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It is 10 days since Bracken suffered Bloat. We are giving him 3 small meals a day and short walks.
His stitches are due out tomorrow, he has been a good boy no licking the wound.
Not having had this problem with any of our dogs before any advice to help him fully recover would be welcome.

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So sorry to hear Bracken suffered Bloat, but good to hear he is coping and being good. I have no experience and so no advice to give, but my best wishes are with you for a good recovery.

Thank you Sue.

You have to be careful with feeding him. No meal directly before and after walking. Definitely better is giving 2-3 smaller meals. You have to avoid food that can cause flatulence and winds. 

Even if the end of his stomach is stitched  you have to know that next bloat is always possible. Try to have always at home or with you f.e. simeticon, drotaverini hydrochloricum.

Go through this forum. I'm sure there were many discussions about bloat. 

All the best to Bracken!

Oh I am so sorry Valerie!!! I cant advise, but I hope Bracken is coping well now !

Thank you Silvia, what a worry but hopefully it won't happen again.
Thank you Anna I will as you suggest look at previous discussions on bloat. I'm pleased to say Bracken is improving steadily.
So sorry to hear about Bracken I hope he is recovering well. How old is he? One of my boys bloated when he was five and had his stomach stitched. He didn't bloat again but I was always very careful afterwards and continued to feed him four small meals a day for the rest of his life. You can read about his story on my web site in the health section under bloat www.hooley-Irish-setters.co.uk
Thank you for your comments Michelle, Bracken is 10yrs old and has had a sensitive tummy for some time.
We are giving him 3 small meals a day now and he is so hungry even tried to steal a cake which he has never done before.

His personality has changed a lot as he has got older, gets very stressed if we leave him on his own even for a short while.

He also gets very stressed travelling, which we have to do quite often. Travelling from Hampshire to Cornwall.
I have read the section on your experience of bloat in your setter,which I found very interesting. What food do you feed your setters and do you have raised bowls? I know there are lots of opinions on this subject.
Thank you.


Hi Valerie, I was very sorry to read about Bracken taking bloat, but am happy that he is recovering. I wish that I had posted this information sooner but I will post my experience with my boy Romeo now for the benefit of everybody.

At aged approximately 8 to 9 years old, we took Romeo for a day out to a local forest park. When we got home, I fed him his normal main meal upon which he was immediately sick (he had never been sick or vomited before). I waited to the next day and when I tried to feed him he immediately became distressed and rigid and I could visibly see him beginning to bloat at his sides and salivating profusely at the mouth. Although I was panicking inside I managed to stay calm as I realised what was happening having both seen a  video of a setter bloating and read about this condition on ES. Anyway I decided that I was not going to let this bloat progress any further or develop into full blown torsion in my boy, so within a few seconds of the bloat commencing, I straddled him as he was standing and gently massaged his sides inward and upwards towards his chest. Within a short period (15-30 seconds) he was sick and brought up his meal, but the bloat was also resolved, he was no longer distressed and his tummy completely normal. Now, the procedure that I adopted was completely my own instinctive reaction to the situation that I faced but it worked. The reason I reacted that way was because of reading about other members having lost their setters to this horrible condition, also because I didn't want my boy to have to require surgery (which in any case doesn't cure bloat), and lastly because you are time limited as to how you address this situation.

This experience left me very scared with the fear of recurrence and also wondering what had caused it to happen?

Romeo went on to bloat a further 4-6 times overall after that day, with me resolving the situation in exactly the same way as before. Each time was as scary as the first and extremely stressful for both him and me. It is difficult for me to convey in words to those who have not experienced bloat with their setter, the feeling experienced, but I would liken the urgency of the situation as being akin to what you might imagine performing emergency life saving first-aid to be like!

My boy was ill for some time (and this was a dog that had never been sick before). With the help of my vet, he was diagnosed with pancreatitis, and immediately put on a low fat diet.

I firmly believe, however, that Romeo's illness was caused by his visit to the forest that day and that he had been struck down with 'Alabama rot'. Although it did not kill him, he developed the familiar lesions on his legs and was ill for quite some time afterwards. I also believe that it was this that caused the pancreatitis and subsequent bloat.

With my actions and subsequent change in diet, Romeo has never bloated again....to date anyway!

The following is my advice in how I have managed him to date:

1). Never let your dog eat unsupervised at any time and observe closely afterwards.

2). Never feed dry. Always soak 10-15 minutes with warm water to ensure food is not expanding in the gut.

3). Use raised bowls for food and water and never allow to eat whole meal in one go (ie a few mouthfuls at a time with breaks in between. You can also use smaller meals spread out.

From my own experience it was always immediately upon eating that it occurred, and not at any other time. Do not be afraid to adopt the technique that I did. It worked for me.....several times, prevented progression of bloat deeper into the gut and development of full torsion. But you must act immediately you recognise the symptoms and remain calm and confident despite your fear.

I want to finish by saying that I did not want to share my experience of this condition and I don't know why.

I don't know if what I did will work for anyone else. But I do know if sharing this information saves another dog or prevents it from having to require surgery, then it will be worth it.

Any further questions on what I have posted, let me know and I will answer them.

Oh James thanks for sharing this awful but also touching experience. .is amazing how your istinctive reaction told you the right thing to do, despite the panic. .I hope you don't need it again but certainly an amazing story !!
Also: so bad to hear about the disease. Are they sure is Alabama rot ? Looks as we have a lot in the uk in the recent years : (

How is going with that one? A huge hug to Romeo! !

Thanks Silvia. I'm as sure as I can be about the Alabama rot. It was the sudden illness, developing lesions on the legs and from reading articles in the media about it that makes me sure. Not every dog exposed to it died (although many did ) but those who didn't were seriously ill and developed other health problems, like my boy. I also know that there were a number of cases reported from owners of their dogs falling ill after visiting forests here in Northern Ireland. For me there was no other possible way to explain a previously completely healthy dog falling ill after a visit to a forest park. I have not and never will return to a forest with a dog, despite them being beautiful places, because of having gone through this experience. It is just not worth taking the risk!

On Romeo, he is doing as well as possible. He is nearly twelve now and is also experiencing peripheral neuropathy of his rear legs as a result of having spondylitis in his lower spine for a number of years. Despite all this he still lives like a Lord and is dearly beloved. I really must get some more up to date photos of him on here now, so that you can see his lovely grey face. Best wishes to you and all.

Dear James

thanks again for sharing, very scaring indeed.. I hope all the best for the beautiful Romeo, and looking forward to see photos of the Lord : ) (I love the photo with satin sheets, such a spoiled king  ; )

all the best

silvia and Oberon




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