Please comment on the condition known as bloat, or gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), in large dog breed dogs. Our 8-year-old German shepherd dog recently died of this condition. She was a healthy dog, but suddenly became sick with vomiting that progressed to dry heaves, lethargy and abdominal distention. By the time we got her to the animal hospital it was too late.Why does this condition occur, and are there steps that can be taken to prevent bloat from happening? We recently became the owners of another German shepherd dog puppy and don't want to go through that experience again.
S.F., Agawam, MA May 23, 2004
Bloat, as you sadly discovered, is an acute, painful and often fatal condition. It is more common in large, deep-chested dogs. Many veterinarians advise feeding such bloat-prone breeds three to four small meals a day, and suggest that their owners avoid feeding them dry foods that rapidly swells when water is added, as when a dog drinks after eating. Soak such food in water, gravy or milk before giving it to the dog, and do not let the dog engage in vigorous physical activity soon after eating. Also, don't feed a dog who has just been very active or is hot and thirsty.Some ingredients in dry food, like soy, may play a role in the genesis of bloat, but more research is needed on this serious canine crisis before a clear, science-based protocol can be established to prevent its occurrence.
1/22/2013 7:57:54 AM #
We just loss our 12 yr. old Doberman Pinscher to bloat. It started with pacing and whining in the morning; once outdoors he wretched a couple of times and tried to defecate. I immediately called our vet-knowing something was very wrong. Our vet assessed our Dobie, x-rayed and drew blood; the prognosis was very grim. We chose to humanely euthanize him-our vet indicated he was not a very good candidate for surgery and recovery.
We appreciated her painful honesty and held him when he passed. I have become a town crier of sorts regarding this dreadful life-threatening emergency. RIP dear Boo.
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