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I've been doing A LOT of research on GDV, and I wondered how many people here have had issues with their Dobermans and bloat.

I've read that there could be a genetic predisposition, so I spoke to the breeder and she said only one dog in my pup's pedigree (great grandfather) was affected with bloat. Also, I've been doing research about how to decrease risks of bloat such as non-raised food/water bowls, no exercise right before/after meals, etc. Is there any other bloat prevention tips anyone knows of?

I guess I'm a worry-wart, but I've been considering a prophylactic gastropexy as the time of neuter. For those who aren't familiar with the terms, prophylactic = preventative, gastropexy = stomach tacking. I know it would be more practical to have it done with a female because they're "already in there" for the spay, but I dunno, gastric torsion really worries me. It's just something that I would rather prevent than to deal with an emergency situation in which he'd have to have an emergency gastropexy anyway, or may not even live. I know that a gastropexy doesn't prevent the actual bloat, but it does prevent the deadly torsion.

I've talked to the newer doctors at my veterinary practice, and they said that vet students are now being encouraged to educate owners about prophylactic gastropexies at the time of spay/neuter in breeds at increased risk. And more and more vets are performing prophylactic gastropexies than ever before. Have any of your vets discussed this with new Dobe puppy owners?

What are your thoughts on Dobes and bloat, and prophylactic gastopexies?
 

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Actually I think I've heard that the raised food bowls may do nothing to prevent bloat. Seems to me Kim, our resident vet, mentioned something about it at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually I think I've heard that the raised food bowls may do nothing to prevent bloat. Seems to me Kim, our resident vet, mentioned something about it at some point.
It was non-raised food bowls that I've heard are better. Seems like all the research I've done has advised against raised bowls - supposedly because they gulp too much air...? Thanks for the reply. :)
 

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It was non-raised food bowls that I've heard are better. Seems like all the research I've done has advised against raised bowls - supposedly because they gulp too much air...? Thanks for the reply. :)
Okay, knew it was something ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great links, thanks! :D
 

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I plan to do it to my dog when he is neutered (end of summer at the latest) Bloat is pretty scary and I have taken Rom to the vet more than once to have him "check" and just tell me I’m crazy. We had a dog at our Schutzhund Club die of bloat last year. All she could say about it was how fast it happened.

I don’t buy into the raised dishes for bloat (I do have raised dishes, but it is not for that reason) I just watch their food AND water intake before and after exercise. Enough water to wet their mouth until they have cooled off. During the summer I put out a bowl of Ice Cubes, that way they have to chew them.
 

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hmmm that is a neat bowl....i wonder if they have a stainless steel one...were not too fond of plastics :) duchess has a large stainless steel bowl already...an insert would be nice
 

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Isabelle is the slowest eater ever. It takes her at least 5 minutes or more to finish her breakfast. I can toast & butter my bagel & eat most of it before she's done. She doesn't always eat all her breakfast - she'll save some for later. She layed down and ate her dinner tonight. It took her about 10 minutes to eat a cup or so of kibble. She's a nibbler. I guess since she's always been an only dog she has never had any competition for food so she doesn't seem to rush. When we get back from our walks - she'll take a few drinks of her water and lay on the tile for awhile and cool off before she drinks more. I never worried too much about bloat with her because she is such a slow eater.
 

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I talked to my Vet about it when I set Mensa up for spaying. She said she would be happy to do it, and she has done them before. But she said, like any surgery, there are risks to it. I decided not to go for it.

Mensa's vet has Dobermans herself, so I trust her judgement on all things Doberman. She said it would be a good idea if Mensa had a large chest (like Mavis did), but our risk of bloat isn't so high.

Mensa is the slowest eater I have ever seen. She will kick the food out of her bowl, and eat it one piece at a time off the floor. She eats every piece off the floor before she kicks out another handful.

When she gets down to the bottom of the dish she will lay down next to the bowl and eat laying down.
 

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I have lost one to bloat that torsed (other things going on as well), and it did run in her background. When it happened to Malley, it was first thing in the morning and she had not had anything to eat or drink and was not or had not been exercising. Riggs is tacked and I plan to also have Kylee done when she is spayed. With any surgery there are risks, but for me it is one less thing to have to worry about since it can be a life or death race to the vet. I have had too many friends, some with dobes and some with different breeds that bloated, one as early as 6 months.
 
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Isabelle is the slowest eater ever. It takes her at least 5 minutes or more to finish her breakfast. I can toast & butter my bagel & eat most of it before she's done. She doesn't always eat all her breakfast - she'll save some for later. She layed down and ate her dinner tonight. It took her about 10 minutes to eat a cup or so of kibble. She's a nibbler. I guess since she's always been an only dog she has never had any competition for food so she doesn't seem to rush. When we get back from our walks - she'll take a few drinks of her water and lay on the tile for awhile and cool off before she drinks more. I never worried too much about bloat with her because she is such a slow eater.
Rudi is the same way. I usually put 2 cups of kibble in his bowl in the morning. He will usually eat about 3/4 of a cup and leave about 1 1/4 cups in the bowl. So by the time I get home from work he hasn't touched anymore of it. He seems to like to eat mostly right before bedtime. I probably need to put out only 1 cup in the am. He was just soo sooo skinny when I got him so I guess I feel the need to always have food available for him. Even when I am getting his food ready, he sits and watches but when I put it down he surely isn't scarfing it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the replies. I was about 80% sure I was going to have the gastropexy done when I get him neutered, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being overly cautious. But since other Dobe owners have done it, or are planning on doing it with their own dogs, I feel more confident that it's a good decision.

Even though there are increased risks since the surgery will be longer, I will be assisting in the surgery myself, so at least I won't be off wondering how he's doing... so at least that's a good thing. I'll be having a doctor that I know who does lots of prophylactic gastropexies doing it, so I'm confident in the technique.

Thanks again for your input :)
 

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Thanks for the replies. I was about 80% sure I was going to have the gastropexy done when I get him neutered, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being overly cautious. But since other Dobe owners have done it, or are planning on doing it with their own dogs, I feel more confident that it's a good decision.

Even though there are increased risks since the surgery will be longer, I will be assisting in the surgery myself, so at least I won't be off wondering how he's doing... so at least that's a good thing. I'll be having a doctor that I know who does lots of prophylactic gastropexies doing it, so I'm confident in the technique.

Thanks again for your input :)



My dobe had her stomach tacked during the spay.. it went fine.

Good decision, imho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, lyngr :)
 
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