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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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Bloat in Dobermans

I'm looking at purchasing a doberman puppy in a few months, and I've been doing some research about doberman health issues. Bloat sounds really scary, and I was wondering whether it was very common among healthy dobermans? What can you do to prevent it? One website said that heavy exercise before or after eating can cause it. Is this true?
Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 05:37 AM
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Gastric dilatation-volvulus | Canine Inherited Disorders Database | University of Prince Edward Island

Raw fed dogs also seem to be at a lower risk for bloat as well.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 08:48 AM
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I've heard that, but I also know raw fed dogs who have died from bloat when their stomachs were empty (fast day) or after eating a raw meal, so remember that raw is not a cure-all or a miracle drug

Personally, I have been terrified of bloat after experiencing it in a much beloved childhood dog (GSD) and I take great steps to prevent it. Heavy exercise after eating is thought to be one of the factors, as is allowing the dog to guzzle large amounts of water after exercise. Stress and diet also play a role in bloat. In the end, though, there is no one solid "cause" of bloat, but many factors that can contribute to it and heighten risk.

Creed eats a raw diet, several small meals throughout the day instead of one large one, and rests for 30 minutes after eating any larger meals (usually his dinner meal). His access to water is unrestricted but if he is gulping I will call him off of it/distract him. If he needs to go under for any reason when he's closer to adult size, I will consider the possibility of tacking his stomach. In truth he may not need all of these precautions, but to me better safe than sorry. I've been through bloat with one dog already. I don't want to repeat the experience.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 11:16 AM
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I know when Kris has been racing around outside (usually because she is trying to make the deer on the other side of the fence leave) she will come into the house and start to drink and keep drinking if I do not say that is enough. She will then stop and walk away and not go back to drink again. She has water outside at all times and does not seem to do that when she is drinking outside.

I have had big dogs, Ridgebacks, Greyhounds, Bernese cross and never seemed to hear anything about bloat years ago. My niece lost one of their Hounds from bloat a few months ago and she had not been just fed and was in a dog run so not racing around. They got her to the Vet right away but still lost her.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 11:42 AM
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Any of the larger breeds with deep chests (which allow the stomach to rotate more easily if the dog bloats) at at some risk for bloat and torsion. It's usually torsion that kills.

I've had mostly Dobes since 1959 and have never had one bloat--I couldn't really tell you why not. But it's worth knowing a couple of things about bloat--there is a tendency for it to run in families and older dogs are more likely to bloat than younger dogs.

And just to screw up statistics--we had a cat come in to the clinic where I work, who had bloated. We have vets with 35 years of experience (and one whose father was also a vet) and young vets that we hired right out of vet school as recently as 5 years ago and not one of them had ever seen nor heard of a cat bloating. We talked to heads of surgery at three different vet schools and it seems that cats do occasionally bloat but it's so rare that there is almost no literature on it.

The possibility of bloat has never been enough to scare me off Dobes and while you tend to hear more about it today than in the past I think that's more a product of the Internet than any actual increase in the number of cases in any given year.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 03:06 PM
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Like dobebug said, there is some suggestion that the tendency to bloat may have a genetic predisposition, so knowing the pedigree of your dog is a good idea.

Both of my dogs had preventative gastropexies (stomach tacks). My female when she was spayed (which is easy); my male when he was neutered, as he had a retained testicle and had to have an invasive surgery anyway. While it doesn't prevent bloat, it does provide at least some extra help as it prevents torsion. It makes me feel a bit better about it.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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So if exercising after meals can cause bloat, how long should you wait? And what is stomach tacking? Is it a common thing to do?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2014, 06:45 PM
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We buy some of Kelly's supplies from the following US business, that we can't find locally.
In reviewing the naturesfarmacy web site - found the following bloat information, rather interesting:
- anyone here, gives their dobe Probiotics ?

************************************************** *************************

Probiotics...Where It All Started | Natures Farmacy Inc.
Since the early 1980’s, Nature’s Farmacy, Inc. has literally pioneered the search to understand how PROBIOTICS work in canines, felines and carnivores. We have been accompanied on this journey by the greatest customers any business could hope to have. Thru the years, our customers have been willing to give us their trust and help us go down the path to find better and safer ways to feed dogs and cats.

They were willing to give us the feedback we needed to determine effective ways to use probiotics in our animals. Our mission began in an effort to find a way to reduce bloat and gastric dilatation volvulus in dogs. Having owned, shown and bred Great Danes for the last 45 years, we have a vested interest in finding safer ways to manage our dogs in regards to gastric problems or emergencies. This was our initial goal.

It became obvious from the beginning of our business in working with these products, that probiotics and enzymes had great potential to improve the health in our animals in so many ways. We have worked all these years to bring recognition to the benefits of probiotics to dogs and cats, and even humans.

Only in recent years have others begun to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that has accumulated.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by falcondobe View Post
So if exercising after meals can cause bloat, how long should you wait? And what is stomach tacking? Is it a common thing to do?
I err on the side of caution & wait at least 2 hours after eating before I exercise my boy. I don't let him zoom around like an idiot straight after eating either. I've done this with all 4 dobes I've had, touch wood I've never had to deal with bloat.

Stomach tacking/Gastropexy is where the stomach is surgically attached to the abdominal wall preventing it from twisting if they do bloat.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-02-2014, 01:43 PM
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There is exercise and then there is exercise. Walking, for instance, stimulates normal gastro activity. There is nothing wrong with a dog walking after it has eaten. It's like people who go for a walk after a big meal. It helps to move things along. Ideally, you want a dog to poop after his meal and release some gas at the same time, and going for a walk is probably going to ensure that happens. I personally think it's not good for them to sit around like beached whales after a meal. IMO, bloat is more likely to happen in that situation. I think people take the word "exercise" too literally.

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