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Advice on Bloat, as given in the Irish Setter Breeders Club Newsletter, Winter 2009

The Summer Newsletter 2009 and the Winter Newsletter 2009 of the ISBC (UK) both contain important information on health issues. Anyone interested may be able to order a copy via the secretary (see website).

The advice given on page 5 Vol 1 Issue 27 by the breed clubs' KC Health Liaison Representative Prof Ed Hall to vets and breeders is quoted as follows:

"1. A gastroplexy should always be performed when torsion is corrected.

2. Inflammatory bowel disease is not common in young dogs and to use steroids and other drugs with significant side-effects is inappropriate at such a time.

3. Bloat is probably inherited and whilst it may take a long time to determine the genetic problems, it makes sense not to repeat a breeding that has produced puppies with bloat.

Points 1 and 2 are things I will continue to try and educate my colleagues about, although owner pressure can have an effect too.

Point 3 is for breeders and breed societies to consider."

Further in the article (written by Lynne Dale):
Health Record:
The ISBC is keeping a record of helath problems in the breed. It is our intention over the next few years to see if we can get a good knowledge of the problems both past and present we have encountered. This information will eventually be handed to the KV Health Rep. in the hope it will be useful for future research.

Finally a request for information from people with dogs experiencing problems is given, saying that there are two sections for the storing of information: Open and Closed, the closed section being for those wanting confidentiality.

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Thanks for posting this, Susan!
I am so glad the ISBC has printed this advice. I hope breeders will take it seriously! Only a few months ago I remembered a similar conversation on this site where some long standing owners and breeders of Irish Setters seem to be totally unaware that bloat might have probably be inherited one way or another! I hope the other Breed Clubs in the UK follow the example of the ISBC too.
Thanks Susan for posting this. It is great to know that the UK ISBC is being pro-active about the collection of data. Since my young dog's ancestors have been identified as having a pre-disposition of GDV (whether genetic or not?!) I have done some fact finding and attach the latest research that I was able to find last year from the Purdue University in USA. I have pasted all their research reports, etc into one word document, so there may be some duplication in the document. regards
Interesting reading, especially the high-feed-bowl-factor!
As everyone knows I have been banging on about this for as long as I have been on this site..Vets are still of the old idea 'raise the bowl' and people will unfortunately do this...vets are educated and know about these things.....but vets are not scientists and they have been saying this for a long while now...having an animal/human scientist as a daughter I was put firmly in my place re the food bowl, I always tell people that you should NOT raise the bowl, but I am neither a vet or a scientist so leave it up to the owner. Please everyone take note of this attachment above..
I was surprised to see that excise and feeding didn't make any difference but I think that I will always leave a couple of hours either side of a walk. can't do any harm, unlike, I feel the bowl.
I think that we all on this site know who the dog is that is being discussed by Lyn Dale.
And thanks to Lyn for the attention to this problem of people breeding knowingly with dogs that are affected or have 'kids' and close relatives that are affected by this dreadful problem,
I would also like to ad a little ps of my own, Bloat can be caused by many outside factors, not always hereditary reasons. But we as owners must be as vigilant as possible.
Thank you, Cheryl. The Purdue research seems to be one of the most complete researches done into bloat. Unfortunately there do not seem to be many follow ups from there.

The raised food bowl actually caused some comment. The question came up whether the reason for the higher incidence of dogs affected whose food bowls were raised were actually dogs whose owners raised there food bowl because they came from breeds or families with a predispostion to bloat... there again, cause of effect?

You may also be interested in this article written by Dr Cathryn Mellersh of the Animal Health Trust (UK) which appeared in the 2005 Annual Review of the Irish Setter Association England.
Hi Susan, thanks for this article. It is very interesting and gives some excitement as to where DNA testing is up to. I wonder if Dr Catherine Mellersh is still there as the e-mail address given is hers. I would love to contact her and see what can be done. The article said they are happy to store the DNA tests until they get enough. I will see what I can find out.
hi cheryl yes she is still at aht .i had contact with her earlier this year
Thanks Lyn, I have sent an e-mail and hoping to get a reply in the new year. She is out of the office until 5/1/2010.

Good Morning.

I totally agree with and support what you say about breeding from dogs that have 1st degree realtives with bloat and I only hope that others will listen to you
I can only imagine how devastating it must be to have a dog that you own and love be affected and/or die from bloat. I hope I never have to experience it, but I live with this fear each day with my young boy.

The Purdue University Research states: “The strongest recommendation to prevent GVD (bloat) should be to not breed a dog that has a first degree relative that has had bloat. This places a special responsibility on an owner to inform the breeder should their dog bloat.”

I am not minimising this recommendation in any way, but would like to put some perspective on this topic.

It seems black and white, but I know what the breeder of my young boy is going through at the moment. The girl he has is a grand-daughter to his girl who bloated at 8yrs of age. The granddaughter is his only bitch available for him to breed with so he is just tearing himself apart with what is the right path to take. This is one of the difficulties if the bloat doesn’t strike when the dogs are younger and you have already bred them and usually their offspring has also been bred with, before you even know the problem exists. Part of this dilemma is that by breeding on the next 2 generations (prior to the bloat coming to the surface), has he minimized the risk enough to continue to try to breed out the line which has now been identified as being the problem? Thankfully, he hasn’t doubled up the pedigree in the last two litters, so he has lowered the COI in that lineage with each generation.

It has to be just devastating for breeders to have their lines (established over 20 years or longer) under threat. How easy would it be to walk away from their lines and start again? It must be heartbreaking for the breeders who are in this situation. I know of a couple of breeders who have shut their line down and started again. It must also be heart-wrenching to receive the phone call from the owners of one of their pups that the dog has bloated!

Let's hope we can get a DNA test before more heartbreak for owners and breeders alike (because there are no winnners here) and so we can at least rule out the genetic effects of GDV for our breed.
So does this mean I should just leave the feed/water bowls on the floor? Or should I use my adjustable raised feeder and have it at a position where the dog still has his head dropped down. I always thought that it was not to be at head level but rather so the dog's neck is in a downward postion for eating. With a new pup coming I want to do it correctly. Once they are grown, it is a long way to the floor for our breed. And I know with senior dogs, can be harder on their neck/spine to eat all the way down. I found it interesting on how the chest measurements can play a factor as well in bloat.
The floor is a natural place to feed...I used to feed 'off' the floor but now feed on the floor after I was told about this research by my daughter many years ago..




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