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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Curious to see what other people think of this...

Do you guys think a raised feeder really adds to the risk of bloat? My dog uses one, but he eats really slow and takes his time. He doesn't gulp his food either. I'm also careful of him drinking too much water at one time, and I don't exercise him 1 hour before or after his meals.
 

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I went to a seminar a few years back about GVD or "bloat" and it was very eye opening.

They based their research off of 10 years of case histories from around the country, as to not have a bias in their results...or at least stay as far away to one as possible.

Their results showed no specific findings, except for the most at risk breeds...as I am sure you know with owning a mal is all the deep chested breeds.

There is no genetic component to it, but there is a predisposition among some breeds.

There is no specific findings as far as relationships to food in any way, including quantity at one meal, kind of food, when fed (before or after excersize), raised vs non raised feeders, water intake, etc. Even dogs that didn't have a meal, just a treat, have bloated. Even raw fed dogs can bloat.

The only way to prevent it is to get a gastropexy done, which is a procedure where the stomach is tacked to the body wall to prevent it from twisting and bloating. There were some cases of dogs still getting bloat after this procedure, but it was most likely due to a failed attachment.

We got a pexy done on our two Danes just last month during their spay surgery...luckily I work at a wonderful vet that didn't charge me an arm and a leg. The surgery can be quite pricey for different techniques. You can call around but my guess is that you will be quoted something like $500-$2000 depending on where and what technique is used.

IMHO I think that dogs that are fed a kibble diet are more likely to bloat. This is because the dry food bloats in the stomach when mixed with stomach juices...even high quality, grain free kibbles. Even with that said, and my dogs on a raw diet...I thought it was better to be safe than sorry when it comes to this, especially since I have Danes (one of the most at risk). Tons of Danes that I have personally known have bloated (a very small few being raw fed) and some have died. Its said that 1 in 4 Danes will bloat and about 10% of the time they will die from it. The odds are just too high in my opinion to take a chance.

I also don't believe that a raised feeder will help much...but just make it more comfortable for a tall dog like a mal to eat.

This is just my 0.02 on this subject. You can be just so careful, but in the end it might not do any good.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes, I know a mal is one of the breeds at risk for bloat. I have seen cases of bloat where I used to work. One was a small female lab mix, and she didn't make it...so I'm pretty familiar with the symptoms. Is this a safe procedure though? I'm gonna look it up. I know it will be expensive...considering where I live! :eek:
 

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Yes, I know a mal is one of the breeds at risk for bloat. I have seen cases of bloat where I used to work. One was a small female lab mix, and she didn't make it...so I'm pretty familiar with the symptoms. Is this a safe procedure though? I'm gonna look it up. I know it will be expensive...considering where I live! :eek:

The procedure is just as safe as any other surgery, that is its it no more "risky" than other surgeries.

Just make sure that you take the precautionary steps before surgery, like comprehensive bloodwork to make sure your dog's organs are functioning correctly to handle the anethesia. Make sure that your dog is physically fit and all around healthy. Overweight and unhealthy animals have more troubles with anethesia. But from the sounds of it your dog is a champ and shouldn't have a problem :wink:

You do have to keep your dog as calm and quiet for a few weeks to make sure that there is good attachment of the stomach to the body wall. There is a higher risk of your dog popping an internal suture within the first 10 days after surgery. After that short walks on leash should be fine.

IF your dog was ever to bloat, they would most likely do the surgery anyways...to prevent it from happening again. There are some instances that a dog will bloat and the vet can untwist the stomach without having to do surgery. But if the twisting is bad enough, surgery is guaranteed to remove necrotic tissue from the stomach.

So...why not bite the bullet and have the surgery done without the distress of an emergency situation???

Plus is cost prohibitive to wait til your dog bloats. Not only will you have to pay for the surgery, but you will have to pay for the emergency costs, which are super expensive. I would estimate that you would pay twice as much if your dog was ever to bloat.

I recommend that you look around. Even if you have to travel a few hours...find a vet with experience or one that is trusted to do a good job. I got to watch both of my girls thru their surgeries and I know that they were in good hands.

There are several different techniques to do a pexy. The most common and cheapest AND just as effective is the belt loop technique...what I had done. This technique can be done laproscopically, which is the most expensive, BUT healing time is supposed to be at a minimum considering its the least invasive. Both Bailey and Akashe were back to normal within 2 days after surgery. I have a friend that had a lapro pexy done on both of her Danes and they seemed to take forever to heal.
 

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As Natalie says, there is no known cause for bloat so there are no precautions you can take to minimize the chances of your dog bloating. Personally, I think stress is the biggest single factor but I have no studies to prove it.
 

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Ah...yes...forgot stress. Stress can do it for sure!

The only thing to prevent it is surgery unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good thing my dog doesn't stress out. He doesn't have separation anxiety either. He's never been to a daycamp before, and I'm planning on taking him, maybe this will stress him out a bit...?
 

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It will definitely stress him out...maybe not a lot but when you take a dog to a new situation, there is always stress. Some dogs handle it better than others.

You are lucky that your mal doesn't have separation anxiety. I have heard, and witnessed, that the nordic breeds usually have a horrible time with this.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
He's never had separation anxiety. Not even when he was younger. He's just a really calm and content baby:):)
 

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I have had two dogs die from bloat. One was ten years old and it occurred during the night while she was sleeping. So there really was no specific cause, stress, or other thing that could have set it off. The other was a 5 month old who repeatedly bloated in one day, but his stomach never twisted. Preventative surgery would not have helped him or the first dog who went ten years without ever having bloated before.

I checked all the resources I could at the time and found a whole lot of people disagreeing on the causes and precautions. Some say no raised feeders, some say use a raised feeder, use a special bowl, small amounts of food, no stress, no large drinks of water, no cold water, etc etc.. What I do now is keep Rocky in the best shape I can and feed him the best I can (not raw but at least Orijen :) ) and hope for the best while letting him be a dog. There are some things you just cannot control.

I spent $10,000 in vet bills on two dogs last year trying to save the one with bloat and do 'optional surgery' on another and ended up losing both dogs. So before we do any sort of vet treatments of any kind in the future for Rocky or Chelsy we will take into account the quality of their lives and the amount of stress it will put on them and decide whether or not it is worth what is being done to them.
 

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I have had two dogs die from bloat. One was ten years old and it occurred during the night while she was sleeping. So there really was no specific cause, stress, or other thing that could have set it off. The other was a 5 month old who repeatedly bloated in one day, but his stomach never twisted. Preventative surgery would not have helped him or the first dog who went ten years without ever having bloated before.

I checked all the resources I could at the time and found a whole lot of people disagreeing on the causes and precautions. Some say no raised feeders, some say use a raised feeder, use a special bowl, small amounts of food, no stress, no large drinks of water, no cold water, etc etc.. What I do now is keep Rocky in the best shape I can and feed him the best I can (not raw but at least Orijen :) ) and hope for the best while letting him be a dog. There are some things you just cannot control.

I spent $10,000 in vet bills on two dogs last year trying to save the one with bloat and do 'optional surgery' on another and ended up losing both dogs. So before we do any sort of vet treatments of any kind in the future for Rocky or Chelsy we will take into account the quality of their lives and the amount of stress it will put on them and decide whether or not it is worth what is being done to them.
I'm so sorry that you have had to lose two lives to bloat. That is heartbreaking. I couldn't imagine what you went thru :frown:

The surgery would prevent a dog from bloating in the first place. Its really the only thing you can do to avoid it with your dog. From my understanding Chows are very prone to the disease, since they are very deep chested dogs. If I had Chows instead of Danes I would still do the preventative surgery so I wouldn't (hopefully) have to see my dog suffer with bloat.

In the end I think the stress of going thru something like bloat is far worse than a surgery that is really no less invasive as a spay. Again, just my 0.02 on the subject.
 

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The surgery would prevent a dog from bloating in the first place. Its really the only thing you can do to avoid it with your dog.
Check your sources on that. I have always understood that surgery won't prevent bloat, only tortion and dogs can die from bloat without tornioning.
 

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Check your sources on that. I have always understood that surgery won't prevent bloat, only tortion and dogs can die from bloat without tornioning.

Yes. That is what I meant. Dogs can still die from bloat alone, but it is far more rare than GVD. And I believe that is what the OP was posting about. All of the cases that I have known about, and the seminar I went to was based on, was about GVD...not just plain bloat. I think that it is very common for people to use the term "bloat" to mean GVD, not just bloating of the stomach.

With GVD, its the torsion that cuts off the blood supply to the stomach, causing necrosis of the stomach, meaning that stomach would eventually rupture from increased pressure and decreased elasticity, spilling its contents into the body cavity (this is when it becomes fatal) and makes it such an emergency situation. So, a gastropexy will prevent this from happening.

I don't know much about just plain bloating of the stomach, but I can imagine under a severe situation it could be the same. The stomach bloats so much that it eventually cuts off any exit/opening and eventually starts to cut off blood supply. With this situation a gastropexy would be useless. But like I said, just plain bloating to this degree is rare and less of a threat.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wait a minute...what's the difference between bloat and GDV...? I always thought they were the same thing. :confused:
 

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Bloat is just when the gas buildup, or food etc, causes the stomach to increase in size. Severe cases can be fatal...just like with GVD.

People often use just the plain word bloat to describe GVD, but in reality they are different.

GVD stands for gastric volvulus dilation. Which in plain english means a twist in the stomach causes it to bloat. Why?

Because the two openings are closed off from the twist, which traps gas buildup inside the stomach, increasing the internal pressure. Also with the twist, blood supply to the stomach is cut off causing the tissue to die, in turn making the stomach wall less flexible against the added pressure.
 

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My two dogs that died from bloat each had the different case. One had her stomach twist and cut off circulation to the intestines, causing the intestines to become necrotic and die. The other one had the stomach fill with gas repeatedly and narrow the entrance to the intestines so that food would not pass. Both cases had necropsy's done and no known cause was discovered that could have started the bloat other then their breed.

Chows do have a history of bloating . I do feel that there are a lot of breeds being shaped to a standard that may cause them to be more prone to bloating now. My last one was a championship quality pup from an excellent breeder with some of the top chows in the country but in reality it was not shaped to exist in life as a dog. If you look at champion Chows 50-75 years ago, they looked very different then modern ones. A lot less stocky, and less face wrinkles. Not nearly as square looking as today's.

Rocky, on the other hand, as a Chow/husky mix is much longer, more muscular, and looks a lot more like an actual dog. People have told me he looks like a wolf. As my first mixed breed dog I am hoping he doesn't have the serious health issues I have had with my "champion" Chows, including the bloat and the eye issues. Rocky can actually see where he is going! :)

Just tossing in another 2 cents there :) gotta keep the conversations interesting!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm not sure if malamutes have a history of bloating. Maybe mine is more at risk because he comes from the M'Loot line, which is bigger than the Kotzebues. Standard size mals range from 70-85 lbs. and M'Loots anywhere from 90-170 lbs!! M'Loots still do the exact same thing as the standard size mals, just a little bit bigger... :wink:
 

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The risk of a dog getting bloat or GVD is not necessarily based on size of the dog, more of the shape. Jack Russels are known to get GVD, and I'm sure bloat as well.

And GVD is not a heritable trait...its not perpetuated throughout a certain bloodline. Its a random occurance that is more likely to happen in certain breeds, especially ones that have big, deep chests. If it were a heritable trait, breeders would work on getting rid of the disease just like HD, which is heritable....at least to an extent, but that is a different conversation altogether LOL

Chowder: it sounds to me like you just happened to be one of the unlucky few that has dealt with GVD and bloat.... :frown:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh, I definitely know that GDV or bloat can't be inherited. It just happens. Unfortunately, my mal is one of the breeds that has a big and deep chest...:frown:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bloat is just when the gas buildup, or food etc, causes the stomach to increase in size. Severe cases can be fatal...just like with GVD.

People often use just the plain word bloat to describe GVD, but in reality they are different.

GVD stands for gastric volvulus dilation. Which in plain english means a twist in the stomach causes it to bloat. Why?

Because the two openings are closed off from the twist, which traps gas buildup inside the stomach, increasing the internal pressure. Also with the twist, blood supply to the stomach is cut off causing the tissue to die, in turn making the stomach wall less flexible against the added pressure.
Are the symptoms of bloat and GDV the same...?
 
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