called "Taste of the Wild." It's a good compromise between cost/quality.

The reason he turns his nose at other stuff is the same reason a little kid will make themselves sick on candy and turn their nose at vegetables. The vegetables are healthier, but the candy tastes infinitely better. Usually the cheaper kibbles are sprayed down with all sorts of tasty additives that make it taste really, really good to a dog so when they try something else that's healthier - they turn their nose up at it. Why eat that when you can eat McDonalds? (just a metaphor).

Hope that helps. Good luck on the switch if you decide to go that route. Some people say you should slowly introduce new foods but I've always gone cold turkey no problems. Just know your dog.

You're probably in the clear, but like I said, if you can afford it, get some bloodwork for peace of mind, and do a diet change to prevent future incidents. Might have to go with some "tough love" on this one but it will be worth it for so many different reasons.
 

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Does anyone have a good website for post bloat info? I have googled this a couple times and haven't really been able to find anything helpful. Most things that come up are just peoples stories on what happened to them.
I think that's probably because websites and others want you to be in touch a LOT with your vet post-bloat and rely on your particular vet office to give their discharge instructions in reference to your particular dog's case.

I leash walked for 2 weeks for potties, x-pen only when not going out so that he didn't run. This was a 15 year old dog who when I first let him off leash ran like a nut so the caution was deserved. Two weeks was okay for him, talk to your vet about how long they want your dog on restriction.

Is he on antibiotics? I can't remember from the time I first read the post until now. :crazy: Probably a good thing to ask about. Monitor closely for signs of infection, discomfort. Ask your vet things for you to look for that would indicate that he was having trouble.

Small meals, many times a day. I was extreme probably, giving my dog a couple of tablespoons of good quality canned food a number of times a day. I did not give kibble for a month because I was nervous.

Agree with the added flavors, etc, that dogs get addicted to in lower quality kibble. Just like when I try to give natural type treats to relatives' dogs who eat colored food - they don't like them! :)
 

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Thanks Draugr, I will defiantly get the blood work, money is not an option when it comes to the health of a family member. I should have been more specific on his diet. I fed him Iams puppy chow for the first 2 years, but he would still skip meals. Damien has always been undersized. He has the frame to be 120lbs but was only 76lbs when he arrived at the e-vet. He has averaged between 70, and 77lbs since he was 1 1/2yo. I switched him to the eukanuba 30/20 which i was told would be like steak to him. we got the same result as the Iams. we only recently switched to the Kibble and bits. We took him for his yearly check up a few weeks ago and consulted with a new vet, and we are now trying Purina one pro plan performance, but we are getting the same result. Since his surgery the only way we can get him to eat his dog food is to mix some canned food in it. I just don't know what to do with him. The new vet said she likes GSD skinny which I am fine with as long as he is healthy. What gets me is the Sir was around 120lbs, and the bitch was 80lbs. Guess I got the runt LOL.

Could you or someone elaborate on raw or home cooked meals?
 

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Jean, are vet was not to specific he just said to keep him from being too active. They gave us some pain pills to give him ( 2 pills 2x daily as needed). We also had an antibiotic from his previous vet visit a couple weeks earlier. It seems the pain pills are not working to good; he is having trouble lying down now. He does have a couple large bruises on his stomach but that is to be expected. As long as it doesn’t get to bad I will wait and call the vet tomorrow.

No more Kibble and bits for Damien. What do you recommend to feed other than smaller meals?
 

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You could try a kibble like Orijen/Acana or Fromm to see what he thinks of those. They are generally pretty palatable. Orijen/Acana doesn't have grains, Fromm some varieties do. But those are just a couple of thoughts. There are lots of good foods. You can always get some samples and see what he likes.

For now, I would do canned but always say check with your vet because they may have other input that is better than mine! And definitely call if he has discomfort because it could be infection. Definitely a shock and worry time after this happens.

Welcome to Monica Segal a place like this - she does consults, as an example.
 

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It seems the pain pills are not working to good; he is having trouble lying down now. He does have a couple large bruises on his stomach but that is to be expected. As long as it doesn’t get to bad I will wait and call the vet tomorrow.

No more Kibble and bits for Damien. What do you recommend to feed other than smaller meals?
Glad to hear about the no more K&B's. There are a zillion different opinions on dog food. In general, look for foods that contain no corn, no sorghum, and no by-products, and they are in the better category. There is a ton of info in the nutrition section here.

There is some info on homecooking here: Home Cooked Diets, etc - GermanShepherdHome.net Just about every forum will have good resources on the raw issue. This statement can be disputed, but I wouldn't start raw on a dog after intestinal surgery, until everything is healed. If, for some chance, he doesn't handle bacteria well, you've created a problem. Btw, I'm not anti-raw, just this situation might be different.

As for the pain, I didn't use pain meds after my boy bloated, I used the homeopathic remedy Arnica, which worked very well. You can get a 30C, or even a 200C for post-surgery, at many health food stores. I would not use a 30X potency here.
 

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I would also recommend a high quality kibble. What do you have for pet stores near you? I would guess the reason your dog like the kibble & bits is because it has corn syrup, just like us dogs love sugar. Also this food uses bha as a preservative which is questionable. Do a google on it. Just a quick overview of what your looking at.

Kibble & bits
Ingredients

corn, soybean meal, beef and bone meal, ground wheat flour, animal fat (bha used as preservative), corn syrup, wheat middlings, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, caramel color, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), calcium sulfate, titanium dioxide, yellow 5, yellow 6, red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), dl methionine.

Orijen a high quality kibble
INGREDIENTS
Fresh boneless chicken*, chicken meal, fresh boneless salmon*, turkey meal, herring meal, russet potato, sweet potato, peas, fresh boneless turkey*, chicken fat, (preserved with mixed tocopherols), fresh whole eggs*, fresh chicken liver*, fresh boneless lake whitefish* fresh boneless walleye*, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fiber, fresh boneless herring*, organic kelp, pumpkin, chicory root, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, blueberries, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium. *

See the difference in the first several ingredients? Also www.dogfoodanalysis.com. is a great website to learn about dog food, click the reviews link and your on your way.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I would also recommend a high quality kibble. What do you have for pet stores near you? I would guess the reason your dog like the kibble & bits is because it has corn syrup, just like us dogs love sugar. Also this food uses bha as a preservative which is questionable. Do a google on it. Just a quick overview of what your looking at.

Kibble & bits
Ingredients

corn, soybean meal, beef and bone meal, ground wheat flour, animal fat (bha used as preservative), corn syrup, wheat middlings, water sufficient for processing, animal digest (source of chicken flavor), propylene glycol, salt, hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, caramel color, sorbic acid (used as a preservative), sodium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), calcium sulfate, titanium dioxide, yellow 5, yellow 6, red 40, BHA (used as a preservative), dl methionine.

Orijen a high quality kibble
INGREDIENTS
Fresh boneless chicken*, chicken meal, fresh boneless salmon*, turkey meal, herring meal, russet potato, sweet potato, peas, fresh boneless turkey*, chicken fat, (preserved with mixed tocopherols), fresh whole eggs*, fresh chicken liver*, fresh boneless lake whitefish* fresh boneless walleye*, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fiber, fresh boneless herring*, organic kelp, pumpkin, chicory root, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, blueberries, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium. *

See the difference in the first several ingredients? Also www.dogfoodanalysis.com. is a great website to learn about dog food, click the reviews link and your on your way.
Being in WV we don't have many of the large pet suplies stores. I think we only have 2 exclusive pet stores in our are. 1 one is a small chain, and the other is not a chain. Getting the more advanced dog food can be a bit of a challege. Our local Tractor Supply carries the Purina Pro Plan Performance. What our your thoughts on feeding this to my GSD.

Ingrdients

Chicken, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), whole grain corn, corn germ meal, fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal digest, fish oil, dried egg product, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, Vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.
V-4461

Crude Protein (Min)30.0 %Crude Fat (Min)20.0 %Crude Fiber (Max)3.0 %Moisture (Max)12.0 %Linoleic Acid (Min)1.8 %Calcium (Ca) (Min)0.9 %Phosphorus (P) (Min)0.7 %Selenium (Se) (Min)0.30 mg/kgVitamin A (Min)15,000 IU/kgVitamin E (Min)500 IU/kgAscorbic Acid* (Min)100 mg/kgDocosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)* (Min)0.12 %Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)* (Min)0.12 %Glucosamine* (Min)500 ppm
 

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I would get a copy of all the bloodwork. If the bloodcounts (WBC, lymphocytes, neutrophils, etc.) are high, then for sure aggressively pursue antibiotics. In general, I think it's a good idea in this instance.
I will absolutely have his blood work checked. I will also discuss all this with the vet when he has his stitches removed. I don't know if it matters but he already on an antibiotic for a low grade infection in his testies.
 

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Being in WV we don't have many of the large pet suplies stores. I think we only have 2 exclusive pet stores in our are. 1 one is a small chain, and the other is not a chain. Getting the more advanced dog food can be a bit of a challege. Our local Tractor Supply carries the Purina Pro Plan Performance. What our your thoughts on feeding this to my GSD.

Ingrdients

Chicken, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), whole grain corn, corn germ meal, fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal digest, fish oil, dried egg product, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, Vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.
V-4461

Crude Protein (Min)30.0 %Crude Fat (Min)20.0 %Crude Fiber (Max)3.0 %Moisture (Max)12.0 %Linoleic Acid (Min)1.8 %Calcium (Ca) (Min)0.9 %Phosphorus (P) (Min)0.7 %Selenium (Se) (Min)0.30 mg/kgVitamin A (Min)15,000 IU/kgVitamin E (Min)500 IU/kgAscorbic Acid* (Min)100 mg/kgDocosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)* (Min)0.12 %Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)* (Min)0.12 %Glucosamine* (Min)500 ppm



I would go with the Tractor Supply 4 health brand. Several people feed their brand and our Tractor Supply carries Taste of the Wild which I use for my GSDs.
 

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Here is the break down for the tractor supply brand Lamb and Rice:

Ingredients:
Lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, ground rice, millet, egg product, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried beet pulp, natural flavor, flaxseed, fish meal, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, taurine, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, yucca schidigera extract, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

Guaranteed Analysis:
Crude Protein (min.) 21.0%, Crude Fat (min.) 12.0%, Omega-6 Fatty Acids* (min.) 2.2%, Omega-3 Fatty Acids* (min.) 0.4%, Taurine* (min.) 0.1%, Moisture (max.) 10.0%, Crude Fiber (max.) 4.0%, Glucosamine hydrochloride* (min.) 300 mg/kg, Zinc (min.) 150 mg/kg, Chondroitin sulfate* (min.) 100 mg/kg, Selenium (min.) 0.4 mg/kg, Vitamin E (min.) 150 IU/kg.
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profile.
 
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