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Old 01-04-2013, 10:29 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rouleaux View Post
I find it hard to believe that raised food dishes are a primary culprit in bloat.
They aren't the primary culprit. Genetics play a huge role, and also strenuous exercise immediately proceeding or following a meal or drinking a lot of water has more to do with it.

However, the studies are there. Raised feeding increasing the risk factor for bloat. For anyone that has a breed that is more predisposed to it, why on earth would they knowingly choose to do it anyway unless the dog had a condition problem that required it?

No healthy dog should be uncomfortably "straining" to reach down to eat or drink at ground level. If he is, he may have conformational issues or need to be evaluated by a vet.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:36 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I've never read a single study that raised feeding decreases the risk of bloat - always the opposite, that raised feeding increases the risk.

My dog eats from a bowl at ground level. Also, I am mindful of disallowing strenuous exercise both before and after eating or drinking. The only time I would consider a raised dish is if the dog had a medical condition that warranted raised feeding.
Yeah, that's us. Griffin has Wobblers and needs to eat from raised dishes. I'm going to get one of those brake-fast dog bowls like this one to make him slow down. He bolts his food.

I'm glad you linked those studies. I honestly didn't know that raised bowls increase bloat risk. I've never allowed my dogs to exercise vigorously before or after a meal. And their meals are split up into breakfast/ dinner because I know one large meal also increases the risk.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:32 PM   #28 (permalink)
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The findings of the Purdue study have been challenged by a number of people. Here's the Great Dane Lady's take, which casts the findings in a different light and may -- or may not -- help sort through the conflicting info.

Purdue Bloat Study | GREATDANELADY.COM
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:22 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Mysti ate from a raised bowl all her life (8 1/2 yrs) and my two current do the same, and I have never had an issue, other than them knocking it over once or twice. I was told by the breeder, as well as having read it in various articles that raised dishes reduce the chance of bloat, as well as allowing time between feeding and exercise.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:44 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Other than being familiar with the symptoms of bloat, I don't worry about the rest. My understanding is it is all speculation. Reminds me of being told as a kid not to go swimming right after eating.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:11 PM   #31 (permalink)
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All of my dogs eat from elevated bowls. I first started because of the greyhound, and it kind of carried over. I certainly won't be doing anything differently.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:17 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Other than being familiar with the symptoms of bloat, I don't worry about the rest. My understanding is it is all speculation. Reminds me of being told as a kid not to go swimming right after eating.
This is my thought as well. All of my foster Danes have eaten from elevated bowls and the majority that I know do as well (with the exception of the raw fed dogs). While I am certainly not dismissing the study, I think gender, activity level, anxiety, feeding schedule, etc. play a much greater role in bloat than elevated dishes.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:31 PM   #33 (permalink)
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here's my 2 cents... our dogs - Dobes, GSD's, a Bernese, a Dane or 2, several Boxers, 2 GSP's, a Whippet and more, over the course of about 60 years, have all eaten from raised food bowls. my grandfather (yes, the same one who had some of the first Dobermanns ever to exist in Germany) taught us all to use raised dishes, to relieve forward pressure on their toes. we have never had a single case of bloat/torsion/volvulus.

remember that in nature, canines bring down a large animal then 'dine' on the carcass standing up - but the animal is not flat to the ground - most of it is well off ground level... and when eating ground-level parts - or if they catch something small - they will often lay down to chomp on it, or just scarf it down standing, head at neutral position. standing with head lowered to ground level is NOT the normal position for a dog to eat unless it has learned that position, or is scavenging and fearful.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:46 PM   #34 (permalink)
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here's my 2 cents... our dogs - Dobes, GSD's, a Bernese, a Dane or 2, several Boxers, 2 GSP's, a Whippet and more, over the course of about 60 years, have all eaten from raised food bowls. my grandfather (yes, the same one who had some of the first Dobermanns ever to exist in Germany) taught us all to use raised dishes, to relieve forward pressure on their toes. we have never had a single case of bloat/torsion/volvulus.

remember that in nature, canines bring down a large animal then 'dine' on the carcass standing up - but the animal is not flat to the ground - most of it is well off ground level... and when eating ground-level parts - or if they catch something small - they will often lay down to chomp on it, or just scarf it down standing, head at neutral position. standing with head lowered to ground level is NOT the normal position for a dog to eat unless it has learned that position, or is scavenging and fearful.
I was thinking about this point ALL day at work. Plus, I have never heard of a dog having bloated due to eating from an elevated dish. I too, am not dismissing the study, but you can have a dog lay down and bloat... It just doesn't make sense.

I also would like to avoid Megaesophagus... I do not want my 90lb dobie in a giant highchair for meals (bless the people who have dealt or are currently dealing with that!)
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:53 PM   #35 (permalink)
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However, the studies are there. Raised feeding increasing the risk factor for bloat. For anyone that has a breed that is more predisposed to it, why on earth would they knowingly choose to do it anyway unless the dog had a condition problem that required it?
Any dog can bloat. I saw cocker mix that bloated in the middle of the night. It was old and could barely walk- I just don't understand HOW elevated food dished can play a role in bloat.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:21 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Any dog can bloat. I saw cocker mix that bloated in the middle of the night. It was old and could barely walk- I just don't understand HOW elevated food dished can play a role in bloat.
Well yeah, obviously any dog can bloat. Just like any dog can get heart disease (or any other disease for that matter), not just the breeds that are predisposed to it. That is common knowledge.

Again, I think you are missing the point of the studies - raised dishes may not CAUSE bloat, but it may increase the RISK of bloat. Two different things.

And to me, increasing the risk of anything undesirable is not on my list of things to tempt fate with, so I will continue feeding at ground level, thank you very much
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:29 AM   #37 (permalink)
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With horses, I would never excercise an hour either side of feeding and I.do the same with my dogs. I would feel uncomfortable myself if I excercised after eating a big meal,and I wouldn't want to eat straight after.
How often does everyone feed? I was told just once years ago,but now some people say twice. I have never ( touch wood) had a dog with bloat or a horse with colic. But got a new pup coming and interested in learning best practice. Also feeding regime for pups.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:43 AM   #38 (permalink)
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I feed with elevated food bowls, because I asked a long time doberman owner and he said it helps with their necks. This may just be his thoughts, but he had never lost one of his many dobes or danes to bloat because of eating from a raised food dish.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:02 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I'm sure glad I read this. Just recently the vet had recommended the raised feeding dishes or putting rocks (big enough not to swallow) or something in the dish to slow down the gulping of food. I had always heard that dogs the size of Dobies or bigger SHOULD eat out of a raised dish.
However, when I had Kiss spayed I had them do a surgery that tacked her stomach wall to her ribs or something like that to keep her stomach from flipping .
I am also careful to TRY to keep her calm after eating. It doesn't always happen, but I do keep it to a minimum.
Again, I'm glad I read this. I was thinking about having something built that would raise her feeding dish. Not happening now. Thanks for the good info!
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:44 AM   #40 (permalink)
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I'm sure glad I read this. Just recently the vet had recommended the raised feeding dishes or putting rocks (big enough not to swallow) or something in the dish to slow down the gulping of food. I had always heard that dogs the size of Dobies or bigger SHOULD eat out of a raised dish.
However, when I had Kiss spayed I had them do a surgery that tacked her stomach wall to her ribs or something like that to keep her stomach from flipping .
I am also careful to TRY to keep her calm after eating. It doesn't always happen, but I do keep it to a minimum.
Again, I'm glad I read this. I was thinking about having something built that would raise her feeding dish. Not happening now. Thanks for the good info!
Everyone to their own about this buying of special feeding bowls to prevent gulping of food. I just don't feel the need when I can find a heavy glass or an enamel baking dish that is rarely used right there in one of my kitchen cabinets to use. It just has to big enough for the food to spread out so the dog can't grab big mouthfuls.

That's just me, tho, always been a problem solver.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:02 PM   #41 (permalink)
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I have (possibly) averted bloat several times by using Gas-X when distension appeared for no good reason or the dog was uncomfortable and obviously in distress. I have not experienced torsion and can attribute the problem in each of those cases to food treats for training (which is why I now use as close as possible to what they normally eat as a treat too - I feed raw). I have one of those kits ready made up with the wooden mouth bar and hole thru the middle to thread the tube down etc. and all the instructions (courtesy of the Great Dane Lady) but (knock on wood) I have not had to use it.

I have tube fed lambs and know how to do this (I smoothed off the ends of the tube for my dogs and melted the ends a bit so they are rounded etc.). Yoda eats ridiculous things because he is always hungry and has some health issues and we have been to the Vet twice for bloat without any need for intervention (since I pop in a Gas-X at the least hint of trouble). ER Vets have told me that I did the right thing and prevented serious trouble each time I have done this. Never sit back and wait - if you suspect bloat, Gas-X and get to the Vet immediately - don't wait.

EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE GAS-X IN THEIR MEDICINE CUPBOARD AND CAR and not be afraid to use it. You do NOT want to see a dog in bloat - so painful. Dogs have been known to chew off the knob of a gear stick in a car due to the pain.

[/rant]
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:27 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Meant to include that torsion causes the pain when the stomach twists, not the bloat per se. That is uncomfortable, the torsion is the real pain maker. Just saw that I hadn't been very clear.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:27 PM   #43 (permalink)
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My rescue just posted this on fb and thought I'd share:

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Old 01-07-2013, 03:56 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vivienne00 View Post
I have (possibly) averted bloat several times by using Gas-X
How many Gas-X did you use? I do keep some on hand, but not sure if the human dose is the same for people. The human dose is 1-2 tabs. I think I have the extra strength ones.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Funny coincidence, I got my copy of AKC's Family Dog today, and there is an article (short, but informative) about bloat. Did you know that bloat is prevelant in guinea pigs?
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