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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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Eva, you wrote 'Don't discount this just because it does not suit your theory and don't blame every gastric disorder on a predisposition to GDV.'
What makes you think I am doing that?
I think we are all trying to see the full picture of this disorder and due to the fact that it has many faces, this is not easy. I am not saying all gastric disorders in Irish Setter indicate they will bloat.
At the same time I know that GDV is a gastric disorder that has been associated with: a reduced gastric motility, a slowing down or stopping of the passage of food through the stomach, a shut down of normal digestive activities leading to fermentation and bloat. It has been found that dogs that bloat sometimes have food in their stomachs at a time when the meal shood have already moved onward into the intestines and had begun to ferment. Yes, hostile bacteria can cause fermentation. Stress can have an effect on gastric motility.
I think we all agree that there is a familial predisposition. We can also assume there are different types of GDV with a dog suffering GDV in old age not necessarily being the same as a younger dog with GDV.
Irish Setters are according to US statistics listed 4th when it comes to risk of GDV.
It would seem logical to me that the risk of bloat increases in an Irish Setter that is prone to other types of gastric disorders.
Susan, I totally agree with all of your last comments - "never a truer word said" but that is not what you implied previously, which is why I wrote what I did. I am sure you are right that the risk of bloat increases in an Irish Setter that is prone to other types of gastric disorder - the 'chicken and egg' can be applied each way. I submitted Dorn Carr's paper for all your consideration and information to add to the collective view and asked you to take it on board in tandem with the other discussions and the response I got was facetious to say the least. I am not denying a familial predisposition but the experts all submit that GDV is multifactorial and you say it yourself in your last comment, so lets agree on that.
Good, so lets agree to agree;-)
I am sure you also agree that an increased sensitivity of digestive system can - and often does - have a genetic background... or should I say 'runs in families'?
I do agree. I know of dogs where increased sensitivity of the digestive system almost certainly is familial.
Well,if exposure to bacteria was a cause of bloat, I would think I would have had a lot more dogs dying from bloat. Living up in the hills , and having quite a lot of freedom to roam on my land, my dogs are constantly finding dead things like rabbits, salmon, birds, deer and sheep, usually very rotten and stinking. Which they roll in and eat if they get a chance.Sometimes they vomit it back up, sometimes they have a rumbling stomach the next day, very occasionally somebody gets sick enough to need a dose of metranidizole, but most of the time I am amazed at how their stomachs cope with the disgusting things they eat. . Never had a dog with bloat. I would agree with Susan that maybe dogs with a predisposition to bloat are less able to cope with bacteria, but a healthy dog can cope with eating the most rotten and bacteria laden dead things!

Although please dont think I allow or encourage them to eat anything they want, they get stopped if I see them, but mainly because I dont want to have to clear up the vomit,and they are likely to get tapeworm from rabbits
All my dogs have at all times eaten the most disgusting things they could find...(I live by the beach and I tell you that there is plenty of fish left by the fishermen and its at times also a dumping-ground for hunters = expecting the gulls to eat what is left once the hunters have taken their bits).
Yet none of the dogs have been ill...apart from throwing up the occasional bones that have been part of their "found" diet.

I dont actually bother stopping them either...:-)
Unless its something beyond what I have mentioned...
Helico isn't in all humans guts nor is it the only cause of gastritis. I was negative for it but still get a flare up of gastritis about every couple years related to stressful events in my life. I bottle it in my gut. I am on medication now again for it, but was fine for three years. I usually only needs meds for several months to calm stomach acids so it can heal. Actually the loss of Dublin is what caused mine this time. I was a mess emotionally. Anyway, I think more research is warranted in this area for dogs. I heard the epi percentages is about 4% in most breeds but as high as 14% in IS and some of the other higher risk breeds, i.e. Standard Poodles, some Spaniels etc. If I had seem this post and know what I know now, I would of had Dublin looked at for bloating/gas problems. He for sure had all the classic symptoms and it was only a matter of time for him. And his would always be overnight when he had not eaten food. And was at rest. I always gave my dog ice water when he was out in the field everyday in the hot summer. I guess I can't do that anymore. But dogs want the cold water to cool down.
Mine have drunk sea-water for years...on the other hand, the Baltic sea has not got such high salt-level.
I think you either have a sensitive stomach ...or not...same for dogs.
Just a note on are all causes for bloat genetic? In my eyes the history of the IRS in last decades shows, heres where breeders went wrong. You better turn the question as long as it is not proven to be non-genetical, don't breed - that works!




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