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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 !!

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its always useful to be reminded of these things.  Depending on the type of exercise I dont feed up to 3 hours before (for instance if we are going bikejoring, hard running or agility) or 2 hours for normal exercise.  Feeding after exercise is usually an hour but depends again how hard the exercise was and how puffed out the dogs are.

 

I feed raw, twice a day, although Fagan is on 4 at the moment. I do feed raised but depending on which report you read this could make it worse as it makes it easier for the dog to bolt its food.  I never have that problem as my boys like to take their time with their food (with the exception of my Australian Kelpie who "inhales" his !!!

 

Again, depending on what reports you read there is an argument about mixing wet and dry food together as they are both digested at different rates

Claire, hello again.

 

My vet said that he could only give me his opinion in what was happening when a dog bloated but he believed that it was when the stomach could not move food & gas quickly enough into the intestine. Each time Seb has bloated immediately following the tubing procedure to give the gas an outlet he has been given a human drug called Metoclopramide. This drug is given to humans when they have a barium meal to make the stomach contract faster and move it through the body quicker. Now I have a supply of these at home (via the vet) and give him half if I see the tell tale signs this gives me some leeway as he can have up to 1 tablet a day (its based on weight) The drug either moves the gas completely or it should give us longer to get to the vets before the situation becomes dire. Also when Seb had his stomach stiched back for the second time (the last time he fully bloated) they artificially increased the size of the "tube" from his stomach to his intestine so that everything moved through easier.

The yorke test said that he had antibodies against all foods except Turkey & Fish so now he just has these two variations of James Wellbeloved Complete Dry Food on alternative days and nothing else.

I never feed different food flavours within the same day and never give him the food dry.

Half of his daily dry food is covered with tap water overnight the other half first thing and from 08.00 he is fed two large spoonfulls only every 2 hours. If we need to go out he just waits longer than 2 hrs.

He doesnt eat for 2 hrs either side of exercise.

I avoid Dog biscuits but he sometimes has a Rich Tea biscuit

He eats with his bowl raised.

I always need to wind him after each feed. Patting the side from under the armpit and then massaging towards his tail(kissing his ears at the same time)

He has access to water but rarely drinks any as his food is already moisturised.

He has a Symbiotic Probiotic tablet every day to keep his good bacteria going.

If it seems he is gassy or his stomach is noisy I would give him Infacol before his meals (straight into his mouth) before he eats

 

All I can tell you is that his stomach used to gurggle all the time now its rare I hear it. He has put on weight and is a lot more sturdy dog. If he does get uncomfotable/gassy I give him the metoclopramide and take him for a calm walk on the lead and keep patting and massaging. Up to now all this has worked. Its hard on us keeping up the regime and kennels/holidays are gone but I would do anything. hope this all makes sense.

The things we do for our dogs !!!

 

Fagan has always had a gurgly tummy, sometimes he doesnt fancy his food and will go outside and eat grass instead.  I have found the human IBS tablet buscopan is quite good for when he is like this.

 

This last time that Fagan bloated it was his intestine that was full of gas nothing to do with his stomach this is what has confused me ...

I forgot. sometimes Seb will get up first thing and be off it just wanting grass. The vet said I should try to stop him eating alot of grass and give him something to calm his tummy which is where the Rich tea biscuits came in. But sometimes he doesnt want these either. In such a case I then crush 2 x Gastrocote tablets (again human ant acids) and add a drop of water to get them into a ball and put this at the back of his tongue. He will take these off me easily as though he knows it makes him better. Which it does half an hour later he is up for food. I think basically Seb just has a very dodgy gut with food allergies, excess acid etc. He first bloated when I gave him chicken skin the vet said he just couldnt process the fat. But after that he seemed to bloat for no reason at all. So I have to try and treat his tummy kindly but he would still eat anything we worry when he eats dung etc..

 

When he was having large meals (2 a day) he must have only weighed about 24kg you could see all his ribs and his spine it was as though he wasnt able to get the goodness from his food. But since the operation and the no antibody diet and smaller meals (but same amount of food overall) he has put on weight and now weight 30 kg.  But then he still gets gassy after a walk when his stomach is certainly empty but he  must swallow too much air and I have too wind him when he gets home. Sometimes when he has bloated they have emptied his stomach and told me it was actually empty already and it was just gas as in your case. Can too much acid produce gas without the food?

Fred has never had bloat but he does suffer from the most awful wind.His stomach is so loud it can be heard from yards away,he emits the wind anally. I was advised by my vet to give him Peptac which is similar to Gaviscon ,as and when needed,and is used for acid reflux in humans.I use a 20ml syringe to get it down his throat.Peptac can be bought over the counter and is effective in calming his stomach.He also has  a 75mg Ranitidine indigestion tablet every morning.This, too, can be bought over the counter.Fred is fed with his bowl elevated and it does help.

I have worried about Fred as we lost Albert ,a lovely dog , who had a similar noisy gut but who started vomiting violently and often.After investigation at the Cambridge Animal Hospital it was found his  peristalsis was failing/had failed so food could not get through his gut.He died very shortly after diagnosis.That was nearly eight years ago  and Joan and I miss him still.

Fagan used to suffer awful wind, he could clear a room in seconds, and his stomach would gurgle really loudly too.  Since ive put him on a raw diet and removed all cereal products from his diet the wind has stopped and his stomach only gurgles occasionally and nothing like as loud as what it used to.
I was proud of Maggie ,who died twoyears ago, she was a blood donor and one of the dogs she saved was a setter with torsion because he lost a lot of blood during his operation.She saved his life.

Most of the research I have done myself has pointed towards GDV being a hereditary condition. My two boys are quite different, Fagan being tall and slim whilst Alfie is more in proportion.  Its the deep chest that we breed for that causes the torsion.  So the question really is what are breeders doing about it? it should be something that is researched in lines as much as hips, eyes etc  When Fagan had GDV I tried to discuss it at a show with various people, some closely related to his breeding, all were very closed about it, seeming as they didnt want to discuss it, suggesting that I had exercised him too close to feeding, it was very much a case of "not in my lines" 

This is something that really needs looking into, our breed may well have come out shining on the "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" programme but would it if programme makers knew the real big killer of our beautiful dogs? If breeders are breeding dogs from lines which have a strong tendancy to bloat then that is as bad as the cavalier people breeding from dogs whos hearts are not clear.

 

Just food for thought, im not blaming anyone for what happened to Fagan but I do think for future generations breeders need to be more aware ...... or is this something thats already being looked into when planning a litter ?

It is not only IS who suffer from GDV there are many many deep chested dogs with this problem to name a couple Flat Coat Retrievers, GS etc. I am quite sure there is a large amount of research currently being carried out to determine whether it is hereditary or a lifestyle illness as with so many human illnesses. In the meantime all we can do is protect our beautiful Reds in the best possible way. 

Hi there,

We found that Windeeze capsules worked well and we also advised to give a Zantac tablet ½hr before every meal. When we got a bloat attack we usually gave him a Windeeze tablet and rubbed his tum until he either belched or tried to vomit which brought up the air.

I've heard of several people feeding their dog raw chicken with good effect but I always worried about the possibility of the chicken being off if not handled and stored with great care. We fed him on a hypoallergenic diet with fresh rice. We stopped using any form of kibble which aggravated the problem even when fed well moistened.

My dog Riley has had a lot of stomach problems since he was a pup and he is now 2. He gets bloody stools and very bad wind. I change his food and just when I think the food suits him he gets it again. Has your dog suffered with bloody stools?

Hi Christine

Very sorry to hear about your worries with Riley. I have known dogs with bloody diarrhoea (in all breeds) and most were suffering from intestinal disease of some kind.

I assume you have done all the usual checks on Riley at he vet's to rule out obvious problems as worms, giardia, other nasty bugs? How about pancreatitis?

If you feel at loss as where to turn to, maybe you could get in touch with one of the health coordinators from the uk breed clubs and/or with the breeder.

Wishing you all he best

Susan

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