- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Help!!! Puppy in Surgery-BLOAT!!!

July 8th, 2007, 11:23 PM
Hello everyone,

I am hoping someone can give me some suggestions. I have a 3 month old PittbutXAkita. He is currently at the vet this evening undergoing surgery for bloat. The vet had advised this is a common occurence is large, deep chested breed but normally does not occur until they are 7 or 8 years old. Fortunately, the bloating has not caused the stomach to fully twist, however, it has caused displacement of some of his major organs.

It all happened so suddenly, and I am quite confused on how this could of happened. I was given the option today after medical treatment failed of surgery or heaven. It was hardest decision, as the vet had advised that the surgery is a 50/50 chance and complications may occur due to his age.

Anyways, I just wanted some help on how I can prevent this re-occuring. I was advised by the vet that even though he goes through the surgery it is not a guarantee that it will not happen again. What preventative meassures can I practice to decrease this awful tragedy to happen again or to my other dogs. Is there a type of food that would be better?? More or less excersise? Less water?? Please help as I do not know. I am praying he pulls through this surgery.

July 8th, 2007, 11:36 PM
Oh, I am so sorry to hear of your dog's illness. Bloat is something I think all of us dog owners are terrified of. I will :fingerscr :pray: that your boy comes out of surgery just fine.

I have definitely read that once a dog has had Bloat surgery they will be much more susceptible to get Bloat again in the future so I think you will need to be very careful.

So far i've heard that exercise should be avoided 1 hour before and 2 hour after meals (at least!) and keeping your dog from eating really fast (gulping their food) are absolute musts in preventing bloat. There is lots of info available about preventing bloat, some of it is debated, but i'm sure you vet will be able to give you lots of advice on what is best for your boy.

:goodvibes: :goodvibes: and :fingerscr :fingerscr for your boy

July 8th, 2007, 11:57 PM
First of all, I am deeply sorry and saddened to read about your puppy. I am sending good thoughts your way that all will be ok.

I am always trying to stay 'current' on the lastest beliefs on what does or does not cause Bloat and as always, research, experience plus education has been key in forming my own beliefs. The below is not necessarily a reflection of all of my own beliefs on the topic, just some of the information that can be found..............

Personally, I will also say that I am not a fan of the Purdue study that was done.


In addition to breed predilection, there appears to be a genetic link to this disease. The incidence is closely correlated to the depth and width of the dog's chest. The greater the chest depth/width ratio, the greater the risk of bloat. Several different genes from the parents determine these traits. If both parents have particularly deep chests, then it is highly likely that their offspring will also have the same chests and the resulting problems that may go with it. A recommendation was made that stated that no dog should be bred if there is a 1 to the 0 degree relative that has previously bloated.

Linda Arndt from GREATDANELADY.COM states that 'When we limit our gene pool to specific kennel names, bloodlines, color families as well as remaining within each specific breed, this prevents us from maintaining hybrid vigor. It maximizes our chances for doubling on negative traits with the increased potential for animals that are more sensitive to stimulus (light, sound, movement) and affect the total physiological system (body functions) and their psychological system (mental/behavioral functions).'


Dogs over 7 years of age are more than twice as likely to develop gastric dilatation and volvulus as those who are 2-4 years of age.


Male dogs are twice as likely to develop gastric dilatation and volvulus as females. Neutering does not appear to have an effect on the risk of GDV.

Eating & Drinking

More cases are reported between April and August and between the hours of 6pm - midnight(59.3%)-Dr. Glickman Study. The season when dogs are likely to be more active and to consume more water.

Owners and Vets originally blamed cereal-based diets, yet that is still being questioned. Recent studies indicate aerophagia (air swallowing), as often happens during periods of the above activities, appears to be a cause, rather than, as previously thought, gas caused by fermentation of dog foods. Also, increased particle size of food was associated with a significantly decreased risk of GDV in Great Danes and pre-soaking of food actually destroys nutrients plus causes fermentation.

Dogs fed once a day are twice as likely to develop GDV as those fed twice a day. It appears that dogs that eat rapidly or exercise soon after a meal may also be at increased risk. Dogs fed a larger volume of food per meal were at a significantly increased risk, regardless of the number of meals fed daily. Dogs fed a higher volume of food and one meal a day were at a significantly increased risk of GDV compared to dogs fed a lower volume of food and two meals a day. Results suggest that dogs at a higher risk of Bloat by nature of their size or Breed, should be fed a lower volume of food at each meal and multiple(at least two) meals per day.

There is also a possible link between bloat and calcium supplementation that causes persistent hyper gastrinemina.

The debate still carries on about raised feeders and does it or does it not reduce/increase the incident of bloat.

Temperament & Stress

Dogs that tend to be more nervous, anxious, or fearful appear to be at an increased risk of developing GDV. Per Linda Arndt in respect to stress 'Sometimes stress is external and obvious and other times it is internal and goes unnoticed.....Some people and some dogs, due to genetics, body chemistry, nutrition and personality, seem to handle negative stress better than others.'


There is not one particular activity that leads to the development of Bloat/GDV. It appears that it occurs as a combination of events. Studies of the stomach gas that occurs in dilatation have shown that it is similar to the composition of normal room air suggesting that the dilatation occurs as a result of swallowing air. All dogs, and people for that matter, swallow air, but normally we eructate (burp) and release this air and it is not a problem. For some reason that scientists have not yet determined, these dogs that develop bloat do not release this swallowed gas. There is currently several studies looking into what happens physiologically in these dogs that develop GDV.

Other potential causes: surgical complications, history of belching, history of flatus, aggression toward people or other dogs, eating too fast, unrestricted activity following meals and large amounts of water consumption.

"Happy/easy going" dogs were found to be less prone to bloat.

Once a dog has bloated, there is a good chance that he/she will bloat again.

Other helpful suggestions to help decrease the chances of Bloat:

*Never feed your dog immediately before or after heavy work out or training session.
*Do not allow your dog to become overweight.
*Be canine-connected and watch for odd symptoms, abdominal swelling, dry vomiting, strange gagging, extreme restlessness, etc.
*If you have a nervous dog, feed her/him in a quite relaxed atmosphere.
*If you plan on changing your dogs diet, start slowly. Sudden diet changes will cause gastric problems.
*Feed on a consistent routine schedule
*Gastropexy - Dr. Glickman of 1934 dogs studied - reported that the recurrence of bloat decreased from 4% to 0.3% per month & lifetime recurrence rate of 80% dropped to 3-5% with Gastropexy.

Full Moon Bloat Calendar

Other Bloat Articles that I have bookmarked

The one trend that I have begun to also see through my years working in animal medicine and in Rescue; is that there are more and more cases of younger dogs bloating. :sad:

July 9th, 2007, 02:22 AM
i want to thank all of those who prayed for my little shango. I am happy to say the surgery went very well and he is currently recovering. He is still under the vet's care to ensure everything goes well. I want to thank all those who shared their experiences and their knowledge on this topic. I am truly touched and thankful.:dog: :dog: :pawprint:

I was also wondering if a "non-commercial" dog food would also help decrease his chance of re-bloating.. does anyone know of any god organic brands, or foods with a higher content of something that can also assist.

July 9th, 2007, 08:47 AM
There is a preventative surgery that I have heard of where they tack the stomach into place to prevent the torsion.

I am concerned by this:

Linda Arndt from GREATDANELADY.COM states that 'When we limit our gene pool to specific kennel names, bloodlines, color families as well as remaining within each specific breed, this prevents us from maintaining hybrid vigor. It maximizes our chances for doubling on negative traits with the increased potential for animals that are more sensitive to stimulus (light, sound, movement) and affect the total physiological system (body functions) and their psychological system (mental/behavioral functions).'

I am so tired of people touting hybrid vigor. It is nothing more then an old wives' tale.

While I think that a broad gene pool is great - if you take two dogs that are free of genetic issues (that have actually been tested for such - not just produced puppies that show no symptoms) then you get puppies that are free of genetic issues. Breeding tested adults with no genetic issues SHOULD be the goal of an ethical breeder and breeding those with minimal issues should be the norm. For example: an ethical breeder would NEVER breed a dog with hips that have been rated less then good but might breed a dog that occasionally throws a pup with an out of standard coat.

July 9th, 2007, 08:52 AM
I know very little about bloat, just wanted to send well-wishes, and get better soons.

take care and I hope all goes well.

July 9th, 2007, 10:09 AM
I am so happy that your pup is recovering and you recognized that he was in an emergency situation. You are very fortunate that you caught this early enough to intervene, and the surgery went well. My experience with bloat was not so good, as I lost my Chow "Bear" to a gastric torsion a little over a year ago. By the time I found him, it was too late...and he died as I tried to lift him into my truck to go to the emergency vet. It was horrifying. He had gone to the groomer that very day, so I still to this day wonder if he was stressed about that, and if it was a factor.

On a better sister had a Golden that had bloat, requiring emergency surgery, and recovered to live a long life. In her case, she had fed Hunter, then went outside to throw the ball. This in itself was a bad idea, as she knows now of course...but she recognized he went into distress and took him immediately to an emergency vet.

I now own a Great Dane, and a Bullmastiff...and knowing that they are breeds to be careful with, I am terrified of a reaccurrance of bloat. I have heard conflicting studies, like feeding in elevated bowls....or not. I prefer to feed in elevated bowls, as I do not see my dogs eating more aggressively that way, and I think there are other benefits to the bowl being at a more comfortable level for them. I NEVER exercise my dogs anywhere close to feeding times, and feed two smaller meals a day, instead of one large one. I also keep a very close eye on them for symptoms of bloat, and basically know how to get to the emergency clinic now blindfolded. (well maybe not ;) )

Best of luck in your dogs recovery, keep us posted on his progress and give him a big hug from me!

July 9th, 2007, 01:07 PM
There are different types of gastropexies - Belt loop, Ventral, Circumcostal, Incisional, Tube gastrotomy for example. Each comes with it's own pros and cons.

Continued good thoughts on your babies recovery.

July 9th, 2007, 03:16 PM
How scary, danaromy! :grouphug: Setters are somewhat prone to bloat, so what you're going through is something we've worried about since we became setter owners! How is Shango doing today?

We're :fingerscrs and crossing :pawprint:s for her continued recovery! Looking forward to seeing pictures of her when she's back on her feet and playing again!

BHRR--that's an excellent post! :thumbs up Very informative!

Hmmmmm...and :offtopic: a bit...LavenderRott...there is a benefit to hybrid vigor. Even in the most normal and healthy dogs, there are hidden recessives...some of them are lethal. Human genomes carry them, too. And we had experience with one setter who was extremely inbred of normal, healthy parents that ended up expressing a couple of nasty recessives, one (at least) of them lethal. This would be much less likely in a dog from parents with a lower degree of relatedness... :shrug: Might be a good topic for another thread?

:sorry: Okay...back to your regularly scheduled thread...

July 10th, 2007, 05:29 PM
Once again, I would like to thank you all for the warm wishes and :pray: ers and big :grouphug: . My shango is recovering very well. Just returned from the vet and still they are unable to determine when he got this at such a young age, but in away they say it was a good thing, as puppies heal faster.

He is wearing his cone (to prevent him from digging at his stitches) Many of friends think I am crazy for spending such a large amount of money on a dog I've only owned for three months. Yes, our relationship is fairly fresh. I love hime, but I never want to live with the "what ifs" especially when I could done something about it.

I am slowly changing his eating habits (less but more frequent). I want to thank you all for the info and the support. Truly sharing this tragedy and knowing I am not the only one has been of great assistance. :lovestruck: :lovestruck: :lovestruck: :grouphug: :goodvibes: :thumbs up :love:

July 10th, 2007, 05:50 PM
That's great news, danaromy! I'm so glad that shango is recovering! :grouphug:

he he Just ask your friends if they had a baby for 3 months and it got sick, how much would it be worth to them to have it taken care of... :shrug:

:o Actually, it takes me all of about 2 hours to get irrevocably attached to an animal! By three months, a dog is already an indispensable part of my family! :thumbs up