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Just joined this forum with a hope of finding some answers/solutions regarding the dreaded GDV in one of my setters. I have had setters for over 30 yrs and have never had a problem until now. My previous pair lived to 15yrs. I have 2  girls who are now 5yrs old (sisters) Sophie and Missy. Sophie is the larger of the two .I also have a 2yr old yorkshire terrier called Lucy. Last June Sophie started wretching, became unsettled, Lucy started barking at her and wouldn't stop.. Next thing her abdomen became bloated. Rushed her to the vets, which thankfully was about 3 mins in the car. She was operated on right away noting that she had torsion as well. The vet had decided not to do a gastropexy as he was quite confident it would not recur!.....Sophie made a speedy recovery..I changed her feeding to 3 times a day with kibble and a little tinned dog food and changed to feeding bowl from elevated to floor level. All was well until I took my girls on a trip in my motorhome (they love being in the motorhome) with my sister who also has a motorhome. This was in October. Same thing happened again, so got her to a vet within an hour. Again the stomach had torsion again and the vet also carried out a gastropexy....Again Sophie recovered amazingly well.

Then just over a week again it happened again!..( 11th Feb) .Poor Sophie has had 3 major abdominal operations in the space of 8 months. I am at my wits end !!!. I have stopped feeding her kibble and put her on Chappie with some lightly cooked fresh mince. I do know that she burps quite a lot (has always done this) and when she is settled in the evening has her paw in her mouth like a comforter...

I don't know what else I can do to prevent this happening again..



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welcome to ES this subject has been discussed many times if you read through the old topic`s you will find a great deal of infomation, some not to long ago, happy hunting. Type in bloat in the forum search . <:0)

Hi Shirley- oh my what a complete nightmare- my heart goes out to you and your girl who must be a real fighter to come through such operations. One of my girls had gastric torsion at the age of 4 and she also had no gastroplexy she is soon 10 and it never happened again but there is definately a life before and after that bloat thing. Unfortunately I can't help you with the 3 meals, no stress, daily routine not too much water after eating- what more can you do to prevent it. In the www you can find many articles and sadly the causes are still a sort of mistery- I wish you much strength and that the 3rd time was the last time youboth had to endure this pain and fear.

Perhaps a raw diet would suit your dog better?

I know this has worked for some dogs! Go look at Rita Wilson'a group Raw Feeding here on ES and there you will find lots of helpful information;) I hope your girl doesnt bloiat again!!

That is awful ,poor Sophie.

I am lucky and, despite having most things  go wrong that can go wrong,I have never been unlucky enough to have a dog with bloat.

I send you my best wishes and hope you can find an answer to Sophie's problem.

There is lots of advice on here.


After losing my beautiful girl from bloat last may I too am convinced it is to do with the dry food blowing up in their tummies. I too got my girl to the vets in what I thought was plenty of time. As soon as I noticed I got the vet to meet us at the practice. She lasted two days and then died. I am so pleased younhave managed to save your girl and all I can say is that I will not be feeding dry food with her meat.. 

I my girl was very young still , she was only 6 years old. I too gave her a stand to eat from, but alas it was not to be. I do hope she now goes on to thrive, but I do think it is rife in this breed particularly.

My best wishes to you and your dogs


Thanks everyone for your support.  The last operation my husband and I observed the surgery ( hubby is a surgeon and i was a nurse, so not sqeemish) I wanted to see the physical problem that bloat/torsion has on my poor Sophie. What I did observe was that she had a huge abdominal cavity which had loads of room for the stomach to tort. She had very little to non adhesions from her past surgeries which would explain why her first gastropexy did not work. .I now have an emergency bloat kit to hand and feel quite confident in using it were the need to arise. I do believe that Sophie swallows too much air and that dried kibble is a likely suspect. I have trawled the internet for current treatment/prevention, but not really finding definitve answers. This pdf article was quite interesting....http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=kruiningen%20acute...

I am not too keen on the raw food diet as I believe that although dogs are related to wolves , they have been domesticated and therefore digestive system adapted through the centuries.

I am thinking of taking her up to Edinburgh to be seen at the Dick Veterinary hospital to see if they have any ideas.



Shirley putting your bitch onto a raw diet would be the best thing you could do.  I do not agree with your belief that dogs digestive system has changed.  Humans have changed dogs. BUT, only changed their external appearance and temperament, NOT their internal anatomy and physiology. The claim that dogs cannot handle a raw diet because they are so domesticated is only true in that we have been feeding them commercial diets for so long that a dog's system is not running up to par. The result of feeding dogs a highly processed, grain-based food is a suppressed immune system and the underproduction of the enzymes necessary to thoroughly digest raw meaty bones.

I'm so very sorry about your bitch, and I hope that she continues to improve. 

Hi Shirley.

   Although dogs have been domesticated for many years, the best diet is the one they have been having for thousands of years. It is only about one hundred years that we have been forcing them to eat kibble and branded dog food. A dog's internal anatomy and physiology is the same as that of a Wolf. BARF = Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Feeding dogs commercial dog food is wrong in my opinion. They obviously eat it because they have no choice. I can only speak through my own experience and have found that my two dogs (Irish setter & Labradoodle) are 100% fit and healthy and have never needed to visit the vet. Previous dogs I have owned had many problems and they were fed on commercial dog food. Just look at how often branded dog food/kibble has been re-called due to contamination. The first thing a dog should have is a healthy diet and that is my opinion. I must also add, most vets know very little about nutrition.

Not sure why my reply came out in this position.


Hi Shirley

So sorry to hear of all the trouble you hand your girl have been through. My old girld Bramble bloated in May last year and I wrote a blog about it, see http://irishsetters.ning.com/forum/topics/gdv-bloat-torsion-bramble...

I would hope that the gastropexy will prevent further episodes but I can understand your worries. You may like to look into raw feeding (and my saying that is not because I am a convinced 'raw food only' person - mine still do very well on a good brand dry food). But I do know that many dogs with sensitive stomachs fare well on a raw meat diet.

Prof Ed Hall is another specialist you might consider speaking to.

Try to burp her like a baby after she has eaten! Wrap big towel under her abdomen and give slight pressure by lifting,also massaging her sides until she releases any gas may help.

Wishing you all the best!

Welcome Shirley
So very sorry to read of your poor Sophies woes, you are both fighters to have managed to come out the other side of this horrid condition. My boy suffered GDV in September last year, I always worried about it but for yourself and Sophie, three times is tragic. Flame survived but I feel from having my daughter with me and her veterinary experience and calm nature, she helped keep myself and Flame calm too. If there seems no answer to your Sophies bloating from ES members, there's one thing for sure you will get tons of support and sometimes that's wonderful medicine Shirley :)...go back and read the posts I received as well as Susans , there maybe something to help you and your girl. Take care Dianne and Irish.
... The real BARF is for me not an option but I prepare their meals, ( oatmeal, rice ,noodles, raw meat, curd, vegetables, oil, green tripe, eggs...) and sometimes ( holidays ) a special sort of kibble, a cold pressed one, this sort of kibble does not get bigger and soak in water it just falls apart ( sorry my English;) I don't know if it is for sale in the UK it is called Markus Mühle or Luposan Ps: you mentioned she burps a lot, that means she has got to get rid of air- my dogs hardly ever burp, maybe a specialist can have a look why she tends to have too much air/ gaz in her systeme...

Whilst I understand you do not want to move to a raw diet, here is something that might be worth thinking about/investigating?

When I switched to raw I was told that you should not feed raw and kibble together as they digest at different rates.  As kibble digests slower the meat would ferment in the stomach behind it.  Now some people rubbish this theory, but I'm not sure that there might be something in it, and if so, the same might apply to wet food and kibble?

It might be worth feeding wet food as one meal, and kibble as another, rather than both together? 




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