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prophylactic gastropexy - opinions?

Tye's mum
June 8th, 2006, 10:45 PM
Hello,

Just signed up a few minutes ago, and I am hoping some of you can help me out :) This will probably get a little long!

On Friday night, my almost-15 month old doberman bloated.

Luckily I was somewhat familiar with the signs - his abdomen was extremely distended, and that alone would have made me rush him to an emergency vet immediately, even if I had not been familiar with the signs!
Ten minutes away from the vet, Tye started panting, whimpering (never heard him whine like that before), and pacing in the back seat of my car. When he started that, I was so scared that I had caught it too late.
I can't express the relief I felt when the first set of x-rays showed no twisting... They were able to tube him & "clear him out", did the standard bloat treatment (IV fluids, pain meds, bloodwork, etc). The second set of x-rays after they tubed him already showed improvement. They kept him overnight and until early evening on Saturday just to be safe. Bloodwork and a final set of x-rays Saturday afternoon showed huge improvement, and any previous abnormalities in the bloodwork had returned to normal values.

He has been on 20mg of Pepcid twice a day (until this morning - he's off it now). I have been feeding him small amounts of boiled chicken and rice (with a bit of water) four times a day. This afternoon I added 1/4 cup of dry food, and will be slowly switching him back to the kibble over the next few days.

Completely unexpected (obviously), he's fed twice a day (2 - 2 1/2 cups Timberwolf Organics, mixed with water, probiotics and a tiny amount of Wysong canned food [switch between rabbit, venison, duck, beef and chicken to keep things exciting]).

I will be feeding him Innova EVO now, instead of the Timberwolf. He ate the EVO a while ago, but grew bored with it. He absolutely loves the Timberwolf, but seemed to poop a lot and was a little "gassy" at times while on it. I can't help but think that maybe this eventually led to the bloat... He wasn't like that on the EVO before, so we will see how it goes.

----
Sorry for all that... I am still in shock that this happened to my pup. Makes me feel better to get it all out!
My question is, have any of you had a gastropexy done on your dog when he/she is perfectly healthy??
I have been considering having this done with Tye. Part of me feels that putting him through the surgery now would be a little 'over the top': He's healthy, he bloated but didn't twist, and maybe he will never bloat again.
The other part of me is thinking if I get the gastropexy done, IF he does bloat again, statistics are in his favor that he will NOT twist with the gastropexy. He would still need to be treated of course.
If he bloats again (80% chance he will again, I think?) and never had the surgery done on him, he could twist AND I would have it done in an emergency situation instead of when he is healthy and stable.

I am leaning more towards having the surgery done... Does anyone have any advice or opinions. I'm interested in anything you have to say about this. Personal experiences would be great.
I will be speaking to his "regular" vet tomorrow to see what she has to say. His breeder had suggested talking to his vet about the surgery. Perhaps I should mention that dobermans are on "The List" of at-risk breeds for bloat, for those who do not know.

My apologies for letting this get so long!

Thank you,

Jess & Tye

Toonces
June 9th, 2006, 12:58 PM
I am so sorry you had to go throught this but I am glad it has turned out fine for you and your baby.

One of my fosters bloated once and it was the scariest thing I have ever seen. He needed the surgery to save his life and I had him to the vet within 10 mins.

He is a gsd and like danes and many other deep chested dogs they are prone to bloat. If I was ever to get a puppy I would have the surgery done at the time of spay or neutering, better to be safe than sorry.

Talk it over with yoru vet and see what they suggest, whatever you decide I hope you never have to go through that again

OntarioGreys
June 9th, 2006, 02:34 PM
If you are looking for another grain free diet to try there is Natural Balance's Duck and Potato or Solid Gold's Barking at the Moon one of them might appeal to him a little more than the EVO



I agree it is best to discuss with your vet, actually that was one of my discussions with my vet just a couple of days ago. My situation is a little different my grey has an very enlarged spleen, and I had heard of several greys with enlarged spleens having both gastric and splenenic torsions together, so I was kind of concerned about the risk in my boys case and the talk with my vet was worth it as it has calmed my worries.
the red and white grey in this picture is Sunny with the enlarged spleen, he is very lazy even by greyhound standards, but that has proved to be a bonus in his case because that has allowed his abdominal muscle to become weak so with the weight of the spleen it has sagged the abdominal tuck, so lays flat resting on the floor of the chest wall straight back to the abdomen floor, because it is laying flat rather than sitting diagonally in the abdominal cavity it is less likely to rotate and rotate the stomach along with it, the other bonus is the sag is keeping it away from the intestines and other organs so not impeding their function or causing a blockage. The only disadvantage is the way other greyhound owners view him and refer to him as being obese :sad:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y53/mleg2001/other%20images/mayaandabacu0061.jpg

Prin
June 9th, 2006, 03:06 PM
Does the timberwolf you were feeding have citric acid in it? I don't think so, but if it does, wetting the food might have contributed to the bloat. Apparently, wetting citric acid releases a lot of gas.

Eating dry foods that contain citric acid as a preservative (the risk is even worse if the owner moistens the food)From here: http://www.globalspan.net/bloat.htm in the causes section...

rainbow
June 9th, 2006, 07:31 PM
How long have you been feeding Timberwolf Organics? I feed it to my two dogs (one siberian husky and one lab) and they had some gas at first but not anymore.

Tye's mum
June 9th, 2006, 07:47 PM
Thank you for all the replies.

I did talk to his vet today, and when I brought up the gastropexy I don't think she hesitated for even a second to agree that it was a smart thing to do while he's healthy. The appointment was actually made because he has not been drinking water since I brought him home Saturday (6/3) - blood test and urinalysis were all normal, and we are thinking that maybe the water I've been adding to his meals has been enough. We're also thinking he's a pain in my butt and trying to give me a heart attack... :) Or drain my bank account. Either way, he's doing a great job at both.
We have the surgery scheduled for 6/21. His regular vet has actually never done a gastropexy, so we're having someone else do the surgery and she will watch/assist. I thought it was strange that she hadn't done this before, but then someone brought up the fact that the majority of these procedures are done at emergency places (because all dogs like to get sick/injured at night or on holidays, as I am sure many of you know :) )

Toonces - I'm glad your foster pup was able to pull through his bloat and the surgery. It really is a terrifying situation to be in. Do you know how long recovery time was? A young dobe is not an easy thing to keep calm and quiet... lol. I read 3-4 weeks somewhere. I am dreading the next month after the 21st if this is the case! Tye is a good, well behaved dog, but his breed is not one of the ones that enjoys lounging around for a month doing nothing! Unless its on your lap...

OntarioGreys - Did you decide to go through with the surgery? I actually picked up some samples of the Solid Gold Barking at the Moon. I have only given him a small taste, but he did seem to enjoy it. I like the ingredients as well, so I will definitely be keeping that in mind if Tye doesn't continue eating the EVO.

Prin - The Timberwolf does not have citric acid in it... two weeks ago I did notice it had dried whole milk and dried whey extract in it. I don't recall seeing these ingredients listed before, so either I missed it or they changed the formula. Maybe these 2 things were what was causing his pre-bloat 'gas issues' and maybe even triggered the bloat?? None of their other formulas have this, just the "Wild and Natural".

Thanks again for the help,

Jess

Tye's mum
June 9th, 2006, 08:03 PM
How long have you been feeding Timberwolf Organics? I feed it to my two dogs (one siberian husky and one lab) and they had some gas at first but not anymore.

I have/had been feeding the Timberwolf for at least 3 months, maybe a little longer. He did well on it at first (no real issues with gas, etc). At the end of April, shortly after I had switched him to Timberwolf, he had his annual exam with all his vaccinations. I am 98% sure that the gas, loose stools, etc began AFTER his vaccinations -- at least after the vaccinations was when I had 3 fecals and a giardia test ran (all negative). I could ramble on about my theory that he had a reaction to the vaccinations To keep this short, I think his reaction to the vaccines caused the gas/loose & frequent stools. However, since I am not 100% sure that he did NOT have these issues prior to the vaccines, I decided to just switch him back to the EVO just incase the food did possibly have something to do with the bloat.
Its too bad, because Tye is an extremely picky eater and he LOVES the Timberwolf food. He was finally gaining those last few pounds he needed because he was actually eating full meals every time he was fed. With other foods, he would suddenly refuse to eat it one day after eating it consistently for about a month or so...

Jess

Prin
June 10th, 2006, 12:44 AM
You can't try a different formula? If the others don't have ingredients suspected in causing bloat...

Toonces
June 10th, 2006, 08:05 AM
Hi Tye's Mum,

The recovery period is about 4 weeks and included no jumping, running, stair climbing, no playing with other pets and no rough-housing. He was put on a special diet and we had to do 4 small feedings a day. I was lucky to have friends come over and help with this and also to let him out for bathroom breaks as Reilly was not house broken at the time he bloated. They are not allowed to lick the incision and the sutures came out in 14 days.

Reilly's recovery was very hard because when he came to us he was a wild child, he was just over a yr old and had lived all of that time locked in a crate. He knew nothing and was out of control, he was like having a 80 lb 8 week puppy. The first 2 weeks untill his sutures came out I slept with him every night. He hated the crate (can't say as I blame him) and he would do his business in the it so we could not put him in there for fear of infection so he got free roam of the basement seperated from the other pets while we worked and if he had an accident atleast he was not laying in it and we had friends drop in several times a day. He was only alone 4 hrs a day, I cut my hrs back at work for the first few weeks untill his incision healed.

Keeping him quiet was very hard because we have 2 of our own dogs and 2 cats and he loves to play, he was also only let out on lead and just to do his business and that was it, we had a ramp built off our deck fo he did not have to use the stairs.

Reilly will be 4 yrs old this august and has had no problems since, sadly he is back in foster care with us, he is laying beside me as I type this. His adoptive family due to circumstances they could not controll had to part with him. He has grown up alot and is such a good boy now and last sat he graduated from school.

I wish you all the best for Tye and I hope he recovers fast

OntarioGreys
June 10th, 2006, 11:40 AM
OntarioGreys - Did you decide to go through with the surgery? I actually picked up some samples of the Solid Gold Barking at the Moon. I have only given him a small taste, but he did seem to enjoy it. I like the ingredients as well, so I will definitely be keeping that in mind if Tye doesn't continue eating the EVO.


No to surgery, since everything still is functioning fine, and risk of torsion is low right now. on Wednesday he will have another x-ray while he is having a dental done, just to see if the size of the spleen has changed, his blood work values still looks very good, his weight has held from a year ago so the vet does not think we will see any major change on the x-ray, he had an ultrasound and needle aspiration done last year to see if cancer was present and those were negative . I am feeding EVO as well and need to stick with grain free for Sunny to keep his weight stable , so I like to know what else is available in grain free foods just in case he decides he does not want to eat.

Good luck with the surgery

rainbow
June 10th, 2006, 05:48 PM
I have/had been feeding the Timberwolf for at least 3 months, maybe a little longer. He did well on it at first (no real issues with gas, etc). At the end of April, shortly after I had switched him to Timberwolf, he had his annual exam with all his vaccinations. I am 98% sure that the gas, loose stools, etc began AFTER his vaccinations -- at least after the vaccinations was when I had 3 fecals and a giardia test ran (all negative). I could ramble on about my theory that he had a reaction to the vaccinations To keep this short, I think his reaction to the vaccines caused the gas/loose & frequent stools. However, since I am not 100% sure that he did NOT have these issues prior to the vaccines, I decided to just switch him back to the EVO just incase the food did possibly have something to do with the bloat.
Its too bad, because Tye is an extremely picky eater and he LOVES the Timberwolf food. He was finally gaining those last few pounds he needed because he was actually eating full meals every time he was fed. With other foods, he would suddenly refuse to eat it one day after eating it consistently for about a month or so...

Jess

If you're 98% sure Tye's problems started after his vaccinations and he really LOVES the Timberwolf then why don't you put him back on it? If the problem comes back, then switch.

Prin
June 10th, 2006, 06:26 PM
The problem is, it's a life threatening expensive problem... I guess if he gets gassy you could stop right away...

BigBMFMama
June 17th, 2006, 02:08 PM
Hello Tye's Mom!

I just wanted to let you know that my 1.5 year old Bullmastiff, Zeus, did exhibit signs of bloat also. I made a quick decision myself to go ahead and get the gastropexy done, even though my good friend, who is a very well respected Bullmastiff breeder told me not to. I am a vet tech and have the privledge of working at the clinic where it was done, and Zeus' vet (my boss) didn't hesitate for a second and said it was definately the right thing to do.

Zeus had his gastropexy (and his bi-lateral entropion surgery done at the same time) this Monday the 12th. The incision is much larger than I thought it would be, but he is fairing quite well. He has a cone on his head which he hates, but he has to live with it.

He is on a regimine of Cephalexin. 750mg t.i.d for 10 days. For pain for the first 5 days, he was on Previcox 227mg Tablets. 1.25 tablets once a day. It did the trick!

We were originally feeding Science Diet Adult Large Breed Light, but then switched to Innova Large Breed, and we weren't impressed with the Innova at all! It made him SO gassy, and I think may have contributed a bit to his bloat. About a month ago I switched him to "Wellness Super5Mix Weight Management" and the change has been remarkable! Literally the gas went from 110% to 2%. I was mind boggled by the change! Plus, it keeps the weight off of my chunky man. From what I hear, Wellness is wonderful. I know that I will feed every single dog I get from now on Wellness. I really am impressed with the food! For BMF's you need low low levels of protien and fat and high levels of fiber, which this food has given us.

We also supplement with L. Acidophilius (Natural Yogurt Supplement). We use "Eagle Pack Holistic Solution". It is amazing! It's a pro-biotic that encourages healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. It too has helped immensley with the gas and has helped his stomach a lot!

He is now because of the surgery being fed canned Prescription Diet I/D, and it's done very well and has been very easy on his tummy. Now, we're mixing it with his Wellness and he's doing just great!

He did eat about 5 hours after the surgery, but that's just Zeus. No matter how much pain he's in, he can still eat! LOL!

He did also have a bowel movement about 10 hours after his surgery. (Somewhere I read that they won't have one until about 5 days post surgery which certianly isn't true!)


Zeus has had to stay at the clinic since his surgery since he is so hyper active. He was counter surfing when we brought him home (about 8 hours) after surgery. He was jumping off and on the bed and couch. Running around chasing squirrels in the back yard. Jumping in the air trying to get his cone off, so since he can't fit in his kennel with his cone on, our only option is kenneling for a couple of weeks so he doesn't hurt himself.

Good luck and let us know how it goes! You're totally doing the right thing!

-Zeus (and Kissimme's) Mommy

Angies Man
August 16th, 2006, 02:18 AM
You have my vote!

I'm going to have a prophylactic laparoscopic gastropexy done on my Std Poodle when she's spayed. I've lived through the loss of a dog to GDV and never, ever want to go through that again.

Besides being frightfully expensive to vainly try to save my dog, it was the most traumatic thing I've experienced. Over three years later, it still is with me and a source of deep sadness.

Best wishes to you and your dog for a quick recovery. :candle: