Bloat - What Really Cause It?
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Thread: Bloat - What Really Cause It?

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    Top Of The Hill is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultBloat - What Really Cause It?

    There have been a few posts lately that mention different things that may cause bloat (such as elevated dishes, citric acid in food etc.). I think much of this info came from a study done at Purdue some time back. I was just googling the topic and came across an article by The Great Dane Lady. Actually I think there might be a few, but this one was in regards to the Purdue study. Has anyone read it? Interesting. If you google "Bloat The Great Dane Lady Purdue" it's the first item that comes up. I'm curious as to what other's thoughts are on this.

    I've also read articles that suggested wetting kibble to help prevent bloat....something my dog's breeder also said to do. Good idea? Bad idea???

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    Short answer is that we don't really know. The purdue study was flawed but made some good points.

    From what I can gather based on what I've read, the two biggest risk factors are things we can't control, genetics and depth of chest area.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


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    The great dane lady seem to be mostly about hawking her "Kits" in her articles now. I don't believe in (or have the money to be) adding 500 drops, pills and powders to a diet, just personal opinion.

    I do think she's right that Bloat is multifactorial, probably a mix of genetics, conformation, and environment (like a lot of diseases). I don't quite agree with her parallel between a diet high in grains in cattle and a diet high in grains in dogs causing bloat. The GI tracts of the two are SO different, I think that's a big reach. A lot of things were different in pet foods 20 years ago, not just the amount of grains.

    I especially don't care for the stuff like this:
    "In a survey done through a Giant breed discussion list of over 800 members, 1/3 of 800 individual lost a Dane after common spay and neuter surgery. We have since come to realize this is due to a drop in body temperature. It is imperative your dog not be left on cold cement in a kennel after surgery or they will bleed out and die. They must be kept warm under the dog and on top. This is an enormous problem with large breeds, giants in particular because of the ratio of body mass to body surface. They can't hold body heat very well so it is absolutely critical that we keep them warm during the recovery from surgery. Please read and print out and "insist" your vet be sensitive to this need for your dog."

    So that may have changed my view of the whole thing.

    Anyone know how she feels about prophylactic gastropexy?

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    I thought the basic idea was to keep them calm (no running, rolling, swimming) for 30 minutes to an hour after a meal. This would appear to keep at least one of the major risks for bloat down significantly.

    Its a scary thing to think about, though, but no need for snake oil sales.
    Lily at 5 months old at Wrightsville Beach, NC

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    Top Of The Hill is offline Senior Member
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    YJM - Her article that I read was specifically in regards to the Purdue study. She seems to think that bloat is triggered by stress (from various sources) rather than some of the other things that the Purdue study came up with.....such as elevated bowls, citric acid in food etc.

    Lily - My usual practise is to wait a full two hours after my dog has eaten to exercise her and I also wait an hour to feed her if she has been out for exercise. I'm not sure what most people do or if this is the correct amount of time. Maybe someone else will comment.

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    I think your best bet with bloat is to stay away from as many risk factors as possible (exercise too close to feeding, elevated bowls, even stress, sure why not) but most importantly, is to be very, VERY well versed on the signs and symptoms of bloat and have a plan of action for if it happens.

    Where will you go? Who will drive? Are you comfortable with using a bloat kit? (I don't know that I would be able to intubate (right word..?) my dog but others with medical experience might) We know bloat usually happens at night, where's the closest vet thats open during those hours?

    And to always monitor your dog, be aware of their "base line" functions and behaviour patterns and note when they change.

    The bottom line is that we don't know for sure what causes it, so to me, the way to best avoid is to use common sense and avoid known risk factors, but be super prepared should the situation arise.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


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    Elevated bowls are a risk factor to bloat? Wow, I didn't know that. I had my rotties bowls elevated to almost shoulder length for years. I didn't know that it could cause bloat by doing so. I am glad that this topic is being discussed because I was considering setting up a shelf like thing in the outdoor kennel so the dogs couldn't knock their water over during play, or just because they feel like it LOL...

    Lucky for me, where my rotties had good depth of chest they did not ever experience bloat.

    I was always told that elevating the dishes prevented bloat and also help to strengthen weak pasterns(main point of me elevating them was because I wanted to strengthen my males pasterns!)...and was told that by many breeders. YIKES!!

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    I have also been told that elevating the dishes makes them inhale less air when they eat, thereby lessening the chance of bloat.

    So - what's the truth?
    Jackie, Champ, and Buddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by amazongold View Post
    I have also been told that elevating the dishes makes them inhale less air when they eat, thereby lessening the chance of bloat.

    So - what's the truth?
    Well in the article I mentioned above this lady doesn't seem to think much of the Purdue study and notes why, but who knows? Both are interesting reading. I think some things are just common sense.....like not to feed your dog and then head out too soon to exercise.....or to feed them too soon after exercise. I was told to wet my dog's kibble and let it sit to moisten so that the expansion doesn't happen in the stomach, but a lot of dog food contains citric acid which this study says increases the chance of bloat ifyou wet it. I wonder if any other studies have been done.

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    Top Of The Hill is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo317 View Post
    I think your best bet with bloat is to stay away from as many risk factors as possible (exercise too close to feeding, elevated bowls, even stress, sure why not) but most importantly, is to be very, VERY well versed on the signs and symptoms of bloat and have a plan of action for if it happens.

    Where will you go? Who will drive? Are you comfortable with using a bloat kit? (I don't know that I would be able to intubate (right word..?) my dog but others with medical experience might) We know bloat usually happens at night, where's the closest vet thats open during those hours?

    And to always monitor your dog, be aware of their "base line" functions and behaviour patterns and note when they change.

    The bottom line is that we don't know for sure what causes it, so to me, the way to best avoid is to use common sense and avoid known risk factors, but be super prepared should the situation arise.
    Yes, you're right Kate. My Vet is close by. No ER Vet here. Hopefully I'll never deal with this problem. Oddly enough I read that it's also more common in dogs that are thinner, (I think it was in this same study) but I don't think it makes any sense to put extra pounds on your dog. Hip issues are probably far more common. I've never been able to find out what the connection is between bloat and citric acid.....if there really is one.

    I don't kennel/board very often, but I'm sure in most kennels no one is watching over each dog all night long. I phone every day when I'm away to make sure she's okay and eating fine.
    Last edited by Top Of The Hill; 10-09-2009 at 09:13 PM.

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