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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-07-2017 07:48 AM
MeadowCat Excellent post, Mel!

To the OP - really, it boils down to what you and your vet are comfortable with. Best of luck making this decision!
04-07-2017 12:12 AM
melbrod Raising food dish, soaking dry kibble? There have been studies done that come to the conclusion that those practices may INCREASE the risk for bloat.

Fairly recent consensus about risk factors for bloat include: genetic predisposition (close relatives who have bloated), nervous temperament, stress, possible IBD, breeds with deep chests and the age of the dog--the risk increases as they get older.

Recommendations that I have seen about bloat say that IF your dog is a breed at high risk of developing bloat, and more importantly, IF there is history of bloat in the dog’s bloodline, you should definitely consider having a gastropexy done on the dog at the time of spaying.

Really what all this amounts to is that nobody really knows what causes bloating and there are a lot of theories out there.

But here is information from a study done about 2000 by Dr. Glick of Purdue University which often gets quoted. It is a correlation study, analyzing statistics of dogs that have bloated and finding factors that they have in common. The study has its flaws, but it seems to be about the best information we have at this point.

"Recent studies are shedding more light on gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), otherwise known as bloat. GDV is the second leading cause of death in large-breed (50 - 99 pounds) and giant-breed (100 pounds and over) dogs. Approximately one in four large- breed dogs and one in five giant-breed dogs may develop GDV during their lifetime, with some breeds at even higher lifetime risk. GDV strikes suddenly and has a mortality rate as high as 30 percent. In GDV there is a rapid accumulation of air in the stomach, causing distention and often rotation of the stomach, cutting off blood supply at both ends and causing the dog to go into shock. GDV is an acute emergency and rushing the dog to immediate veterinary care is essential. The risk of a dog developing GDV increases with age. Other factors that increase a dog's risk are having a first-generation relative with a history of GDV, having a deep and narrow chest or abdomen, being thin, experiencing a major health problem before age 1, and having a fearful or nervous temperament.

Research primarily at Purdue University by Dr. Larry Glickman, VMD, Ph.D, (an AKC Excellence in Canine Research Award winner), and Dr. Malathi Raghavan, DVM, Ph.D. has identified a number of feeding management and dietary factors that increase the risk of GDV. These include eating only one meal a day, feeding only dry dog food, feeding food with only small particles, and feeding a large volume of food per meal. Other feeding factors found to increase the risk of GDV were eating rapidly, increased physical activity before and eating, restricting a dog's water intake before and after eating, moistening dry food before feeding, and eating from a raised feeding bowl. Thus, some of the recommendations commonly made to prevent GDV were shown by the research to actually increase the risk of GDV. In the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 17, No. 10, Glickman wrote, "In addition, in univariate analysises, many of the recommendations commonly made to prevent GDV, such as raising the food bowl, moistening dry food prior to feeding, and restricting water intake before and after feeding, were associated with a significantly increased risk of GDV."....

* Feed two or more meals a day
* Feed no more than one cup per 33 pounds of body weight per meal when feeding two meals a day
* Feed an energy-dense diet, to reduce volume, but avoid a diet where a high amount of calories are from fats.
* Feed a variety of different food types regularly. The inclusion of human foods in a primarily dry dog food diet was associated with a 59 percent decreased risk of GDV while inclusion of canned pet foods was associated with a 28 percent decreased risk
* When feeding dry food, also include foods with sufficient amounts of meats and meat meals, for example: beef, lamb, poultry, and fish.
* Feed a food with larger particles, and include larger pieces of meat to the diet.
* Avoid moistening dry foods
• If your dog eats rapidly, find ways to try to reduce his speed of eating
* Avoid raising the food bowl - place it at ground level
* Try to minimize stress for your dog. Stressful events have been reported to be precipitating factors in GDV occurrence.
* Restrict vigorous exercise one hour before and two hours after meals.
* When you are not in close proximity to your dog, use a baby monitor to alert you if your dog is in distress.
* Learn to recognize signs of GDV, which include pacing and restlessness, head turning to look at the abdomen, distention of the abdomen, rapid shallow breathing, nonproductive attempts at vomiting, and salivation. These symptoms can progress rapidly to shock and death. Get to your veterinarian or emergency hospital the moment you suspect GDV.”

A more recent study (published 2012) (which again correlates factors associated with bloat and also relies on owners’ memories) indicates that elevating the bowl had NO effect, positive or negative, on a dog’s risk of developing bloat. There is further talk that feeding dry dog food could play a role in bloat--that perhaps there is less risk when you add other foods to the dry food, and that moistening dry dog food that contains citric acid might be harmful, but....again....

No one really knows exactly what causes a dog to bloat, or how to prevent it.
04-06-2017 10:54 PM
dhk12300 Unless your pup has had bloat or comes from parents who r prone to it, find a new vet who cares more for the life time discomfort caused by stapling your pup's stomach to her ribs than the money that can be made off of it.
My vet STRONGLY DISCOURAGES this surgery unless there is a real hereditary disposition. Doc says nowadays both his ER and specialty clinic and his regular practice (employing 4 other full time vets) rarely see bloat anymore. Most owners now know enough to soak dry dog food in hot water while it expands in a bowl. Rather than in a dog's stomach. And to use raised dog bowls for large breeds. Refer to Doberman Pinscher Rescue and Referral of Michigan for practical bloat prevention measures. We've come a long way from throwing dry food in a bowl and putting it down on the ground.
I would never do something to my dogs that I would not do to myself. I would never have my stomach stapled to my ribs unless it was absolutely necessary. Would u ?
My vet is Dr. Monica, Oakland Animal Hospital. Best vet in the world ! Good luck with your little girl.
04-05-2017 01:21 PM
merenwenrago If you value your puppies life I would do the surgery no matter what the cost, if it prevents something bad down the line.
04-05-2017 10:03 AM
ronaldwrutledge Do the gystroplexy !!!!!
04-04-2017 10:39 PM
StrykersPerson Don't make me say it...

A Hemi burns way more gas...

There, I said i!

Didn't say which one was faster...

Where is my ornery icon?

04-04-2017 10:34 PM
melbrod I have a dog that has bloated---multiple times. The first time, his stomach twisted--he started showing symptoms at about 3AM. We were lucky to notice his discomfort and got him to the emergency vet (at a high rate of speed--a torsion can kill quickly.) He went to surgery and fortunately survived. While they were there, they did a gastropexy. Since then, he has bloated something like 7 times, but because his stomach could not twist, we just had to deal with the massive gas buildup--still an emergency intensive care situation, but we had more time to get him to the vet for treatment.

Turns out he has Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which we think is the reason for his many bloats--he’s been one heck of an expensive dog.

When I got my girl, after having had so much trouble with my guy, I went ahead and had her stomach pexy’d while she was being spayed. I’ve always been glad I did; knowing she was pexy’d went a good way toward relieving my mind of the worry that she might bloat suddenly in the middle of the night, and that we would not catch it in time to save her. And even though we never knew whether or not she *would* have bloated, the cost of the gastropexy was known--we could plan for it. Much cheaper than emergency treatment and surgery would have been--and we didn’t have the panic of suddenly having to come up with a lot of money all at once.

There is some thought that there is a hereditary component to bloat. If you know your dog’s breeder, you can ask if there is any bloat history in her bloodlines. That may give you a better idea if the surgery is worth it for you.
04-04-2017 10:05 PM
StrykersPerson I hope you have a pair of boxing gloves.

Where have you been?

Stop That Johnny!
04-04-2017 10:03 PM
Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
LOL Denny! When you drive gas hogs like you and I do, you have to be willing to pay the freight cost.


You are a trouble maker.

Oh Yeah?

04-04-2017 09:30 PM
4x4bike ped
Originally Posted by StrykersPerson View Post
Plus, A LOT of gasoline!
LOL Denny! When you drive gas hogs like you and I do, you have to be willing to pay the freight cost.


04-04-2017 08:51 PM
StrykersPerson Plus, A LOT of gasoline!
04-04-2017 08:48 PM
StrykersPerson That bill was $1,600!
04-04-2017 08:42 PM
StrykersPerson Myjack,

Originally Posted by Myjack View Post
I took my 6-1/2 mo old pup in to the vet, for pre surgical (Spay) blood test, nd she is trying to sell me an additional procedure to, if I understand correctly, stitch her stomach in place so it can't re-position in a possibly fatal blockage.

Is this a real concern?

Thank you,

I forgot to look when you joined. My apologies. Forgive me if I am repeating myself.

My Rat Terrier, Princess Lily, was bit multiple times by a Copperhead. We broke the sound barrier getting her to my favorite Vet and he immediately sent us to an ER vet. We broke the sound barrier again, were put in a room, and waited for the financial adviser to advise us on the cost of just giving her immediate relief and then start treatment. Lily was assessed immediately and then I had to cough up the money, if I wanted her pain to end. All the while, my brief vet consultations were interrupted by the vet having to leave because someone's beloved pet was crashing. So, I hope you see the worth of paying the price. I'm sure the Vets weren't having a great day. I don't mind paying Vets. They have a stressful career, in my opinion.
04-04-2017 01:42 PM
Rosemary Spay incontinence can be a concern. However, not all spayed bitches develop incontinence, and not all incontinent bitches are spayed. Male dogs, neutered or not, can also have incontinence problems.

This is my experience with spayed bitches:
Shetland Sheepdog mix- spayed at 6 months, before first heat, became incontinent at around 11 or 12, lived to 15.
Australian Cattle Dog mix- spayed at six months, before first heat, never incontinent, lived to be 11.
Doberman Pinscher mix- spayed at 18 months, during first heat, lost bladder and bowel control due to vestibular syndrome at 14, lived to 8 days shy of 15.
Mutt (Xolo?)- spayed at 9 months, before first heat, no incontinence, currently 7.
German Shepherd Dog- spayed at 14 months after one heat, no incontinence, currently 5.
American Pit Bull Terrier (ADBA type)- spayed at 20(ish) months after at least 2 cycles, no incontinence, will be three this month.

So, out of my admittedly small sample size of six, I've had one that I would consider as becoming incontinent due to being spayed. I don't consider the Dobe mix's incontinence spay related, but rather as the result of the vestibular syndrome.

Based on research that shows that altering later rather than sooner can have health benefits, I'll probably allow any future bitches to go through at least one season, if possible.
04-04-2017 09:31 AM
Myjack Hello,

Several responses, thank you.
The Vet is VCA, my favorite vet there, I trust and if I ever need more than basic services - I hope she's in office. The rest of the staff seems competent and concerned too. But seems to be more billing oriented

The staff recommends spaying prior to first heet cycle, for a lower incidence of mammary cancer.

I have had 1 rescue girl that had life long incontinentince issues attributed to early/ill preformed spay. I like the dogs able to get on my bed, so anything I can do to avoid that issue af=gain, I would do.

They promote a year long program that includes all vaccinations - except heart worm, and spay with all blood work etc. Total cost is about $850. Males are cheaper.

I never buy insurance on things I can fix. I can't fix my dogs. Good health and nutrition go a long ways, but some things are better learned from others.

I called the vet and postponed the surgery for now, I can save up a little - insurance, car repairs and the washer quit this month - thank the powers nobody is sick.
04-03-2017 09:07 AM
JenBo21 I had my 3 year old bitch spayed two weeks ago today. I also requested that they tack her stomach while they had her opened up. It makes for a bit longer of an incision but she healed nicely. She had her staples out yesterday and we've been cleared to go back to strength training and agility training (jumping low bars for a couple of weeks).

I am very glad we did the stomach tack because it could save her life one day if she were to bloat.

I would be most concerned about spaying a bitch so young. I would want my dogs to be physically mature before I think about altering them.
04-03-2017 07:06 AM
rjohnsontx I had a lab-Dane mix who bloated on a drive from VA to TX -- he hadn't been running around crazy after eating a significant amount of food or any of the other behaviors that could contribute. He was just a large chested dog who was undergoing some environmental stress (not the first or last time that we'd made that drive). Thankfully, the friend I was staying with was friends with a vet who immediately read the signs and got us to an emergency vet who performed surgery to untwist his gutt and remove his spleen (had been crushed when his stomach flipped). This was 15 years ago, but I paid over $2000 for that surgery and lost years off my life with the panic I experienced once I learned what was going on and what his chances for recovery were. Anyway, you need to make the best decision for yourself, but I absolutely have the procedure done whenever it's offered now. Two weeks is a crummy recovery time, but recovering (or not recovering) from bloat is horrifying. The issue that you don't trust your vet's advice is a separate -- and definitely concerning -- one.
04-01-2017 10:40 PM
Busytown I can't say one way or another, but have something to note. In college I cleaned houses to help cover expenses and cleaned for a family who had a ridgeback that had emergency surgery for torsion. Afterwards he was prone to vomiting things up, rather then passing them. Not sure if it was good or bad, it was things inadvisable to eat anyway, like plums that fell off their tree. Apparently he didn't have an issue with them presurgry. Don't know what the cause of the torsion was, but for what it is worth it didn't happen during plum season...
04-01-2017 02:56 PM
MeadowCat You should never feel like your vet is trying to "sell" you a procedure.

Aside from that, I *personally* have my girls' gastropexied (stomach tacked) when spayed, as I think the risk of bloat is high enough that I want the extra protection afforded by the gastropexy. While it doesn't prevent bloat, it does prevent the torsion (stomach twisting) that is a serious risk of death when a dog bloats. The gastropexy will buy you extra time to get medical attention if your dog bloats. Others may disagree and that's fine, but for me, it's worth the extra money and the extra trouble with the longer recovery time.
04-01-2017 10:55 AM
atomic Myjack, do you by any chance use Banfield? Nine years ago I used them for my pit, same thing monthly fee for a year with shots spay and discounted vet visit costs. Mine was considerably less however, about $20 per month as opposed to $75. It was a good deal and worked for me at the time however when it came time for her spay the stitches were loosely done and she bled continuously soaking bandages. I had to rush her to the vet ER, crying, and I won't even get into my experience with the vet at the ER they were horrible and I spent every last cent I had for them to wrap her up tight and say good luck. Thankfully it did coagulate and she has been my best friend all these years since. I suppose my point is beware of the vets that work at a place like that, perfect for routine stuff but not as reliable when it comes to more involved procedures. Even if I was an advocate of cosmetic surgeries, it takes a skilled vet to properly crop and this is the last place I'd have it done. If you are worried about your other dog chewing on his ears now, imagine if they were all bloodied and sore wrapped up. If you can't prevent your dogs ears from being chewed on to the point of requiring stitches, also be aware a crop is much more pricey.
04-01-2017 06:56 AM
StrykersPerson In my humble opinion, I, generally, follow the vets' recommendations. Are they going to work to make money? Sure! We all go to work to make money.

I really like my current vet and heed his advice. I've sent a co-worker to him, who has referred others to him, even though he's on the expensive side. My co-worker's partner is a nurse, and she REALLY liked my vet!

Fortunately, for me, I've had nothing but good luck with my Dobes.

I sell cars, and I really suggest an extended warranty, for that piece of crap you chose to buy from me!


04-01-2017 12:40 AM
4x4bike ped @Myjack :

Gastropexy not Gastroplexy.

03-31-2017 11:14 PM
Rosemary KStomach tacking isn't a "routine" surgery. When I asked my vet about it for my GSD, it was three times what the spay was. And yes, the recovery time for a gastropexy is actually longer than for a spay. I opted to not have the gastropexy. I hope that decision never comes back to bite me.

Heartworm medications vary greatly in price. You can get generic ivermectin based prevention for as little as $20 for six months. If you go with a milbimycin based medication, you'll be paying more. Also, since a Doberman does a LOT of growing in their first year, the proper dosage for a four month old won't be the proper dosage for a fourteen month old.

Ears... Well as much as I prefer natural ears, I do understand why most reputable breeders have their​ litters cropped by someone who knows what they are doing.
03-31-2017 10:58 PM
Myjack I found the staple thread.
Lucy is generally calm with sessions of high exertion - wraseling and playing with Boo. Both of them get pretty busy.
The vet spoke of 2 week plus recovery, that's not going to be an easy sell.

I signed up for a 1 year puppy program that covers all vaccinations, tests and spay for $75 a month for a year - and every time I go in, they still hit me with an up-sell.
Heart worm - Oh, that is extra, and since I have all this money, I should consider stomach stapling. It's a little bit more.

But when I asked about doing her ears, I was some monster for mutilating my dog. (and now, those floppy ears are great handles for Boo to bite and grab - and a potential revenue source for the vet. to stitch up.)
03-31-2017 10:45 PM
4x4bike ped Hi Myjack

The procedure you are referring to is called Gastroplexy. It is generally done during the situation that you are noting.. while spaying a bitch or perhaps dealing with a testicle of a male which has not dropped and needs to be removed. Still, some folks elect to have the procedure done independently.

Dobermans as a breed are prone to bloat. In the worst cases, it involves torsion of the stomach. Gastroplexy adheres the stomach in a way that it is less likely to twist.

Owning a boy who's sire died of torsion, I have made it a point to study the symptoms of bloat and torsion.

This is something that you should research on your own and make the final determination. The main detriment to Gastroplexy is that the dog must be put under during the procedure. (It is also an invasive surgery) Yet, since your girl will already be under for the spay, it may simply be a matter of both expense and the possible benefit that you may feel is afforded after understanding the issue.

Portland OR

Edit to say: I am not a vet. Just a long time Doberman owner who is interested in maintaining my boys' health
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