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View Full Version : ATTN large dog owners!!!


sk8salomon
04-09-2008, 11:03 PM
just wanted to let you guys know about a condition called "canine bloat". My 4 year old healthy german shepherd sadly passed away on monday. My wife called me at work to tell me he "charlie" was throwing up outside and acting strange. This wasn't an uncommon thing for charlie because often he would eat junk and make himself throw up, later feeling much better. It was a typical busy monday and i just told her to make sure he had plenty of food and water available and that he would pass it and later feel better. She called me later to let me know she had put him outside on his leash and left to run some errands. She called me back about 3:00 and said she found him dead next to his dog house. I don't want to scare anybody here but if I could help at least one person diagnose a problem, it would make me feel so much better. Charlie had every single one of the symptoms, I just had never heard of such a thing and didn't know what to do.
RIP Charlie and thanks for the great times at the lake! You will be missed for sure!

Here's the link. http://personal.uncc.edu/jvanoate/k9/bloatfaq.htm

KnoxX2
04-09-2008, 11:08 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss. I am sure he was a great part of your family.

ski_king
04-09-2008, 11:11 PM
You have my condolences.

Thank you for the heads up on canine bloat.

sk8salomon
04-09-2008, 11:11 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss. I am sure he was a great part of your family.

thanks knox, i just can't believe how fast it happened. i keep blaming myself for not coming home but the vet said by then it would have been too late.

6ballsisall
04-09-2008, 11:19 PM
Man thats horrible. Very sorry to hear about it and sending my condolences to you.

uawaterskier
04-10-2008, 12:44 AM
so sorry to hear about charlie

ProStar Slalom
04-10-2008, 06:42 AM
Same thing happened to our 13 year old hound last fall. My wife had previously worked at a vet clinic and picked up on the symptoms very quickly. We rushed her to the vet and her stomach had already completely turned....would have required a major surgery with a 30% chance.....couldn't do it to a 13 yo dog. No reason for it to happen; she had been free-fed forever and never sucked down a huge meal. Sometimes these things just happen. Sorry to hear about yours....

sk8salomon
04-10-2008, 07:04 AM
thanks guys, charlie was a "free-fed" dog too so he never really chowed down to make his stomach upset. We just recently had a baby boy and he happened to be crying a lot that day so I wonder if that had anything to do with it? Thanks again all, just thought I'd educate some of you who have never heard of it like myself.

bigmac
04-10-2008, 07:21 AM
I'm very sorry about Charlie. This is a pretty well-known problem called gastric volvulus. It happens in humans too, but is more common in dogs because of the anatomy of their stomachs. The stomach, usually if overfull, actually flips over on itself between its two primary attachments at the diaphragm and at the duodenum. It then can twist off its blood supply and perforate. Nasty business.

JohnE
04-10-2008, 07:28 AM
sk8, sorry to hear about your dog. I know it's heartwrenching to go through.

2RLAKE
04-10-2008, 07:29 AM
very sorry to hear ... same thing happened a few years ago to Ruger, my 5 year old German Shorthair Pointer ... he died while we were on vacation

TheOneandOnly
04-10-2008, 08:28 AM
I wish your family well. Bloat in my situation would be very hard to tell since all the symptoms are typical of our mastiff breed...

I know how hard it is to loose a dog since we just lost one last month, he died from being struck from multiple cars on the hwy. :(

RIP:Timber 3-12-08

chudson
04-10-2008, 08:38 AM
So sorry to hear about your pup, they do become a big part of our families!!!

edit: Good information, Thankyou jkski (below)

jkski
04-10-2008, 09:01 AM
Very sorry to hear about your loss, my wife and I lost our first Great Dane in the very same way. "Bloat" or "Torsion" is very common in these large breeds as their chest cavity is very large in comparrison to the size of the stomachs. Typically, this happens when a large breed eats and then goes outside to play, etc., and the stomach actually begins to swing back and forth within the body and in these cases it proceeds to flip and twist cutting off everything going in or out. The good news is that "if" you can catch this (pendig you know the signs) many times an emergenct vet can reverse this with surgery, but it is costly and you have to catch it within roughly 30-45minutes depending on the dog, etc. As a preventative measure, once this has happened, and pending a surgeon can save the animals life, they will takc the stomach back to the cavity wall in 2 spots, basically preventing this from happening a second time. In the female breeds, if the dog is fixed, many times the surgeon will just go ahead and do this when they are in there.
My wife and I were fortunate enough to catch this when it happened to our second Dane (who inceidentally was playing with the first one when he passed from this) and we rushed him into the ER and they did save him at a cost of roughly $2500.
I realize that "me to" stories do not make the situation any better, however, whenever I hear this I like to let people know why it happens and what can be done,etc., for future referrence.

Again, very sorry for your loss.

Monte
04-10-2008, 09:21 AM
Very sorry to hear of your loss Charlie. I know it is a tough thing to go through.

Maristar210
04-10-2008, 10:02 AM
Sorry to read this and more sorry about your loss.

Hrkdrivr
04-10-2008, 10:03 AM
Sorry to hear about that, Sk8. We've always had a Shepherd and they're wonderful family dogs; it hurts like hell when they go. Thanks for the heads up...

sk8salomon
04-10-2008, 10:05 AM
thanks jski, your post makes me feel a little better. i keep blaming myself for not doing anything but it sounds like it would have been too late and very costly.

Willski
04-10-2008, 10:11 AM
Sorry to hear. Don't blame yourself though. To you his behaviour was normal.

Hollywood
04-10-2008, 10:18 AM
I've known about this for about a year. We actually wet our lab's dry food a bit, and don't walk him for 30 minutes after eating. Most importantly, watch his behavior in the hour or two after eating. I used to take him to the dog park after dinner but do not do this anymore.

Sorry for your loss.

jkski
04-10-2008, 10:27 AM
thanks jski, your post makes me feel a little better. i keep blaming myself for not doing anything but it sounds like it would have been too late and very costly.

The one we lost died was in a kennel in the garage penned-up with the new Dane puppy I had just gotten my wife 2 months earlier. She came home from work to find him dead in the garage and the puppy just staring at her.
For what it is worth, even with the one we managed to save, the vet could not tell us going into the surgery that the dog woud live or die....either way you were out the money as they charge your card before they do anything. Further on in life the dog had some other health issues that may have been caused by this trauma, one just can never be sure.
If/when you decide to get another large breed, you may want to check with your vet regarding having a preventitive surgery done...not sure of the cost or if they will do it, but it's aways worth asking.

MIMC
04-10-2008, 01:07 PM
Sorry about your loss - it is so hard to accept when they die young and unexpectedly. :(

JohnnyB
04-10-2008, 01:17 PM
A key symptom and time to seek help....

Unproductive vomiting or retching (the dog may produce frothy foamy vomit in small quanties)


Thanks for passing this on. Sorry for your loss.

LKNMC
04-10-2008, 03:15 PM
Sorry for your loss

Thanks for the heads up

jimmer2880
04-11-2008, 08:59 AM
Very sorry to hear about your loss. After reading the story, I remember my Dalmation acting like that on a couple occasions. He must not have had the full tilt, since he overcame it several times. However, he was absolutely a "binge and purge" kind of a dog.

C36
04-11-2008, 03:49 PM
...For what it is worth, even with the one we managed to save, the vet could not tell us going into the surgery that the dog woud live or die...

sk8salomon: I am also sorry for your loss. You should take comfort in the good memories you have of your dog.

We were told the same thing jkski was by our vet too last summer as he took our dog into surgery. If the stomach is twisted to the point where it has cut off the blood circulation to other areas there is nothing they can do, except put the dog down and tell the family the bad news.

For the preventative benefit of other dog owners (particularly deep chested breeds), as JohnnyB said, "Unproductive vomiting or retching (the dog may produce frothy foamy vomit in small quanties)" - I just wanted to add, in the case of our dog:


he had a few minor episodes (lasting about 15 min each a few weeks apart) prior to the big one
the big one twisted his stomach 270 degrees (so he was one of lucky ones and survived)
the vomit was white foaming froth - saliva that was backing up from the stomach into the throat and mouth
his abdomen was total distended - inflated and hard as a basketball
the dog was very uncomfortable (lying on the ground and groaning)

I appologize for the graphic nature of this post (especially given sk8salomon's recent loss), but in the spirit of trying to make others aware of the risk I thought it best to be clear on what to watch for. I trust sk8salomon understands.

sk8salomon
04-11-2008, 04:58 PM
thanks again all for the info. starting to feel a little better now that the vet finally returned my phone call 3 days later. the vet basically said what others have said here. even if i would have gotten charlie to the vet in time, he said the battle is only 1/2 over. next thing is they must determine how much damage has been done. some cases it is so late that damage has been done to other organs like the spleen and must be removed. other cases he said made the surgeon take away parts of the stomach and resew together. even if this surgery can be performed, now the chance of whether or not the dog can overcome that type of operation is fearful. sometimes the dog ends up dying later of complications of stomach surgery and i'd hate to have that happen for all kinds of reasons i won't go into. it gets a little better everyday but still have times when i look around for him. thanks all and hope i can help somebody in the future.

jkski
04-11-2008, 05:16 PM
Again, for what it is worth, the Dane of ours that we were able to save did have to have his spleen removed in the process....not really sure what purpose the spleen has in the body.

Again, best to you and your family, that is a great picture that will bring memories for years.

michael freeman
04-12-2008, 08:06 AM
RE Bloat:
I switched my dogs over to canidae http://www.canidae.com/ because it does not swell when it is wet. I don't believe it removes any chance of bloat, but I do believe it reduces the chances. I also feet twice a day so she doesn't have a chance to pig out.

The only down side is that I have to go to Feed Store (i.e., cattle/horse feed) to buy it.

Bloat is a very scarry thing. I have also heard do not exercise your dog after they eat, I assume the idea is to let them digest their food before shaking it up in their stomachs.

JohnnyB
04-12-2008, 08:31 AM
RE Bloat:
I switched my dogs over to canidae http://www.canidae.com/ because it does not swell when it is wet. I don't believe it removes any chance of bloat, but I do believe it reduces the chances. I also feet twice a day so she doesn't have a chance to pig out.

The only down side is that I have to go to Feed Store (i.e., cattle/horse feed) to buy it.

Bloat is a very scarry thing. I have also heard do not exercise your dog after they eat, I assume the idea is to let them digest their food before shaking it up in their stomachs.

Feed my lab Canidae, too. He had trouble from time-to-time with digesting Eukanuba, which is what he was started on. No issues since switching. Twice with the old food he showed the frothy, unproductive vomiting and wound up at the vet getting IV and monitoring for blockage, swelling, etc but each time he was OK.

My other dogs have been fine eating Eukanuba but it recently changed manufacturers...I believe it is not manufactured by Procter and Gamble.

jkski
04-12-2008, 09:22 AM
We feed out Danes "Iams Large Breed" and they seem to do well on it. Since making the switch to this some time back, it has redeuced their waste output.....which is huge when you have these mini horses running around your backyard laying land mines everywhere!!!

jcraigo
04-12-2008, 09:29 AM
Our shephard is now 10, when we first got him we were told to limit his activity after feeding. It sounds like this happens more then a person would think. Sorry for you lose.

pilot02
04-12-2008, 09:32 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss!

My sister's a vet. I applaud your identification and promotion for awareness of the problem to take pets to the vet asap.. Unfortunately, there's an underlying negative connotation towards vets because of past experiences (ie couldn't help the family pet, put them to sleep instead of treatment etc.).. Reality is, pet healthcare can be on our same level but never will be simply because the patient can't talk. The other problem is that although diagnosis/treatment regimens etc. are available and often state of the art, the average person typically refuses treatment because of the cost. Yes, there is a difference in some areas (drugs are somewhat cheaper etc) but reality, is a patient is a patient regardless of how many legs they have and the same technology etc. is typically employed.. Along the same lines, if your willing to invest the financial aspect of this, secondary diagnosis may be an option... I'm not going to post my sis's email but for anyone in Houston or anyone with serious questions, pm me and I'll forward.

bigmac
04-12-2008, 09:47 AM
My wife has a good friend that is a veterinarian. A few years ago, we took our 10 year old Golden Retriever to her because she was listless and anemic. At the vet's office, I did an upper GI endoscopy, and ultimately an exploratory operation with splenectomy for what turned out to be a hemangiosarcoma of the spleen...the operation went well, but the cancer was fatal 2 months later.

Since I did the operation, she didn't charge me the surgeon's fee, but that was only $240. The total bill minus the surgeon's fee was $2220.

So...those of you that are contemplating doing your own dog's surgery...it doesn't save you that much money. ;)

TX.X-30 fan
04-12-2008, 10:00 AM
Note to self: self don't read this thread with a slight margarita head and before breakfast. :D



2,200 on a pet?? Sorry guy's Rover passed away on the way to the vet.

ProTour X9
04-12-2008, 10:15 AM
When our dog had heartworms we took her to the vet, he showed us the price and my dad said: "Well one bullet is a lot cheaper than that, see ya!" in doing so, scared the crap out of the vet (and yes me too) and we got half off the meds.

bigmac
04-12-2008, 10:22 AM
Note to self: self don't read this thread with a slight margarita head and before breakfast. :D



2,200 on a pet?? Sorry guy's Rover passed away on the way to the vet.

That's a drop in the bucket compared to what we've spent on pets over the years. Ritz (golden) was found to have bilateral hip dysplasia when she was about 6 months. We spent over $3000 at the University of Minnesota for bilateral hip osteotomies - worked great..even now at age 11 she runs around like a nut. We had another golden, Jade, that overate (neighbor's outside dog food) and had to have emergency surgery for impending gastric volvulus - bloat ($1800). We had another dog, Nikita, that ate part of a rug and got a string obstruction which required surgery ($1400). Lyme disease, skin infection, checkups, spaying/neutering. And don't get me started on the horses - I don't even know, and don't want to know, what their vet bills are.

My wife is very animal-oriented, our pets are family members. Over the years, our dogs have all lived to at least age 14 (except Sassy who died at 10 with the hemangiosarcoma) and they've all had great lives, but we have spent some $$$ getting them there. Personally, I don't regret the money spent, but different people do feel differently about their pets, no question.

TX.X-30 fan
04-12-2008, 12:09 PM
I would never insinuate that there is anything wrong with spending money on one's pets assuming it puts no hardship on the family the human members that is. I do believe out parents and grandparents would be amazed at these kind of expenses on a dog or cat. That comes I'm sure from living in times where the important things were more a roof overhead and food on the table.

Personally I could not justify this unless it was my 15,000 dollar prized quail dog! :D It does seem that animals these days have been raised to a ridiculous level in our society. When you see animal cruelty case draw prison time and child molesters get probation just seems our priorities sometimes are misguided.


I paid well over 1,000 on a mutt I loved that had heart worms, It gave the dog 7or8 great months :mad: before the treatment itself killed her.