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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.



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Finn and Tracy, if you love wolves, you absolutely must watch this. Heartbreaking, but in many ways inspiring. I, personally, love them for many reasons. They are making a comeback in an area I know well (the upper peninsula of Michigan), and you do see them every now and again. From the link below you can find other fascinating profiles of wolves, but this one is special.


Hi Finn. Try going to www.pbs.org

Then scroll down on the right menu, looking for a program called "Nature". From there you should be able to find the program called "The Wolf that Changed America" - you can sort through the programs by animal.


By the way, also on the www.pbs.org site, there is another program that recently aired an interesting program called "Dogs Decoded". Look under the series "Nova".



I recently attended a seminar regarding the Gastropexy and it is very rare for dogs stomachs to twist once the gastropexy has been performed, however they can still bloat.

Some other things of note from a recent study which was presented:

there is a 60% increase in the chance of your dog bloating if it has a parent who also bloated

restricting water increased the risk of bloat, but exercise before or after a meal did not increase the risk

raised feeding increases the risk


The question was asked as to whether there was any decreased risk if the dog was fed a raw diet as opposed to a commercial diet however the study did not show either way whether it was a contributing factor.


A Gastropexy is the only way to guarantee against torsion.

if your dog bloats and is operated on, a Gastropexy should be performed due to increased risk of recurrence.

This has just come up on another list that I found not only interesting but very useful - it's a video of a dog in the first stages of bloat.


Although I had my first Irish Setter in 1970, bred six litters and judged the breed from 1978, I have never seen bloat!

FWIW, I fed my dogs on raw tripe - fresh from the abatoir - and wholemeal biscuit with occasional leftovers - gravy, vegetables etc.  They were exercised early in the morning, spent a restful day, fed at around 16.00, taken out for a road walk on a leash around 18.00.  Oh! I had 6 Setters Irish and IRWS at one time but only exercised them in threes - that meant twice the exercise for me!! <g>  A calm routine was key...

Andrea, thanks for the update!


I am member of the Yahoo group K9genes and the following has recently been posted. Permission to crosspost and pass on to as many people as possible. A dog with bloat is not easily recognised... unless you have an idea of what you are seeing. The link given at the end of the video is not correct, correct version is




This video on bloat was posted to the DPCA online site with crossposting encouraged - it is a MUST watch for any Dobe (or deep chested breed) to watch - If you have never experienced this first hand,
Many of us have but it is very informative to see how the stages are almost invariable... it is a very scary proposition... Forewarned is forearmed...
Put this on the 'fire drill' list! It may save your Dobe someday! Know exactly how to reach your vet and how long it takes to get there including alternative routes in case of traffic/accidents etc...
The link below takes you to the Akita rescue site where you'll see the video full screen... you can also view it directly in you tube by clicking the button on the lower right - this is probably better for dial-up folks as it does load a bit faster.
http://www.youtube.com/embed/U1WrT2719yo?rel=0_Please feel free to crosspost widely...
Mars Martin
SND President

*** end quote

Just wanted to say I have a 9 year old male who first bloated aged4 after eating cooked chicken skin.He was always a skinny boy and his stomach girdled alot of the time. He was tubed but bloated again 2 hours lated and was opened up and had a gastropexy. At the time he was having two meals a day of dry food (james wellbeloved). after the op he seemed to go back to his normal self and we increased to 3 smaller meals a day and didnt walk 1 hr either side of eating. Out of the blue 9 months later he bloated again one evening at 22.00. He had been quitely sat all evening and we couldnt account for why. He was very large and salivating and wretching. He was tubed agian. 2 days later he bloated again and then twice more over the next 4 days. Some occasions were after eating and the vets emptied his stomach also. He seemed to have got into some sort of spiral and the vets couldnt explain it. The vets offered to open him up again and increase the size of the passage from his stomach to his intestine. They had the opinion that evacuation of food and gases out of the stomach was an issue with dogs prone to bloat. His op went well his stomach was refastened to the chest wall. We checked him out for food allergies and he had antibodies against most things everything except Turkey and fish. So from that moment on we have moistened JWL turkey or Fish overnight and he gets 6 meals a day (basically 2 hrs apart). Doesnt eat 2 hrs either side of walking. Doesnt drink immediately after walking or eating. No treats. Probiotic tablet daily. Gets winded after eating. If he shows sign of significant gas which wont move by winding we sometimes result to a drug called Metoclopramide (prescribed by our vets) . He can have up to 10mg but initially I just give him half a tab (5mg). Its a human drug which they use to quicken up barium meal through the gut to show up xrays. Through changing to this regime he soon put on weight now weighs about 32kg. . We are very vigilant and it is a big commitment in terms of time but he has never looked back.

Julie, your boy is very fortunate to have such a committed owner. I am so glad to hear he has come through after such hard times and is thriving on good food and loads of tender loving care! Your story gives hope to all who are living with the worry of a dog that has survived GDV.

Just wanted to give an update on the boy.  He got his staples out last week and is back to his old self again!  He's running, barking, wrestling and telling me he'll starve to death unless he has some of my toast in the morning.

All setter owners with an interest in the Bloat/GDV issue may be interested in the news posted in the recent Irish Setter Breeders Club (ISBC) Winter Newsletter. It concerns plans of a further reserach into bloat by the Animal Health Trust (AHT) of Great Britain.

I have permission to copy & paste:



Cathryn Mellersh is hoping to get funding for further research into bloat.

She intends to split this into two phases the first requiring the employment of a researcher to collect sample from dogs that have bloated, with phenotypically clear dogs over 10 years of age to be used as controls of which 350 are required. The KC would mail 11,000 invites to registered owners to obtain these samples. This mailing to be expanded to include MO. The second phase would involve running genome wide scans on the samples. This phase would be quite costly."


I am unsure what kind of sample will be required. I just started wondering... So many dogs have had DNA-samples taken recently for the PRA-rcd4 testing. In the unfortunate case that any of those tested dogs were to suffer GDV/Bloat would it not be possible for the owner to inform the AHT and let them use the DNA already gained for further genetic research into the inheritance of the condition?


Interestingly, there is a site from the Veterinary School at the University of Cambridge which lists health conditions for different breeds with suspected/possible modes of inheritance . Looking at GDV in the Irish Setter they suggest a dominant inheritance pattern...



Thanks for posting Susan. 

It is a great step forward, I think.  I wonder if the AHT has a permission form that we can complete and sign to say that any DNA samples being held by them can be used for future research.  I certainly would be keen to provide as much data as possible to the AHT to assist with this valuable research.

When I bought my firs Irish almost 6 years ago, I was told about bloat. I read about it, took precautions and never thought it could happen. It did.

On the evening on the 31st of December 2011. Flora ate between 16 and 16.30 pm. She ate slowly, didn't have a lot to drink. At first she looked fine, but after a while I noticed something was wrong. Her symptoms were restlessness, attempts to vomit every 15 min, abdominal swelling. At 6 pm I rushed her to the vet and at 8 pm she went under surgery. Luckily, she survived (that was my biggest fear) and is doing well. She is no longer on medications and this week the stitches are coming out.

It was a nightmare I wouldn't like to go through ever again.   



Dear Kristina

I'm so sorry to read this news and very very thankful that your Flora was one of those that could be saved. I am sure she will be enjoying your clicker training. It will keep her mind active whilst she can not go on her usual walks. The best of luck to you both!




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