Exclusively Setters

Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World

Fagan, one of my Irish, turned 7 on Monday.  2 years ago he suffered a full torsion, he was operated on and his stomach stitched, he has been fine ever since ....... until last week.


Last week my OH called me home from agility training, Fagan wasnt right, which for my non doggy OH to notice must have been serious !!  When I got home Fagan was clearly uncomfortable, shaking, pale gums and nose licking.  All the same symptoms he showed when he had the torsion, he didnt bloat out, but he didnt last time either. I took him to the out of hours vets, they x-rayed, took bloods and put him on a drip but couldnt work out what the problem was, the only option was to open him up to see what was going on.


When they opened him up they found his intestine was completely full of gas, they also found his missing testicle (the vet when he was operated on at 18 months couldnt find it).  The vet didnt know the reason for the gas, there is a chance the testicle could have been involved but she is doubtful (it was still tiny and didnt look cancerous or anything)


So now he is home, all stitched up (for the 3rd time in his life!) but no reason for what happened and no guarantees that it wont happen again.


A bit of background on Fagan, his vet allergy tests came up with a low grade intollerance to chicken, but no matter what complete food he is fed his wind is awful so for the last 4 months he has been on raw, and has been doing great on it, put on at least 5kg (he has always been skinny) and the wind has stopped.  I also feed him raw chicken with no ill effects.


I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this ? Ive bought some windeze tablets for him now, but its still worrying if he is showing signs of bloat I want to get him to the vets, not give him tablets to see if it makes him better first !!  Ive also got some charcol tablets to hopefully help with digestion. I just dont want him opened up every time he has trapped wind !!

Views: 3337

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have no experience of this ,I am glad to say, but just wanted to send my best wishes to you and Fagan.I hope the problem never happens again.

Hi Claire, I've lost an Irish in the past to GDV, so I know how this feels to stress and worry about if and when it will all kick off again. My daughter has a Bracco, another breed suseptible to GDV and we keep INFACOL in the cupboard.

Infacol, as you probably know with a little one in the house relieves infant colic. It works by altering the suface tension of a bubble ( bursting them effectively) I wonder if you think it might be an idea to add this to your boys drinking water as a matter of routine. It should make him pass the wind sooner, mostly upwards.


Regards, Dawn R.

Hi Dawn,


Interesting about the infacol, ive never actually used it (have been very lucky with my little one) how much would I put in his water ? 


Its an awful worry, the vet was telling me tonight about another local setter who keeps bloating out so they have stitched his stomach just in case :-(



Infacol comes with a dropper type of affair in the lid. A couple of dropperfuls, about 2 or 3 ml in a drinking bowl should be enough. It's got an Orange flavour, so you don't want so much in there that the dog won't drink it.


Dawn R.

Sue may I ask what gripe water is?  Interesting topic here and lots of food for thought....afraid we probably have different names for products in different countries.


Claire I hope that Fagan does alright and that you will never have to deal with issues like this again.  So scarey when we can not find the answer to their problem. 

I wonder if a probiotic to aid digestion might help?  Try natural yoghurt (yoghurt is always lactose free, because of the process of making the actual yoghurt), or even a children's strength probiotic from your pharmacy.

Because my English Setter "Hobson" suffered GDV in 2009 I have experienced this trauma so hope my commenting may help in some small way though Hobson's experience is different from your Fagan's.

In 21 years none of my English Setters have ever bloated but I feel this is because I give them a natural diet and a wide ranged natural diet. A daily component of their diet is Jalna low fat yoghurt and Ester C vitamin tablets. The remainder of the diet varies considerably e.g. I give free range eggs and cottage cheese, not every day, not every week, because eggs and cottage cheese are natural sources of protein. Some of the diet is raw and some is lightly cooked.   

I was wondering if you give Fagan dried food?

Hobson suffered GDV from the prescription of Prednisone and the vet changing his diet from a natural diet to a Hills Vet Science z/d low allergen dried food diet. The side effects of Prednisone are causes of GDV. Hills Vet Science and other brands of dried food contain preservatives which are causes of GDV e.g. citric acid.

I sincerely hope you can sort out what is causing the gas in Fagan.


Fagan is on BARF, I feed a mix of different meats and bone plus eggs and fish.  I havent added yogurt but I may start doing it, I have natural yogurt every day myself.


We dont know why Fagan suffered GDV although you mentioning Hills has given me a memory jolt.  At the time I was feeding him on Burns as its really natural but he stayed with my mum that night and she fed him some of her dogs Hills Science diet, it was overnight he became ill.  This may not have been the cause as at the time he was very skinny which I know doesnt help.

Claire, I have an 8 year old boy who has bloated 5 times now from age 3 to 6. He too has been opened up twice and had a York food tolerance tests etc. I have a stict regime of feeding now and he has put on about 7 kg and he hasnt had much trouble for the last 2 years thats not to say he doesnt get gassy. We have rescue medication (Infacol is one of them) and I have learned how to wind him. I was so worried i cant tell you. Im more than happy to chat with about this if you want to as its quite complicated (ill be at home later today and tomorrow) and will give you my telephone no if you send me your email address.mine is julie@sebster.co.uk
Thanks Julie, thats very kind of you, Fagans breeder has been through "winding" with me.  I think my biggest worry is, is it wind or is his stomach twisting ? the symptoms are the same. He doesnt bloat out at all he just looks like he is in immense pain and then goes into shock with his gums going pale .... then you have to make that decision, rush to the emergency vets (as its always out of hours !!) or wait and see if winding him and giving him windeze works.

I think we all worry about our Red deep chested friends and on visiting our vets last week for annual injections etc, I raised the question on how best to take steps to try to avoid gastric torsion. The answers he gave were

1.  no food within 2 hrs of exercise

2  feed wet food with a little dry ( ours have terrier mix)

3. do not allow them to drink a load of water after eating

4. raise the food bowl ( ours have their own little tables)

5 If the dog is known to be gassy feed little and often (at least twive preferable 3 times a day 

Our vet is now offering owners with deep chested dogs the option to have the stomach stitched at the same as they are being speyed - apparently this is a new and very simple procedure

We were also talking to our local pet shop owner who was saying Pedigree Chum is moving away from Complete Feeds and suggesting wet food mixed with a meal.

Sorry I know most of the above is common sense and I hope I'm not offending anyone.





Looking over that list from your vet Lois.  And while I do a mix of wet and dry food already and do feed 3-4 times a day, just smaller amounts, I have not raised the feeding dishes with this dog because I had heard they now say that can cause more air to be swallowed with it raised.  This sure is confusing!  I often see this cartoon in my head of an IS that has a feeding set up that goes up and down several times during his meal.  Because they keep changing the rules which leads me to believe that haven't a clue which way is best or if it will change the outcomes at all.  I know several Great Dane owners who have real bloat problems in their breed and most have the stitching done during a spay surgery also. 




© 2024   Created by Gene.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service