Large dog owners - get familiar with bloat or gastric torsion if not already - also blockages for all size dogs

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 24, 2012 4:25 PM GMT
    Happened to think about this reading some of the other dog related threads.

    Several years ago, my Doberman started acting restless around 11:30 PM. He also vomited but only foamy liquid came up. I was somewhat familiar with bloat but don't remember if there was any significant enlargement to the abdomen. I called the vet's office, and their service relayed my message. He called me back within a couple of minutes and said I should get my dog to the 24 hour emergency hospital immediately. He even said don't take the time to even call them first. Just go now. I did, but called the hospital on the way so they were expecting us.

    They did an xray and saw the stomach had turned. They began surgery immediately. They called me at 3 AM to let me know all went well. The tissue returned to a healthy pink color as soon as they untwisted the stomach. At the same time, they do a procedure called a gastropexy to secure the abdomen to minimize the chance of future occurrences. He went on to live a great life for several more years.

    Two other situations I'm aware of with folks in my area waiting until morning led to their pets' deaths. One was a neighbor who was both angry that vets don't make this better known and felt extremely guilty that his lack of knowledge led to his pet's death.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloat

    Separate topic - blockages in breeds of all sizes can be a problem. Doesn't always show up on x-rays either. A friend who runs a kennel and a Doberman rescue organization had a dog vomiting watery fluids. She was sure it was a blockage but the vet did an x-ray and said otherwise. She reluctantly brought the dog back to her facility, and the dog passed away. The vet did an autopsy and found there was a blockage after all. If she had it to do over again, she would have insisted on an exploratory surgery.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 24, 2012 8:14 PM GMT
    Yes, the twisting of the stomach, a condition of which I'd never before heard, is also an issue with horses, as well as particularly with larger dogs who have thus large chest/abdominal cavities. One of my friends had a two year old, absolutely beautiful, sweet dog, the size of a huge Great Dane (it wasn't a Dane). My friend was playing frisbee with the dog, who jumped in the air to catch the frisbee, and his stomach twisted. Apparently, any rearing movement like that can cause the torsional rotation of the stomach in large dogs as well as in horses. Thus, owners should be aware that probably the type of play inviting rearing, torsional jumping movements can result in this condition developing. My friend's beautiful dog died on the operating table, the damage having been too great.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 24, 2012 9:41 PM GMT
    Sulla saidYes, the twisting of the stomach, a condition of which I'd never before heard, is also an issue with horses, as well as particularly with larger dogs who have thus large chest/abdominal cavities. One of my friends had a two year old, absolutely beautiful, sweet dog, the size of a huge Great Dane (it wasn't a Dane). My friend was playing frisbee with the dog, who jumped in the air to catch the frisbee, and his stomach twisted. Apparently, any rearing movement like that can cause the torsional rotation of the stomach in large dogs as well as in horses. Thus, owners should be aware that probably the type of play inviting rearing, torsional jumping movements can result in this condition developing. My friend's beautiful dog died on the operating table, the damage having been too great.

    That is a real shame. I wasn't aware of that cause. I will do some research to determine how common that is. I thought the most common causes related to eating habits, especially eating immediately after exercising, and having one large meal per day. My past dog ate two meals per day when he got that, and I had been careful to have him fairly quiet for a while before eating. After he got bloat, even though he had the gastropexy, I still decided to feed him very small portions several times per day. I got a pet feeder that dispensed a half cup several times during the day.

    Whenever I needed to board him at a local kennel, I wanted the same eating schedule followed. It was funny - they allocated a large white board where they made a table with the times along the left and days as columns where they tracked his eating and med schedule.
  • dmlove02

    Posts: 45

    Mar 24, 2012 9:52 PM GMT
    Yeah, this is a really frequent occurrence at the vet hospitals I have worked in. Mainly in deep chested breeds like Dobies and the like. Technically, it is called "Gastric dilitation and volvulus", or GDV. Exercising right after a meal, rigorous play, or idiopathic causes are all reasons for this to happen to these dogs, and it definitely is a medical emergency. Usually, first thing a vet does is try to pass a stomach tube to deflate the stomach (often it can just be gastric dilitation, with the volvulus yet to come) and give fluids to keep the animal hydrated before a radiograph is done (on the radiograph you see a very known pathognomonic "popeye's arm" view of the air in the dilated stomach, as well as slight displacement of the stomach.

    I was taught in vet school that if you even SUSPECT GDV, bring that pup to the operating table immediately. It is better to have opened them up, make sure it is or is not GDV, and if it is, you just saved the dogs life. If it isnt, you can go ahead and do a preventative gastropexy to make sure this doesn't happen in the future. At some practices, when a large breed deep chested female comes in to get spayed, a gastropexy is done at the time so this is not an issue in the future.

    As an owner of a Doberman myself, it is scary stuff. They are stoic dogs and so people do not always heed the warning signs before it is too late.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 25, 2012 1:22 AM GMT
    dmlove02 saidAs an owner of a Doberman myself, it is scary stuff. They are stoic dogs and so people do not always heed the warning signs before it is too late.

    Seems little is known about this by many people.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 25, 2012 1:44 AM GMT
    Yes I know what your talking about,,My sister has a St, Barnard,,,and has gone through it already,,taking a dog to emerg, vet 24 hrs ) at 2 am is a nightmare, wondering if the dog will live through it,,He been doing very will since,, I on the other hand have a Great Pyrenees...I keep a good eye on his eating habits, drinking his water ( I make him stop between driniking til his belly settles down,,after we walk I usually have him laydown in the yard for 15 mins or so as well,,he always most of the time goes and lays down after eating, while wiping his mouth from the water dripping from it usually hold a towel under him till least I hear him burb,,LOL,( sounds silly, but know he going to be alright after he eats,,) icon_lol.gifI dont make him run round til least a hour after drinking or eating,,Good luck on everyones large dogs,,they are our buddys and friends,,,We love them as if they are own children,,,
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 25, 2012 2:21 AM GMT
    Never heard about Bloat till now. Thanks for the info!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 25, 2012 4:54 AM GMT
    Yup this is quite common with large breeds, I have large breed dogs and I am always careful of what I feed them and I never let them jump and run after eating.

    This can go into more details. There are stages of bloat. There are things you can do with tubing if you can not make it to the vet in time. It requires pushing a tube down the dogs throat till it reaches the stomach, usually done with a little pushing and turning until the gas and fluids drain out. Then you can safely take them to the vet.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 25, 2012 4:56 AM GMT
    I used to have a Great Pyrenees. I watched for this, but I never had a problem. I think it's mostly a problem in breeds with large but narrow chests. It's a byproduct of the selective breeding. (I didn't read the whole topic. I may be repeating.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Mar 26, 2012 4:20 AM GMT
    An excellent article:
    http://www.alllabs.com/labrador-library/the-big-bloat

    http://webcanine.com/2010/gastric-dilatation-volvulus-bloat-update/
    Excerpts:
    It appears that the chest depth/width ration is highly correlated with risk of bloat, ie. Those animals with deep, narrow chests within a certain breed are much more likely to develop bloat than those dogs with deep wide chests.

    For instance, it has been shown that dogs who eat one meal a day are almost twice as likely to develop bloat as those fed twice a day. The rate of eating is also very important. Those dogs characterized as slow eaters have the lowest incidence of bloat whereas those dogs characterized as moderately fast eaters have about 2 times the chance of developing bloat and those characterized as fast eaters have almost five times the chance of developing bloat as those being characterized as slow eaters.

    Statistics and risk factors:
    http://www.ttsgreatdanes.com/TTSPGS/bloat.html
    Excerpt: (can't tell the date of this)
    "New significant findings included a 2.7-fold (or 170%) increased risk of GDV in dogs that consumed dry foods containing fat among the first four ingredients. The risk of GDV was increased 4.2-fold (or 320%) in dogs that consumed dry foods containing citric acid that were prior to feeding by owners. Dry foods containing a rendered meat meal with bone among the first four ingredients significantly decreased GDV risk by 53.0%. Approximately 30% of all cases of GDV in this study could be attributed to consumption of dry foods containing fat among their first four ingredients, while 32% could be attributed to consumption of  dry food owner moistened that also contained citric acid. These findings can be used by owners to reduce their dogs' risk of GDV. "