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Great Dane - Bloat

April 21st, 2005, 09:08 PM
Hi all,

Just curious if anyone else has been thru the bloat with their dogs?

My big boy Moto, 1 1/2 yr old male dane had emergency surgery 2 weeks ago for bloat. They stapled stomach and removed 10 lb spleen.

I am wondering what goes on after surgery. Moto kinda sorta eating but also eating grass and vomitting. Vet says they sometimes get something like acid reflux.

Any one else been thru and how is it going?

Any suggestions?


Moto's Mom

April 21st, 2005, 10:23 PM
I haven't been through it, and I actually don't know anybody who has. It is such an expensive surgery, it's so rare that people go through with it. What a lucky dog you have!! If you really trust your vet, there is no reason not to believe him... But I would continue to research, in case.

You do have to take the healing into consideration too. Good luck.

April 22nd, 2005, 07:28 AM
hi and thanks for the response.

I just thank god we got him to the vet in time. It is an expensive surgery but he is my baby. He is only a year and a half and I just couldn't imagine being without him anymore.

Yesterday I tried a different food giving him less and so far it seems to be ok. I just really feel bad cuz he comes to me and looks at me as if to say please feed me. But gonna do it this way for awhile and see how it goes. Other than the eating of the grass and throwing up he seems to be his old self again. Burying his bones and walking around the house with his rubber chickens in his mouth. (he loves those things)

Have a great day.

April 22nd, 2005, 08:00 AM
What a lucky dog to have you! It is great that you caught it on time and went through with the surgery! Many people wait until it is too late and the poor dog doesn't make it to surgery, or they don't go ahead with the surgery because it is expensive. When I worked at a vet clinic years ago we had a Doberman that came in with bloat. Unfortunately the owners had waited too long and we were unable to save her, she never woke up from her surgery.

Do as much research as you can and keep in touch with your vet. I'm sure your vet would be more than willing to help you out and give you all the advice you need.

April 22nd, 2005, 08:16 AM
You are definately one of the lucky ones.My friend lost her St.Bernard to Bloat.She rushed Emily to the vet,but lost her.She was only 8 months.And she was rushed in right away.

Here is a very good link to Bloat.Even though your furbaby has been through it,it could happen again.It will tell you how to prevent it.You really need to be carefull of what type of dry you feed.If only feeding him dry,I would consider giving him canned also.I hope this link helps.

I agree with Prin,you do need to take the healing of the surgery into consideration.

Lucky Rescue
April 22nd, 2005, 09:38 AM
Even though your furbaby has been through it,it could happen again.

Once the stomach has been stapled, this cannot happen again ever.

How often do you feed your Dane, and what kind of food?

April 22nd, 2005, 10:35 AM
I am so glad that you were able to get your dog in to the vet in time. Although I have never been through bloat, or known anyone who has, but I do know what it's like to lose an 18 month old puppy. I just wanted to say that I hope your baby recovers well. Good Luck and let us know how he's doing (Love Great Danes by the way!)

April 22nd, 2005, 10:44 AM
Hi everyone and thanks for the responses.

Before the bloat he ate Pedigree. We kept the food out as he was a nibbler. Never gulped his food.

After the surgery, vet fed him canned food with water. Told me to keep that up for a few days and slowly mix in his dry. Did that and he didn't like it. We put a little of his dry in his bowl and he ate it. So only got canned as meatballs with his medicine in it. Now medicine is finished.

Started eating grass and throwing up. Tried Gravy Train, he seemed to like it, but then ate grass and threw up again. Yesterday gave him some Beneful, very small amounts. No grass eating today and no throwing up. But now I am wondering if it was the medicine that was upsetting his belly. No medicine yesterday. HHmmm...maybe that could be it.

So gonna go with just giving him small amount of Beneful today and see what tomorrow brings.

Actually today seems even better, playing more today.

Thanks again

Cactus Flower
April 22nd, 2005, 12:31 PM
So glad your Dane made it through the surgery ok, poor baby!

I make sure to keep my dane's food and water elevated, don't let her gulp TONS of water after eating dry food, and don't allow her to run or exercise vigorously after eating. They say that these thing will help prevent bloat. Still, I watch her very closely after she eats.

If it can't happen again after stapling, I'm certainly glad that you two are in the clear!

I don't mean to offend, but would you consider feeding him a higher quality food? I know that the advertisements are very misleading- so it is difficult for a consumer to know any better, but the foods you mentioned are not very nutritionally sound. There are many threads on here about the quality of different dog food, and I'm sure you'll find a lot of valuable advice regarding brands. Just do a search for "dog food", and you'll find many to browse through. I got quite an education here myself when I first signed up, and found that I was not necessarily giving my dogs the nutrition they needed. So again, this isn't a criticism, just a friendly suggestion.

I would LOVE to see pictures of your baby!

April 22nd, 2005, 12:35 PM
I will just add to this food conversation and say that the more costly end of food, while more expensive to purchase a bag ends up equally the same amount as several low grade bags because you feed far less. Also, the amount of poop you pick up is hugely reduced. Double bonus, lol.

April 22nd, 2005, 01:03 PM
Again thanks for replies and no offense taken.

We had given him some Iams once before when we ran out of his food (borrowed from neighbor) and he took one bite and wouldn't eat anymore. Actually spit it out.

I had planned on picking up some Science diet when I was out yesterday, but store I went to didn't have it, going out later today to try and pick some up. But than again, so far today been having luck with the Beneful I gave hime yesterday.

As soon as hubby gets home tonight, we will post some pics of the big boy.

Thanks again for all the info, learn something new all the time.

April 22nd, 2005, 01:35 PM
Why not look into Wellness or Solid Gold? Iams and Science Diet are still not the best. A bag of Solid Gold Wolf King costs me $67 (33lbs). It's loaded with yumminess.
Go here:
Wellness (
Solid Gold (
And maybe check this one out. Their food is insane, but I wouldn't be able to afford it...
Merrick Pet Care (

Cactus Flower
April 22nd, 2005, 02:16 PM
Prin is in Canada, MotosMom. So it won't be quite that expensive here in U.S dollars.

April 22nd, 2005, 04:09 PM
Ya, $67 Canadian is what $12 US? heh heh. We were catching up though. Until all this scandal and political uncertainty.

doggy lover
April 22nd, 2005, 05:30 PM
My last dog had bloat when he was 5, strange that your dog would bloat at such a young age. It took him a while to get over the surgery, and dogs can bloat after they have had the surgery they just can't twist. As I was told it is the twisting of the stomach that kills them. You dog is lucky you noticed what was going on, it only takes hours to kill a dog. If you want any more info on what my dog went through private message me.

doggy lover
April 22nd, 2005, 05:33 PM
For his diet right now try rice, cooked ground beef and cottage cheese its easier on their tummies.

April 22nd, 2005, 05:35 PM
Age doesn't matter. It relies mostly on how deep the chest is.

Cactus Flower
April 22nd, 2005, 07:35 PM
MotosMom, DoggyLover- would either of you mind sharing what symptoms your dog had that told you they were in trouble? What were the first signs, and how did they progress? Unless it is too painful for you to retell (which I would understand completely), I would appreciate the heads-up on what exactly to look for.

Lucky Rescue
April 22nd, 2005, 07:44 PM
and dogs can bloat after they have had the surgery they just can't twist

Right. Sorry Monab!!! I was thinking you meant it could twist again....duh....:p

Motosmom, the foods you named are some of the most low quality and cheapest around, and this means they are not very digestible. Not very good for any dog, and especially not for yours.

Your dog needs a high quality food that will be easily digested. It may seem more expensive, but you will feed much less of it, so the cost is really comparable.

April 22nd, 2005, 08:04 PM
It's easier to fix if there is no twisting though. They just put a tube down the throat or in the other end. No surgery. I know that dogs who aren't stapled have a 70% of bloating again.

April 22nd, 2005, 09:08 PM
We knew immediatly something was wrong with moto. He wasn't his usual self. No playing, no toys nothing.

We noticed his stomach was extended, really really big, trying to throw up, but nothing but a little foam coming out. Wanting to lay down but can't get comfortable. And then he crawled under the bushes, I think he went there to die.

New to the area so we had to find some place to take him on a sunday night at 1100pm. Went to animal er an hour away, we made it in 35 minutes.

Very scary. Stomach was stapled so hopefully that is the end of it.

April 22nd, 2005, 09:35 PM
Cactusflower, What do you feed your big girl? I was just wondering what other people feed their danes. Atticus had Medical Kibble after his obstruction and now eats a chicken first healthy start food with no by-products or corn etc. His bowl isnt totally elevated just not right on the floor, he still has to lean right down to get it, but its out of chihuahua reach, his water is on the floor though. I really just want to know what other people feed their danes, i am thinking about switching him back to the Medical Kibble as it specially made for gas, he did very well on it, but it smelled very ashy and that worried me. Sorry to blab on, but in short I am just curious what others feed. :thumbs up

Cactus Flower
April 22nd, 2005, 09:48 PM
Mombully, I laughed out loud at your editing note!
I feed Raj AvoDerm vegetarian. She is allergic to meat protein :( .

MotosMom, thanks for sharing the details. How terrifying that sounds!
At least I know that it won't be something I will likely overlook. That's been my worry- what if she is showing symptoms and I don't recognize them as such. Sounds very obvious, and I DO watch her closely after she eats.

April 22nd, 2005, 10:27 PM
Didn't know what was wrong at that time, but knew something wasn't right. We knew he had to have been in pain, but he didn't once cry or wince.

We had another great dane a couple of years ago. He lived to be 12 years old, which is amazing in itself. Never any signs of bloat at any time. He ate Pedigree all his life. We have been trying to compare and see what the differences were between the 2 dogs. BlackJack was a sleeper. He just always wanted to be in the sunbeam and always wanted to sleep. Moto, he just wants to play. He has outside toys and inside toys and he knows the difference. Jack liked going for drives, but didn't seem to matter to him one way or the other if he went. Now, Moto he loves to go for a ride and he wants to go all the time. If we are not going anywhere, he just goes to sit by the car cuz he wants to go for a ride.

But just shows you never can tell what dog will get it when. Just know what to look for. Time is critical also.

Just so glad to see Moto getting back to his usual self. He is such a joy.

April 22nd, 2005, 10:28 PM
Also, we had both dogs food dish elevated.

April 22nd, 2005, 10:33 PM
Did you read the other thread? About feeding dishes?

Cactus Flower
April 22nd, 2005, 11:58 PM
I, too, am glad that he is getting back to his usual self! Lucky boy to have parents like you and your husband who are so caring, not to mention quick to respond :thumbs up .

I will be eagerly awaiting pictures of Moto!

April 23rd, 2005, 06:55 AM
Hi Moto,

I'm so glad to hear your baby is doing well.

My last foster a gsd bloated and it was the scarest thing I have ever seen.

After his surgery it was a very slow recovery, he got 4 small meals a day (nutro senoir dry) and some canned food from the vet that was easy on the tummy. He got no treats for a few weeks and no rawhides or pig ears ever again my vet said. His exercise was very liminted and we had to keep things very quiet for about a month.

He was 2 yrs old and very hyper and untrained we had only had him 2 weeks before this happened so when he was free in the house I kept him tethered to me with a lead so he didn't run and play with the other dogs. We were also told no execrise atleat 30 min before or after a meal and no water as well before or after play. We eventually went to 3 meals a day for himand this worked out well, even tho he was only 2 the vet said to put him on senoir food because it ahd less fat and this was easier for his system we jsut had to increase the food so he didn't loose weight.

He recovered very well and 2 months later he went to his forever home, I get updates often and he is doing great and now enjoying his obedience classes and new family!

I am so glad that you got your baby to the vet ontime and that he is doing well. Good luck and god bless

April 23rd, 2005, 08:24 AM
Right. Sorry Monab!!! I was thinking you meant it could twist again....duh....:p

That's ok LR..... :thumbs up

Prin,actually age does matter.As it is VERY rare for a younger dog to get it.My friends vet was very very surprised that Emily got it at 8 months old.

MotosMom,not sure if you know this,but Beneful is not a very good food to feed.When looking for a premium food,the first 5 ingredients should not be corn.Also,you need to stay away from the foods that contain citric acid,brewers yeast,alfalfa and soybean.

Having GSD's,my biggest fear has been bloat.But I have taken every precausion to prevent it.And knock on wood(knocks on head LOL)I haven't had a problem.This is something I have to praise my breeder with.She helped me out alot with it.

Can't wait to see pics.I just love Danes.Growing up my Aunt raised 5.

April 23rd, 2005, 10:13 AM
MotosMom,not sure if you know this,but Beneful is not a very good food to feed.When looking for a premium food,the first 5 ingredients should not be corn.Also,you need to stay away from the foods that contain citric acid,brewers yeast,alfalfa and soybean.

Why not citric acid, brewers yeast or Alfalfa?? (I know soy is bad)

Citric acid is how they get vitamin C, Brewers Yeast is REALLY good for humans as well as dogs, and the anti-oxidants of alfalfa is really good too. I don't know why these are bad? are they bad only for dogs prone to bloat?

Wait...I just did a search and see the citric acid is bad for dogs prone to bloat, but I couldn't find references to the others. The only thing about Alfalfa that I could see is bad is that they have a lot of Isoflavones, same as soy, which can be bad in really large amounts.

April 23rd, 2005, 10:27 AM
Yes raingirl,these ingredients do pertain to those prone to Bloat.

In the link I posted about Bloat,those are the four things they had mentioned to stay away from.They did say that if you must use a food that does contain citric acid, do NOT moisten the food.

If feeding dry foods, avoid foods that contain citric acid
If you must use a dry food containing citric acid, do not pre-moisten the food

Avoid brewer's yeast, alfalfa, and soybean products

Cactus Flower
April 23rd, 2005, 11:58 AM
THANK YOU for posting that, Mona! I had no idea!

April 23rd, 2005, 12:20 PM
You are VERY Welcome Cactus. :thumbs up

As I have stated before,I have done everything I can to prevent this from happening to my dogs.As GSD's and Great Danes are the top 2 breeds prone to it more.It does list all othe deep chested breeds that are also at risk.

The link I posted had some VERY good info on it.It also states what can cause it alon with how to prevnt it.

April 23rd, 2005, 12:21 PM
A pic of Moto, we will post some in the Photo Gallery If I can figure it out.

April 23rd, 2005, 12:27 PM
OMG.....He is simply GORGEOUS...So very regal looking.

Cactus Flower
April 23rd, 2005, 12:31 PM
WOW what a gorgeous dog! He looks nearly identical to the dane I got for my best friend- and his name is Mojo! Strange similarities there.

Thank you for posting the pic! And yes, more more more!

April 23rd, 2005, 05:45 PM
What a good looking boy!!!! I'm so glad he is ok

April 23rd, 2005, 07:45 PM
I believe yeast is bad because as yeast is alive, it consumes glucose and releases gasses, which are the cause of bloat. Citric acid also causes gas to form.

What a cute puppy!! I love his color. :) (Look how deep his chest is- even though he is young)

doggy lover
April 24th, 2005, 07:14 PM
When Travis bloated the first signs that we noticed were he started gagging and trying to throw up, only foam came up though, also his anal glands let go( what a stink) and this had never happened before. We pulled over (as we were driving along in our truck at the time)tried to give him some water and he wouldn't take it. Then we noticed that it looked like he had swallowed a beach ball, he was shaped like a GSD with the thin sides and deep chest. We also noticed he tried to lay in a spinx position which was unusual for him he always leaned to one side. I don't remember him ever whining, but he was a tough dog, even when he had the bone cancer he never made a fuss and would still get up to come to meet you at the door when you came home. I still miss the big pooch.
Prin yes it is easier to fix if the dog has not twisted yet, Travis had a tube up the back end and they passed a gallon of warm water into his stomach and released the gas that way. But he still had to have surgery to anchor his stomach to his abdoman wall, as once a dog has had bloat it is highly likely that it will happen again. They can still get bloat after this but they can't twist which is the most dangerous and kills them faster as it cuts off the blood supply to their stomach, ect and the spleen gets involved it is a horrible way to die. But even after the surgery if they bloat it is an medical emergency and they have to be taken to the vets right away.

Cactus Flower
April 24th, 2005, 08:39 PM
Thanks, DoggyLover. I winced as I was reading, but it was valuable information.

April 25th, 2005, 01:18 PM
I'm really glad to here your Dane made it. I have a 9 month old that had the gastropexy operation at the same time of being spayed. There is always a small percentage that she can get bloat, but we also follow all the routines, elevated dishes etc. I have to recommend "Eagle Pack" for Danes. It's got the perfect levels of fat and protein, especially since they grow into the size of a small person in one year. But talk to your vet, I'm sure they have some good advice for food.

April 25th, 2005, 05:42 PM
Great photo of Mojo - such a good looking dog! I love Great Danes!! Had one named Dudley Dooright when I was a kid. I'm glad he's doing better!

April 25th, 2005, 09:20 PM
but we also follow all the routines, elevated dishes etc

NO,do NOT elevate the dish..This is a big no no.

If you want to follow all the routines,then I suggest you read up on the link I posted. :)

Cactus Flower
April 25th, 2005, 10:56 PM
It's a big YES YES over here :p

Been recommended more times than I can count.

April 25th, 2005, 11:03 PM
I've had it been recommened to many times as well. I even had a lady stop her car while I was walking and ask me if i have "one of those bowls thats not on the ground" LOL

April 25th, 2005, 11:57 PM
I'm really glad to here your Dane made it. I have a 9 month old that had the gastropexy operation at the same time of being spayed. There is always a small percentage that she can get bloat, but we also follow all the routines, elevated dishes etc. I have to recommend "Eagle Pack" for Danes. It's got the perfect levels of fat and protein, especially since they grow into the size of a small person in one year. But talk to your vet, I'm sure they have some good advice for food.
Just out of curiosity, if you don't mind, how much did the op cost in all?

April 27th, 2005, 01:05 PM
Hi all, Moto and I have been off visiting grandparents. He just loves grandpa and he had to show him his new toys and his scar. What a big baby. He loves all that attention.

We were always told to keep his food dish elevated. So that's what we do.

The cost of his surgery was $2100. And the extended care at the vet Hospital was $1500.00. A lot of money but because he is only a year and a half old, I just couldn't bring myself to do anything else but have the surgery. Of course we were lucky enough to have gotten him to vet in time.

He is glad to be home with all his stuff and he seems to be feeling so much better. Now with all that play time with grandpa over, he is in my bed sleeping.

April 27th, 2005, 01:18 PM
The operation costs around $375. It was done the same time we had her spayed. As far as the elevated dishes, I was told from both of my vets, and have read it in all of my great dane breeder books. I know that there are conflicting ideas with respect to raised dishes, I think the most important thing is to always be aware of the condition since it is so prevalent in Danes.

April 27th, 2005, 01:27 PM
I'm so glad that Moto is doing well. Thanks for keeping us updated.

doggy lover
April 27th, 2005, 06:55 PM
I believe it cost us over $1600 for Travis and that was 5 years ago, but that is with his emergency vet visit and the surgery by our own vet a couple of days later. It is a very scary and serious situation that no one should put off, I was told by the emergency vet that he would have never made it through the night and this happened in the evening. Alot of vets I have spoken to through the years said that they don't deal with dogs like that, they send them to Guelph Ont. A long way for a dog in such condition to go, normally they don't make it.

February 4th, 2008, 09:08 PM
i know this post is old but for your information...i have a german shepherd and they are known to bloat and i read on them that not to give them water right after they ate...let the dog wait so they dont bloat..especially dry food

doggy lover
February 5th, 2008, 02:43 PM
Try looking into this website there are a few out there with info on bloat, one vet told me you could try and prevent it many ways but sometimes it just happens. Our dog bloated on the way home from the cottage, without food or water? Who knows why?