Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World
My boy Seamus bloated up Tuesday after lunch and thankfully I was home to recognize the symptoms so we rushed him to the emergency vet where they untwisted his stomach and performed a gastropexy. I think we were lucky and caught it very quickly as the stomach was a nice pink color, there was no necrosis and the spleen appeared fine. He came home today and as you can imagine, I'm still in a bit of shock. I've always made sure my two don't eat until an hour after our walks and no play after meals. He'll be on pain meds for 7 days and a stomach coating (sulcrate) for 5.
What can I expect going forward? He'll be 4 in January but the emerg vet tech that he should still live a long life after this.
Has anyone's dog ever experienced GDV a second time after a gastropexy? This to me is my major worry. The surgeon said bloat is still possible but it wouldn't be life threatening because of the gastropexy.
Thank you all for searching the web (again) for the relevant studies. Like most of you I knew of the studies but could not put my finger on them and quoting form memory in my case is not always accurate...;-)
Cheryl, hope you don't mind I am 'copy & paste'- ing from the Purdue study here:
Factors That DO Make A Difference
These four (4) factors ARE associated with an increased risk of bloat in large breed dogs
1) Raising the food dish more than doubled the risk for bloat
2) Speed of eating -Dogs rated by their owners as very fast eaters had a 38% increased risk of bloat
3) Age: The study found that risk increased by 20% with each year of age. Owners should be more alert to early signs of bloat as their dogs grow older.
4) Family History: Having a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or offspring) that had bloated increased a dog's risk by 63%.
The Purdue research team concluded these are the things you can do to prevent bloat:
• 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.
• Do not raise the feeding dish
• SLOW the dog's speed of eating.
All very scientific, can I go off at a tangent and say that the homeopathic remedy 'carbo veg' (6 or 14)is really good for helping stomach problems including trapped wind, as is letting the dog jump up at you and slapping their sides!
Very informative. Thanks to all who took the time to post educated responses. I know I will rethink my feeding and continue studying.
I would love a subforum for health issues or a page with links to papers, studies etc.
Clarence, I can recommend this site for health issues:
Hi Finn, I believe what you were meaning is that it is preferable to feed dogs a natural diet. If I am correct, I agree with you completely. I have never heard of any breed of dog suffering GDV when fed a natural diet.
Prior to the treatment given to him by the vet, Hobson did not fit any of the risk factors except he is an English Setter. He developed symptoms of GDV within minutes of eating the unmoistened vet formulated diet containing citric acid and other harmful preservatives. I was there because he is fed inside the house. The side effects of Prednisone also contributed.
I would never again feed any of my English Setters anything other than a natural diet. Hobson will never be given the drug, Prednisone again.
I am not going into detail because I do not need to. Your assumptions about why Hobson bloated are incorrect. I hope others reading this forum topic will take this into account.
Whoa folks! Let's be clear on what we're talking about.
There's "natural diet" then there's "natural diet". By natural do you mean antibiotic-free, growth hormone free, and certified organic, or are you speaking of wild-sourced? Or are you speaking of the bag that says "all natural"?
There's a huge difference!
I feed my dog a wild-sourced diet (wild caught venison, wild caught salmon, organic vegetables) with occasional additions of certified organic foods. "Certified organic" means the soil has been tested and the product is pesticide/hormone/antibiotic free. I feed the dogs food I would eat myself (and believe me, I'm fussy about the origins of my food and WILL NOT eat anything mass produced nor will I eat any preservatives).
"Natural" doesn't mean without additives, it simply means that somewhere along the line, it grew on the ground or was born of feather, fin or fur. IOW, it doesn't mean anything.
Sigh, now we're back to marketing ploys.
OTOH, Tracy, I'll add, that prednisone saved the life of one of my dogs years ago, as well as saving more than one cat. Properly used such steroids can be life-savers in some circumstances. They're not a panacea, but used correctly they can do a world of good..It, like all steroids can also do a world of hurt. That is something hopefully your vet knows and takes into consideration on prescription. In horses, we have the same problem -- the best treatment for severe allergic reactions (dexamethazone) also can cause founder. Vet and client have to weigh the risk vs. the presenting symptoms.
Its all about educating yourself, and balance.
I think people need to be more careful about the terms they use - "natural" is one of those terms. Whether you cook your own dog food or not -- what goes into it? What is the source of the meat and vegetables? Organic? Wild-sourced meat? Hormone and anti-biotic free? Processed in an environment that does not require (cough and gag) chlorine baths to make it "suitable for 'human' consumption'? Fish raised in farms and fed artificial diets and (soon to be possibly on the US market) genetically modified (salmon). GM'd vegetables?
How many who talk about feeding a 'natural' diet bother to ask those questions? And go further, to question the consequences?
"Natural" does not mean "organic" nor does it mean "without questionable processing". You can cook your own dog food, but if the chicken you use is (in the US) the standard feces-soup processed, hormone fed chicken, where are you? Sure, its a chicken, whole and identifiable, but is it "natural"?
There is also the component of whole foods -- something I very much believe in -- but again, the source is important.
It is just my opinion, and nothing more, that a bunch of problems have arisen in the past 30 or so years (human, canine, equine and feline) that have to do with nothing more than food and its source.
So, yeah, I disagree with processed and additives, ANY additives (preservatives, color enhancers, BHA, BHT, and so on), and I absolutely do understand why these things got going, but *I* am not going to eat them, nor am *I* going to feed them to *my* animals.
Strong words, I know, but its an issue that, I think, needs them.
Like I said, education and balance. Wholly missing in most dog foods, horse foods, cat foods, and *people* foods.
Edited to add:
I am in the US, and these are problems that are particular to our situation -- in Europe mileage may vary as regulations are far more strict on meats in some countries. . .and venison is far less available as it is here in central Ohio, where I can find a hunter with excess deer. . .to the point I can fill my freezer with the stuff for free.
Sourcing meat is a huge problem here - if you are trying to avoid excess antibiotics and hormones.
Tracy the best part of any visit to an Endangered Wolf Center ( after learning about the residents ) is to be there after dark when their calls just echo and bounce off the hills surrounding you. Lucky as we have one within half hour of us that my daughter has volunteered at for years . Hope everyone gets a chance to experience this once in their lifetime.