BLOAT

 


TTS  has accumulated a vast amount off bloat information since our own tragic death of Morph.  We knew what bloat was, believed we were feeding correctly and following the recommendations that had been repeated over and over again by breeders, owners and enthusiasts.

READ THIS FIRST!!!!!


The most recent and up to date information may be found on the Purdue web sight


BLOAT LINKS


TTS opinions are just that: OPINIONS.  I have seen and attended numerous bloat cases over my nearly 18+ years as a veterinary technician.  No two are the same.

 I strongly recommend that any time you open a dog ( for a spay or what not) PLEASE tack your pet.


 Is there a risk?  Of course there is,  but it is a risk you should take, 25% is too high a percentage for bloat.  I have 6 danes, that means one of them will bloat and the risk is greater with each advancing year.


 It is my belief that the invent of formulated foods ( though I use them and believe in them) and our own standard for the Great Dane is to blame for the incredible increase in bloats since the 30's.  Our ever increasing  depth of chest , selective breeding for correct shoulders and fronts may actually have  added to the predisposition found in the breed.



The first study I came across was an abstract on the benefits of prophylactic gastropexy.  The interesting note on this study is it was weighted on money. (cost vrs benefit) the odds they used were 25% of all great danes would bloat some time in there lives.  The cost of bloat ( in the study) was around $1500, which is low for emergency room cost. The price of gastropexy was $400 ( again low). The article then ends with the statement


 "Prophylactic gastropexy raises ethical issues that need to be considered by veterinarians and dog breeders"


TTS thoughts on this:

Not once is the loss of the pet considered. It is treated as if this is not an emergency situation ( Texas emergency clinic after hours bloat will range well above $2200+) though a regular hour emergency at your local veterinary office may start at $1500 this is only realistic for the first 24 hours. This is a life or death situation and should be treated as one. Many of us could not put a price on our beloved danes the loss of one is immeasurable.


 Preventive gastropexy  (quoted from local animal hospital in houston) Is around $525.  I do not see this as prohibitive.  As of this date the AKC does not allow for the tacking of conformation animals or any other preventive procedure to be performed. Because of this only my non conformation ( retired) or spayed  pets have been tacked.

 

As for ethical:  what is worse, doing a cost effective study that does not take the pet in to consideration OR the veterinarian that does not inform a great dane owner of this procedure?




Canine Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)*

This article is a Purdue University study on "Canine Gastric Dilation-Volvus ( bloat).


I am working to get the charts for this put back in this article.  I also no longer have  (or can find) the links to the original purdue study. . . .


TTS thoughts: Though the article delves in to the benefits of prevention it also leaves us with a warning to only preventively tack animals that are being altered "so as not to increase the pool of dogs in a breed that are prone to develop GDV"

My thoughts have changed about this over the years. . . I do agree to an extent that only altered dogs should be tacked, knowing if there is a genetic link is very important to breeders.


(This statement was made before the second stage of the research was compiled and completed.)

"In the second stage, we will examine the influence of personality/temperament, body confirmation, and management of the risk of GDV. In the third stage we will examine the role of different diets and feeding patterns on GDV risk."



20% increase in risk for each year increase in age

170% increase in risk for each unit increase in chest depth/width ratio

63% increase in risk associated with having a first degree relative with GDV

110% increase in risk associated with using a raised food bowl

15% increase in risk for each unit increase in speed of eating score for large dogs

( this is associated with Large breed dogs only, not giants)


Final findings quoted from the study:

"Most of the popular methods currently recommended to prevent GDV did not appear to be effective, and one of these, raising the feed bowl, may actually be detrimental in the breeds studied.


TTS thoughts: I think it can easily be believed that participants in a bloat study are informed owners and most giant breed owners feed there dogs elevated. This raises more then a little question about whether this is a valid finding


 "In order to decrease the incidence of GDV, we suggest that dogs having a first degree relative with a history of GDV should not be bred. Prophylactic gastropexy appears indicated for breeds at the highest risk of GDV, such as the Great Dane.  "


TTS  thoughts:

With this in mind. . . Morph is the only bloat we have ever experienced personally.  Going back and through the pedigree I was unable to find another dog that had bloated in the line. 6 months after Morphs death his sire bloated. The study then states his risk factor was over 60% that he would bloat.  25% die. The sire's risk factor could not have been accessed until after the death had occurred. What would have been the "ethical" avenue here?


Risk factor chart and explanation (LOOKING FOR NEW LINK)




FOOD AS A CONTRIBUTOR

 

*"New significant findings included a 2.7-fold (or 170%) increased risk of GDV in dogs that consumed dry foods containing fat among the first four ingredients. The risk of GDV was increased 4.2-fold (or 320%) in dogs that consumed dry foods containing citric acid that were prior to feeding by owners. Dry foods containing a rendered meat meal with bone among the first four ingredients significantly decreased GDV risk by 53.0%. Approximately 30% of all cases of GDV in this study could be attributed to consumption of dry foods containing fat among their first four ingredients, while 32% could be attributed to consumption of  dry food owner moistened that also contained citric acid. These findings can be used by owners to reduce their dogs' risk of GDV. "


TTS thoughts on feeding:

Morph was raised on Eukanuba Large breed puppy food.  I have been dissatisfied with the results I received using both the Eukanuba large breed puppy and Science diets version.  This is one of the reasons I developed the feeding plan I have now. Morph was also being given vit. C supplementation under the advise of breeders that believe that C helps foot tone. TTS feeding recommendation is to NEVER supplement a dane with anything.  The only supplements we use are fatty acid during the winter to keep coats in shape. TTS has fed and is very happy with Diamond Hi-energy dog food.  We now feed every one this, old dogs, puppies, mothers. 


TTS Does feed elevated, though we do not think it is a factor in bloat.    We do not store food were the temperature cannot be controlled.  We do not water our adult food and we do not feed can food if it can be avoided. Most of this flies in the face of the major dog food manufacturers.


TTS FINAL THOUGHTS ON BLOAT:

After spending a year researching and over thinking our own hand in Morph's death I have come to the belief that there are several contributing factors with in the breed.

  Our food of choice, the storage method we used,  the vit "c" supplementation, all of which I believe may have been contributing factors.

  Morph did not have a particularly deep chest, as a matter of fact he was one of out least deep chested dogs.  His chest was on the narrow side but no more so then it was  shallow.

 

Familial predisposition: well now we know there is, but it was after the fact and of no help to us.  Would this have helped us in knowing? No.


Stress: Purdue is currently looking in to what stress is in dogs and whether or not it even plays a factor.  There was some stress in his life, Lilly was in heat, I believe it is hard for the boys when this happens. 


A breeder friend of mine pointed out once that all of her bloats happened during the summer months, could this also be a cause of stress?  We confirmed this by looking up records at my vet. . .90% of our bloat cases were in the hot months OR during heavy holiday times. 


The only puppy I have produced that has bloated (as of 1/09) did so after having a particular stressful event  landed him at the emergency vet having surgery on his prepuce (this a result of jumping a barb wire fence in the country) it was after this event that he bloated.  

He survived and lived on many years.


Our best recommendation: Do not take the chance.  Have your dane tacked. Why risk loosing them?


THINK OF THIS: Bull dogs can't breath, they over heat and die in Houston in droves during the summer.   Yes it is a breed predisposition, yes some bull dogs breath better then others.  But if there were a way to make sure that regardless of how they breath they would never die from being over heated would you do it?

I would!


THE AKC SEE'S TACKING AS A SURGICAL CHANGE IN THE DOG, IF YOU HAVE A CONFORMATION DOG BY AKC RULES YOU CAN NOT TACK HIM/HER UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO RETIRE FROM THE RING OR WHEN YOU SPAY YOUR PET, THIS SURGERY WILL DISQUALIFY YOU FROM THE CONFORMATION RING.


AS MANY KNOW I HAVE MOST OF MY VETERINARY SERVICES DONE THROUGH BRITTMOORE ANIMAL HOSPITAL IN HOUSTON.  NOT ONLY DO THEY PROVIDE EXCELLENT CARE, THE TACKING PRICE IS THE MOST REASONABLE I CAN FIND.  CONTACT THEM AT 713-468-8253.  THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS TO PERFORM A TACK, SPEAK WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT WHICH PROCEDURE IS RIGHT FOR YOUR PET.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: *=Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine  bloat study




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