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  #1  
Old January 6th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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SarasMom SarasMom is offline
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Is this an early sign of bloat?

Hello everyone, I'm new here but not new to being a pet mom. My pound puppy Sara is almost 15, and she's a Lab/Beagle/Whippet/SumthinSumthin. She's the love of our lives, but something that seems to have appeared in the past few months is worrying me.

We switched her food in September from Pedigree (mix of dry and wet) to Natural Choice (dry and wet combo also) because she developed allergies. We also have not been giving her any treats since July, again because of the allergies. Since the summer she's started to steadily lose weight, from about 42 pounds to about 37 pounds about a month ago, which we attributed to the lack of treats, and then getting used to the new food. We've also noticed that her shape has changed to the point where her abdomen from the bottom of her ribcage to her pelvis is extremely thin, and her chest almost appears a bit larger or rounder. At first I thought this might be because her abdomen is so thin that it is just an illusion; after all, a five-pound weight loss is pretty significant. But I've read so much about bloat that I'm wondering if she might be at risk for developing it.

Something else that's strange is that it used to be after she ate her abdomen would be full (not abnormally full by any means). But now, even after she eats her abdomen still looks and feels just as thin as prior to eating. That's why I'm worried that maybe her stomach has moved into her ribcage - is that possible?

Some other notes: she doesn’t usually gulp down her dinner, in fact she is finicky and will often eat it just a bit at a time; she doesn’t seem to be in pain or discomfort to any degree; she isn’t having problems going to the bathroom, either peeing or pooping (no diarrhea); she usually lets out a big burp after eating, so she doesn’t appear to have trapped gas; she usually throws up once a month, but it’s just yellow bile (she’s done this for years).

In addition, six months after we got her back in 2000, she was diagnosed with colitis, and in 2006 she started having occasional seizures, which the vet attributed to possible stomach twinges due to the colitis. But she only had about five in total and hasn’t had one in about six years.

She does seem to be drinking more water than usual over these past few months, but we think that’s due to medications she’s on for urinary incontinence. (stilbestrol and propalin).

So, I guess in a nutshell my question is: should we be worried about bloat? Even though she’s a medium-sized dog at the most, I think she’d be considered deep-chested. She’s due for her annual checkup in February, but I was wondering if maybe we should make an earlier appointment.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old January 6th, 2013, 03:16 PM
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angeldogs angeldogs is offline
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I would see a vet, for that much weight lost.if her exersice hasnt increased at all.and if it has you need to feed a little more.and with that amount of weight loss her rib cage all around would show more.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 03:33 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Originally Posted by SarasMom View Post
Hello everyone, I'm new here but not new to being a pet mom. My pound puppy Sara is almost 15, and she's a Lab/Beagle/Whippet/SumthinSumthin. She's the love of our lives, but something that seems to have appeared in the past few months is worrying me.

We switched her food in September from Pedigree (mix of dry and wet) to Natural Choice (dry and wet combo also) because she developed allergies. We also have not been giving her any treats since July, again because of the allergies. Since the summer she's started to steadily lose weight, from about 42 pounds to about 37 pounds about a month ago, which we attributed to the lack of treats, and then getting used to the new food. We've also noticed that her shape has changed to the point where her abdomen from the bottom of her ribcage to her pelvis is extremely thin, and her chest almost appears a bit larger or rounder. At first I thought this might be because her abdomen is so thin that it is just an illusion; after all, a five-pound weight loss is pretty significant. But I've read so much about bloat that I'm wondering if she might be at risk for developing it.

Something else that's strange is that it used to be after she ate her abdomen would be full (not abnormally full by any means). But now, even after she eats her abdomen still looks and feels just as thin as prior to eating. That's why I'm worried that maybe her stomach has moved into her ribcage - is that possible?

Some other notes: she doesn’t usually gulp down her dinner, in fact she is finicky and will often eat it just a bit at a time; she doesn’t seem to be in pain or discomfort to any degree; she isn’t having problems going to the bathroom, either peeing or pooping (no diarrhea); she usually lets out a big burp after eating, so she doesn’t appear to have trapped gas; she usually throws up once a month, but it’s just yellow bile (she’s done this for years).

In addition, six months after we got her back in 2000, she was diagnosed with colitis, and in 2006 she started having occasional seizures, which the vet attributed to possible stomach twinges due to the colitis. But she only had about five in total and hasn’t had one in about six years.

She does seem to be drinking more water than usual over these past few months, but we think that’s due to medications she’s on for urinary incontinence. (stilbestrol and propalin).

So, I guess in a nutshell my question is: should we be worried about bloat? Even though she’s a medium-sized dog at the most, I think she’d be considered deep-chested. She’s due for her annual checkup in February, but I was wondering if maybe we should make an earlier appointment.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
If you think your dog has bloat you should bring her to the vet right away as this will kill a dog.
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Old January 6th, 2013, 04:00 PM
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Loki Love Loki Love is offline
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Any deep chested dog is susceptible to bloat - I'm having a hard time picturing your dog, so if you could provide a photo that would be great

Signs of bloat don't develop over months - they develop over hours. What you're describing doesn't sound like bloat, but the weight loss would be a concern and I probably wouldn't wait until February to have that checked out. That said - is it possible your dog was overweight previously and she's down to a healthier weight now? Best to have your vet confirm it

Good luck!
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Old January 6th, 2013, 07:40 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Any deep chested dog is susceptible to bloat - I'm having a hard time picturing your dog, so if you could provide a photo that would be great

Signs of bloat don't develop over months - they develop over hours. What you're describing doesn't sound like bloat, but the weight loss would be a concern and I probably wouldn't wait until February to have that checked out. That said - is it possible your dog was overweight previously and she's down to a healthier weight now? Best to have your vet confirm it

Good luck!
The dog is almost 15 yo, so it could be a numbers of reasons it's losing weight. Diabetes can cause a dog to lose weight and the OP said their dog been drinking more water , it could more more than the meds causing the dog to drink more water. I agree with you about the bloat, it does happen over hours.
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Old January 8th, 2013, 04:47 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Dogs can have repeated 'bouts of mild bloat before they have a fatal incident, so be prepared, and get to the vet ASAP if you think your dog is bloating.

I would bring your dog in and have full bloodwork run, and also check for parasites.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:05 AM
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SarasMom SarasMom is offline
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Thanks for all the responses!

I've uploaded a picture of my girl as my avatar. It is from about six years ago, when she was at her heaviest (about 45 lbs - a far cry from the skinny 34.5 lbs when we got her!). Even then she was by no means overweight. Regarding the amount of food we are giving her, we have always kept it available to her since the summer when we noticed her weight loss, especially because we couldn't give her treats anymore.

Regarding other reasons for her weight loss, we had a whole set of geriatric blood and urine tests done a couple of months ago because of the urinary incontinence, and they didn't reveal any problems.

The only reason that bloat even crossed my mind is because I read that it is more common in dogs with digestive problems, plus the fact that her seizures a few years ago were determined to be a result of painful gas. That coupled with her chest "appearing" rounded got me worried! It appears, like a couple of you have stated, that bloat occurs within hours, but I have also read about chronic bloat, so that's why I was concerned.

Having said all that, we have made her an appointment for tomorrow. That way we can get her annual checkup done and over with, and we can address our concerns about her weight.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 04:22 AM
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angeldogs angeldogs is offline
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Thats good your getting her to the vet and the vet can find a reason for the weight loss.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 09:17 PM
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angeldogs angeldogs is offline
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How was your vet visit.hope it was nothing more then your pup losing extra weight
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Old January 11th, 2013, 07:24 AM
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The vet said she is not the type of dog that is prone to bloat. And the weight loss isn't as bad as I first thought - she's down only 3 pounds since the summer, not 5. She is down since her last visit in November though, but only by 0.3 pounds. And he did say that when they age their stomachs can sometimes move up, giving the appearance of a narrow abdomen and rounder chest. He also said that her excessive thirst is probably caused by the two medications for the urinary incontinence, but he wanted to redo her kidney function tests because when she had them in November they were at the high end of the normal range. We should get those tests back today. But overall he said she appears to be doing fine for a dog her age. Hopefully the tests will be okay too!
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Old January 11th, 2013, 08:44 PM
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angeldogs angeldogs is offline
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That is good news to hear to take some stress and worry away.that the test comes back normal.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 11:05 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Originally Posted by SarasMom View Post
The vet said she is not the type of dog that is prone to bloat. And the weight loss isn't as bad as I first thought - she's down only 3 pounds since the summer, not 5. She is down since her last visit in November though, but only by 0.3 pounds. And he did say that when they age their stomachs can sometimes move up, giving the appearance of a narrow abdomen and rounder chest. He also said that her excessive thirst is probably caused by the two medications for the urinary incontinence, but he wanted to redo her kidney function tests because when she had them in November they were at the high end of the normal range. We should get those tests back today. But overall he said she appears to be doing fine for a dog her age. Hopefully the tests will be okay too!
That is good news, I hope the tests will come back OK.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 06:58 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I hope that the tests come back okay!

Labs and also whippets have been known to bloat, so just because your pup doesn't look the type to bloat, never let your guard down completely!
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Old January 12th, 2013, 07:37 PM
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mastifflover mastifflover is offline
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Okay I have been through bloat my first Mastiff bloated. Luckily we made it to the vet and he made it through surgery. He might not if I had not read this article. Please read it could save your dogs life.

Signs of Bloat
Speed is of the essence in dealing with bloat so even if you are not sure, get your dog to a vet .

Reprinted from Ralston Purina Company "Notebook" by way of "Bloodlines", Jan/Feb, 1995

Described as "the silent killer," bloat can strike an apparently healthy dog without warning. For this reason, a dog owner should be aware of the following warning signs of bloat:

A sudden display of discomfort is the first warning sign. The dog may whine, pace, sit and get up again in an unsuccessful attempt to be comfortable.
Frequent attempts to vomit produce no results.
The abdominal pain and distention become more evident.
The dog may not be able to rise.
Signs of shock become evident: pale gums, rapid heartbeat and irregular, shallow breathing.
A critical problem associated with bloat is irregular heart rhythm, which may occur several days after the bloat has been corrected.
Bloat is life-threatening and emergency treatment must be obtained immediately.

As a safeguard, whenever a dog shows signs of illness, prompt veterinary treatment is recommended.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
Based on current knowledge, the following strategies are suggested to help protect against bloat:

Avoid sudden dietary changes. If it is necessary to change a dog's diet, it should be done gradually over a seven to ten day period.
Feeding two or more small meals a day is recommended.
Feeding should not be preceded or followed by exercise.
In a multi-pet household, feed dogs individually in a quiet place. This may help clam dogs who gulp their food or feel they have to protect it while eating.
Dogs who habitually gulp their food may benefit by mixing dry food with water. This increases the volume and may help to slow them down.
Keep the dogs as quiet as possible before and after eating.
Do not allow a dog to drink water immediately after exercise or undue excitement.
Try to avoid or alleviate situations stressful to a dog.
Disrupting a dog's regular routine should be avoided or minimized as much as possible.
TREATING BLOAT
In treating bloat, a tube is passed into the stomach to remove the gas and stomach contents. If this is unsuccessful, surgery is generally used. Even if decompression with stomach tubing or surgery is successful, gastropexy is recommended. Gastropexy is a surgical procedure which affixes the stomach to the body wall.

Treatment of Gastric-dilatation-volvulus and a Rapid Method for Prevention of Relapse in Dogs published in the November 1, 1993 issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association" reports a study of 134 cases of dogs diagnosed with bloat during a three-year period.

Reoccurrence rate for dogs with surgical treatment, was 6.6%, significantly lower than the recurrence rate of 75.8% in dogs with medical treatment only.

Because bloat can reoccur, following the veterinarian's recommendations for follow-up care and examinations is essential.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 08:51 PM
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Loki Love Loki Love is offline
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Just to follow up on Mastifflover's post - there are actually newer studies that have slight variations on what was recently recommended : http://www.crittersitextra.com/petti...loat_Study.pdf

STUDY RECOMMENDATIONS
* Feed two or more meals a day
* Feed no more than one cup per 33 pounds of body weight per meal when feeding two meals a day
* Feed an energy-dense diet, to reduce volume, but avoid a diet where a high amount of calories are from fats.
* Feed a variety of different food types regularly. The inclusion of human foods in a primarily dry dog food diet was associated with a 59 percent decreased risk of GDV while inclusion of canned pet foods was associated with a 28 percent decreased risk
* When feeding dry food, also include foods with sufficient amounts of meats and meat meals, for example: beef, lamb, poultry, and fish.
* Feed a food with larger particles, and include larger pieces of meat to the diet.
* Avoid moistening dry foods
* If your dog eats rapidly, find ways to try to reduce his speed of eating
* Avoid raising the food bowl - place it at ground level
* Try to minimize stress for your dog. Stressful events have been reported to be precipitating factors in GDV occurrence.
* Restrict vigorous exercise one hour before and two hours after meals.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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I had a dog bloat years ago and it was only fast action taking him to an emergency vet that saved his life. If she is crossed with a Lab they are very prone to bloat. Glad to hear that its not what was going on with your girl. My dog was only 5 when he bloated and we had his stomach stitched to his abdomen wall to prevent it twisting as this is what really kills them. He lived another 4 and half years without any reoccurrence till he was pts due to bone cancer. Hope all works out well for you doggy
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