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Please help - not just your average bloat

Mud's Mom
February 27th, 2008, 04:50 PM
I know i'm new to the site so I did look around and saw that bloat is on the top 15 most faq. I have read articles I have consulted my vet and am continuing to do so but the situatiion with our gordon setter is posing a mistery. This is a bit long but please let me know if you have any ideas or experience with this.

First let me say the dog is not emergent at the time of this writing - I do know to take him to the vets and have spent several nights there with this dog.

Now a little history. We got the dog last april as a rescue. The previous owner loved him but do to some life changing issues the dog had been in a stressfull household for some time then he changed homes and then owners several times before we got him. He was under weight, ear infection, UTI, skin infection, unneutered. Our vet didn't even want to neuter him untill we got him a bit healthier. By June he was much healthier, had been fixed and was fitting in well with our 3 other dogs.

He was always a picky eater and we had to moniter the pack at dinner time to be sure he got all his food and it wasn't stolen by any of the others. As time went on he learned to eat up pretty quickly.

In early September my GWP was diagnosed with cancer. I was told he would probably not live to see the end of the month. I put him on a special diet. Cancer likes carbs so I fed him a homemade high fat high protien diet. he lasted till dec 24th. Well needless to say the other dogs were always looking to steal some of this special food. One night the gordon got into the special food and gulped down a few mouthfulls befor I could stop him. Four hours later we were at the vets (10:30 pm) learning the fine art of gastric levage. The vet thought it was just a fluke thing. He is a high risk breed for bloat and gulping the new food had just set off a freaky chain of events. One week later we were back for a repeat proformance. We had tried to be careful about the food but things happen. Then we didn't know if it was the food or the gulping but we have since learned it was not the food.
We have tried all of the following.

feeding smaller, multiple meals
elivating his food bowl
limiting activity before and after eating
limiting water after eating
beano on food
pepcid ac
metacoprimide 1/2 hour befor every meal
larger sized food pieces to make him chew more
special bowl so he can't gulp as much

And even with all that he has bloated several more times. I can now spot the signs early and give him a double or tipple dose of gas-x and a few ounces of mineral oil then walk him like a colicky horse. Last night he bloated agian, the worst in a while, crying rolling around, panting, retchiing. I was getting ready to go to the vets and had the dog around the abdomin, lifting to move him and he vomited. It was like popping a great huge water balloon of partially digested food. The force was tremendous - not much of the living room rug was spared.

The other thing is that the dog has now lost all the weight we put on him and then some. He is just getting thinner and thinner.

I am at my wits end. He has an apointment at the vets coming up to nhave another checkup more blood work and we might do a contrast dye xray study of his GI system.

Please if anyone has any new ideas as to what to do or what to look for to get a diagnosis on this let me know.

Thank You

February 27th, 2008, 05:05 PM
Mud's Mom, sorry I don't have any advise but I do wish you all the best in getting this under control..also welcome to the board. I hope soemone might have some ideas for you. pbp

February 27th, 2008, 06:11 PM
Are you sure this is bloat? Bloat is the twisting of the intestines. The only cure for bloat is surgery.

While this does sound gastrointestinal, I am not so sure it is bloat. I would see a second vet for another opinion.

February 27th, 2008, 06:27 PM
Can't bloat either include or not include torsion? That was my understanding atleast, and I actually had my vet describe another one of her patients to me who would bloat over and over, much like the OP is describing.

Mud's Mom, can I ask if you've ever made diet changes? I ask because one of my dogs has suffered a variety of digestive problems, one of which used to include his stomach bloating up (not to the extreme degree you're describing, but enough to be noticeable and really worrisome).

Once we eliminated grains from his diet, the bloating up part of his problems stopped, so perhaps it's worth a try, since it seems like you've tried a lot of the obvious things.

Another thing, have you considered the surgery which pins the stomach down so it can't actually twist ( I'm totally blanking on the proper name, sorry)?

February 27th, 2008, 06:31 PM
Are you feeding him kibble? If so, I have heard that dogs prone to bloat should not eat kibble that has citric acid as an ingredient.

Also, have you talked to your vet about gaving a gastropexy done? ....

Mud's Mom
February 27th, 2008, 07:06 PM
We had a GSP that died after surgery for torsion about 4 years ago. That was my first and untill this dog only experience with either bloat or tortion. He was a thirteen year old dog with some other health issues at the time but it is because of him that I recognized it in this dog early enough to avoid surgery.
Each case can vary but my vet says usualy a dog starts to develope gas in the stomach for a wide variety of reasons. Some dogs stomachs will twist easily and others may not twist at all. But the gas can still get trapped and not release from the stomach untill enough pressure has built up as to comprimise circulation, cause shock, organ damage and death. Tortion always requires surgery. Bloat may or may not be cured buy gastric levage or if caught very early by how I have handled it as dicribed in the above post. I would not recomend that anyone try to handle bloat alone without a vet. The reason I did the first time is that I caught it early, I had my vet on the phone and it was 11:00 at night durring a snow storm. My vet is 45 mins away in good weather. We agreed it was worth trying something at home.

We have tried a number of different foods. He was on the same dry food for
quite a while without bloating. Then for no apparent reason he'll bloat.

I had not heard about the citric acid - nI'll have to look into that. I don't want to have to cook for him - I hardly even cook for my husband. I did it for my GWP but I knew that was to be for a limited time.

Thanks for the input - keep the ideas coming

February 27th, 2008, 07:46 PM
Several diet-related factors were associated with a higher incidence of bloat. These include feeding only dry food, or feeding a single large daily meal. Dogs fed dry foods containing fat among the first four ingredients had a 170 percent higher risk for developing bloat. Dogs fed dry foods containing citric acid and were moistened prior to feeding had a 320 percent higher risk for developing bloat.

The above quote is from Tufts University .....

February 28th, 2008, 06:34 AM
I had not heard about the citric acid - nI'll have to look into that. I don't want to have to cook for him - I hardly even cook for my husband. I did it for my GWP but I knew that was to be for a limited time.

If you don't want to cook, would you consider a raw diet?

February 28th, 2008, 08:36 AM
One thing we found out accidently that really slows down eating is adding a TBSP of plain yogurt (active cultures and no artificial sweeteners) and a TBSP of plain pumpkin (not spiced pie filling, just plain) in kibble. We started the additions because the dogs are all on antibiotics--and noticed immediately that they can no longer eat fast. The food gets too sticky and they have to lick it out of the bowl. If you think he's bloating from the gulping, yogurt and pumpkin might help. Yogurt is a mild probiotic and pumpkin adds fiber, so I don't think they'd hurt, either--though if you're worried about adding something novel to his food, run it by the vet, first.

February 29th, 2008, 04:12 PM
Well, my dog has pancreatic innsufency, and is hungry all the time. A couple of times she got into food or a wallet, and became bloated. She did is 3 or 4 times, and of course i would have to rub her and stay up with her all night to make sure her stomach didnt flip. B/c when she bloated, she has a real big big chnace of her stomach flippng and there was no going back from that. Well one time she had eaten a wallet (we didnt know it at the time) She wasn't bloated or anything, but it was serious. The emergecy vet my monm worked for had to do emergency surgery on her to get the forign body out of her. But the reason i tell u this story is when they opened her up, we had the vet tie her stomach to the side of her rib cage so if she ever bloated again we would be safe (im not too sure if its 100% safe) for her not to flip her stomach. This won't help your doggys bloating, but maybe you could ask your vet to do this. Its probably a little expensive to do. But it doesn't hurt to ask. I was lucky, since my mom worked for the ER vet, her whole surgery ended u being free (prob wold have cost $3,000) Please let me know if this helped and i wasn't just ranting and raving!! Good Luck!!

Mud's Mom
February 29th, 2008, 07:22 PM
Last night Bogie our Gordon bloated agian. This was about his 14th or 15th time in just a couple months. He realy didn't get as big as he had several other times but seemed in more distress so I called our vet, I felt he needed to go in. Upon x-ray exam it was determined that his stomach was twisted.

Vet said she would do surgey if we wanted but even if she fixed twist the dog would still bloat and if he bloated while recovering from the major surgery
it could be a very bad outcome. She has never even heard of a dog bloating as much as he had. She also noted that he had lost more weight since the last time he was in only 2 weeks ago. He was down to 50 lbs and should have been at about 65. She felt that he probably had a cancer that just wasn't presenting itself clearly on xray or ultrasound.

We all felt that it was the best to end his suffering and put him down.

If possible I will never let any of my animals go with out being there. My vet used a back leg so he could be in my lap being petted and told what a good dog he was.

Thanks for all the ideas - I wish we had had a chance to try them out

February 29th, 2008, 07:38 PM
I'm so sorry, Mud's Mom. :grouphug:

February 29th, 2008, 08:37 PM
I'm soo sorry to hear that. I've never lost any animal before, Gianna is my 1st dog, and just thinking about her dying, makes me cry. I can only imagine what you are going thru. My prayers are with you ( i know that sounds kinda stupid, but my dog is like my first born child, she's a part of my family)