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Harnesses increase risk of bloat? Anyone heard of this?

Cactus Flower
June 3rd, 2005, 02:51 AM
I've talked to a few Great Dane breeders lately.

One said that a harness should NEVER be used on a Dane, or any deep-chested dog, because the pressure on the belly (when you pull the harness) could cause bloat.
Well I spent the entire evening feeling tremendous guilt, because I have only ever used a harness on Raj. I thought I was taking all of the necessary precautions to help prevent bloat, and now I'm told I've been putting her at risk every time we are walking!

Today I talked to another Great Dane breeder, who said that this is utter nonsense, and that he sends a harness out with every Dane that gets adopted from him. He knows the first breeder that I spoke to, and said that she is a nice lady, but she has "different" views about many things, and has a tendency to be "dramatic" (I felt he was restraining himself, in the spirit of being tactful). He chuckled, and told me not to worry.

I don't know whether to pull that harness out of the garbage, or not!

I can't seem to find anything on Google about this. Have any of you heard of such a thing?

June 3rd, 2005, 05:56 AM
OK, I have never used a harness so this may be a stupid question but here goes. If the harness goes across the dogs chest and right behind his front legs, how does it put pressure on the belly?

June 3rd, 2005, 06:31 AM
I think that if the harness is put on properly it should only be putting any pressure on teh chest.

the one we have for sam doesnt ever touch his belly, just his chest, but hes a considerably smaller dog. never seen a dane in a harness before hehe


June 3rd, 2005, 06:36 AM
I had a harness a few years ago that would apply pressure to the stomach / lower rib cage of one of my terrier mixes (he had a very deep chest) - it has long since seen the trash so I cannot tell you what the make / model was (it was a slip thru head with chest buckle type). Best I could tell, the D-ring on the harness was set too far back (about midway from a center buckle and the back strap) which would pull the front of the harness down on the shoulders and cause the back section of the harness down the chest and slightly behind the rib cage / front of stomach. I got rid of the harness after I found that it seemed to be hurting his lower ribs (not sure if it was just uncomfortable of bruising).

I switched to a step-in style, where the d-rings were in the middle of the design and didn't have any problems with it moving around, other than some sideways movement.

June 3rd, 2005, 08:48 AM
If you are having concerns, why not call your vet and ask him/her what she thinks about the harness? The vet should know more about the anatomy of the dog than the breeder would. Considering that you take Raj to the vet regularly, the doc should also be very familiar with your dog. The vet may have encountered this problem before and may be able to give you sound advice.:)

June 3rd, 2005, 09:07 AM
CK,I have never heard of a harness causing Bloat.And it has never been mentioned in any info that I have researched.And you know that I have a breed that is prone to Bloat. :)

Here is the link that I forever post on Bloat... :D

Cactus Flower
June 3rd, 2005, 09:48 AM
Ok, the harness goes under her arms, over her shoulder region- and around the area right at the shallow end of her ribcage. It was the only kind I could find that would fit her.

Yes, I will call my vet- never hurts to get his input. Actually I'll probably stop by, so he can see her in the harness again and really see where it is putting pressure.

Thank you to everyone who commented.

Mona I am aware of your research, absolutely. In fact I owe you an apology. I believe I once said that I never heard of raised food dishes being a bad thing. That was true at the time, but when I was looking up this harness/bloat thing, I did find a website that says it's not advisable to use elevated food dishes (although they didn't say why). Seems the jury is still out on whether it's truly helpful or harmful. So many darned opinions out there on the web.

Anyhoo, do you use harnesses?

Here is a picture I found that looks closest to the harness I use. Mine is nylon and has MUCH wider straps, though.

June 3rd, 2005, 09:55 AM
No apologies needed..... :)

I don't use a harness for Tron.But when my brother had him,and he was tracking,John did use one.And no Bloat was caused by it..... :thumbs up

A friend of mine lost her St Bernard to Bloat.and guess what,her bowls were lifted.She since then got another.The bowls are on the ground.And Emily was only 8 months old... :(

June 3rd, 2005, 09:58 AM
What is the difference in using a harness and just a collar for your dogs. We have a collar for both of our boys. Do I need to go and get a harness. :D

June 3rd, 2005, 10:18 AM
I've never heard of a harness causing bloat - although through research and a thread that I started a while back, I know now that raised bowls increase the chances of bloat by something like 110%. I asked about the raised bowl thing because my breeder had said that I shouldn't use raised bowls because of the risk of bloat being greater. I had always heard the opposite, so I did some research, and of course asked all the very knowledgeable people here what they thought. I had raised bowls for Lacey (RIP :sad: ) but they will be going in the garage sale stuff and Hazel will never see them.

Cactus Flower
June 3rd, 2005, 10:22 AM
Oh no, Mona :eek: !!!!! Did Emily die?

Princess, I think it is up to personal preference and whatever works best for your dog. I'd never put anyone down for using just a regular collar and leash. I've just always preferred a harness to anything around a dog's neck, that's all. I suppose I have a bit of an "issue" with things around the neck because it is a personal anxiety of mine. I have a near-phobia about things being around my own neck- "choker"-style necklaces, a scarf, etc. Even all the collars on my t-shirts are stretched from me pulling them to loosen them.

June 3rd, 2005, 10:47 AM
Oh okay! I was not sure! I will have to get a harness and see if they do okay with it on. Thanks for the advice. :D

June 5th, 2005, 02:39 AM
Oh no, Mona :eek: !!!!! Did Emily die?

Unfortunately she died during emergency surgery.There was nothing they could do.The sad thing was her having to explain it to her 2 young boys what happened. :sad:

Cactus Flower
June 5th, 2005, 12:31 PM
Sorry, Mona :sad: :( :sad: :(

Cactus Flower
June 5th, 2005, 01:50 PM
Just to be on the safe side, I'm using a different harness on Raj now. The straps go around her shoulders and in front of her chest, and clip together between her shoulder blades. There is no strap across the tummy.

June 5th, 2005, 08:51 PM
Thank you CF..... :)

Yo will have to take a pic of Raj wearing it..... :)