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I'm sitting here after a very long and tearful early morning and want to ask other ES friends what symptoms they experienced when their much loved setter had bloat? :(( I thought after much research over the time I've had my boy Flame I'd definitely no if he was suffering from this terrible condition. I'd even read everything everyone had said on ES discussions, luckily but after a harrowing ordeal of been given the run around from our local after hours vet at 3am this morning my much adored Flame is still with us and he's sisters Ruby and Poppy. I had like you suggested checked if they could do GDV surgery and they said YES!! I was so upset and distressed, not to mention poor flame when they expelled the gas in his stomach and sent me on our way to our animal emergency centre one and half hours away!! Three hours later he had emergency surgery where they were fantastic and so caring, I would of gone there in the first place!! Honestly his symptoms were so minor, such as a little tired and yes a little agitated. It was only when I got him to our local vet that I noticed that his stomach had expanded ( shocked ), all vitals normal. No temperature, no high heart rate, good gum colour. Please, I just don't understand :(( The xray confirmed, I guess every doggy owners worst fear. I know there's a long road for him and I'm writing this I guess for some help, as I truly thought I'd know if it was bloat. I'll make the trip hopefully back tonight as he was still in recovery after the 4 hour surgery when we left. I'd like to say hello and drop his favorite things and pray he makes a speedy recovery to he's normal cheeky Irish self. Thanks for listening x

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Hi Dianne. My heart goes out to you, for what is all of our worst nightmares.

Since my bloating dog, I now act at the very first sign of any stomach discomfort even if it turns out not to be bloat. About 2 years ago, Daisy was standing and stretching quite a bit, and was unable to curl up and rest.  If she did lie down she was in the sphinx position and then got up again quite quickly.  I rushed her to the vets, who sent her back home as they didn't think she was bloating.  She went back about an hour later as the symptoms were increasing if anything.   Her tummy upset was actually caused by her having chewed up and swallowed something she shouldn't have done, and under overnight veterinary supervision, it passed its way through the following morning, although hadn't shown up on her xray. If I see any generally restlessness, I start to worry about mine now and I start watching them like a hawk. If it continues beyond an hour, I take them off to the vet for at least a check. There is usually something bothering them, but so far no bloat with my current guys.  I would now rather be safe than sorry.

I do hope Flame gets through the next 72 hours well, and is then on the road to recovery. Poor baby. Poor you, I know how you are feeling, and I know you will always be on guard now, just like me.  It never goes away when you have a Setter and have been through it.  ((((((hugs)))))).

Hi Dianne i know this is such a shock for you it's very upseting when this happens, my  last boy Paddy bloated suddenly at the age of 12 it was something i always worried about, i had fed him and he seemed his normal self about a hour later i noticed he kept walking around and wouldn't sit down, i went to give him a fuss and felt his stomach was swollen and felt strange, i phoned vet and took him down, she looked and said it was bloat  she said at 12 he wouldn't survive the night or the operation but i insisted they tried, they operated stitched his stomach in place and i'm pleased to say he made a great recovery and was with me for another 18 months, i know this is a awful time, take care, love to Flame

Murphy and Kerry will cross paws that Flame makes a speedy recovery too. Hugs to you Dianne, what a torrid time.

Hi Dianne,

I have never experienced bloat....but this is one of my great worries and I always leave special instructions to the homesitters if I am away. I hope I would recognise the symptoms....you did well to take Flame to the vet in the middle of the night...I wish Flame a quick recovery and send lots of positive vibes to you and him xxxxxx

Tears in my eyes again, me and mine have everything crossed for you and Flame.Sounds like you acted at the first signs you did do well thinking of you.

Like you I believed I had found out anough to recognise bloat if I was faced with it. You can never know all ! 

Hi Dianne

Our thoughts are with you and Flame, hoping he will survive the crucial next 48 hours after the op. It sounds as if you have him at an excellent specialist centre and they will do all that is possible. All I can say is that you must have got it right and seen the signs that something was not right or you'd not have taken him to he vet in the middle of the night! He now needs to be one of the lucky ones that pull through, you have done all you possible could.

I'm sure you've read my blog about our Bramble who survived the op in May this year aged 12 years and is doing fine! She had a gastropexy performed (where the stomach walls are fixed) and has gone from strength to strength.

I am afraid GDV does not always show itself with the 'classic' symptoms. I think knowing one's dog and being aware when something is not quite right is the first step toward avoiding GDV. Being aware of the risk and having a vet you can rely one is the other crucial factor.

Wishing you courage and Flame a speedy recovery! 

Hi Dianne, what an awful time for you, so scary...just wanted to send my best wishes and hope that Flame recovers well and has many more years with you, thinking of you xxx

Have you done the UK survey? we are trying to see how big problems thing are .So unless you say we can't find out !



Hi ES friends, thank you sooooo..... Very much for all your support, care and love for myself and Flame. He's doing well but won't eat he's chicken without us. So I'm heading back again now with my family. As soon as I'm back home I'll give you a full story of how Flames traveling. Once again thank you so much, your support has been overwhelming. But so needed. Take care. X

I remember asking once...would I recognise this problem....(the person I was talking to was Janice Roberts)...and the reaction was....''Oh yes you will recognise it'', and believe me I did....on too many occasions, I have said it before on this site...

I lost all my lines...(10 years of work) back in the 80's, with this problem...I decided that it was a Genetic problem, so stopped breeding and let my lines to disappear...although there is another kind. I call it 'Stress Bloat'...this usually occurs only once...when the dog is put into a stressful situation, (perhaps you go away and put them into kennels). These dogs, setters, have a ''pre disposed' body make-up that gives them a high chance of GDV, when they get stressed...but the Genetic problem will just keep going (until in the end it takes the life of our beloved pets) but with good husbandry and keeping a close eye on them, they can go on with this problem, for many many years..(my dogs usually started bloating at about three years old, and mostly they died at the age of about 10, bloating maybe every years of so) 

I still worry about my dogs even now, (although they are fine....) I only exercise after two hours, after or before feeding, the dogs sleep with me, so I can be there if anything goes wrong at night...etc etc

As for my vets, they call any stomach problem Bloat...although I have disagreed with them on a few occasions, I feel this is better than 'waiting to see' you should tell your vet that there is only, at most, two hours before too much internal damage is done. So err on the side of caution...please....


I am of the view its simply an inherited trait having seen it in nearly every breed from Cavaliers to giant breeds and its certainly runs in families. Unfortunately  now with advanced surgery they often now become part of the breeding pool. :(




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