bloat and GDV, but what's next for long-term?

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Member Since
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 3:39am PST 
hello, i'm new around here. i have 2 dogs; a retriever mix and a pit bull mix. My retriever mix, a female, developed full on bloat with Gastric Dilatation Volvulus about 2 weeks ago. I was home and saw that she was not acting right; trying to vomit but couldn't, panting heavily, wandering around and trying to lay down in different spots. Rushed her to the emergency vet late at night and an x-ray confirmed my worst fears, bloat AND a twisted stomach.

We went ahead with surgery and waited in the waiting room for nearly 2 hours... and she made it! She's a fighter. THey also did the gastropexy on her. She was home 24 hours later, and has surprised us with how well she is recovering. She's a miracle!!

THing is, i was given lots of instructions on how to care for here in the first month post-op. But what about beyond that? She is only 5 years old. I read that once GDV happens, it is even more likely to happen again. The gastropexy will most likely make it difficult for the stomach to turn again, but not impossible. And bloat alone can still happen.

But i'm not too worried about it happening again when i'm home with her... i know the signs and will bring her in. What i'm concerned about is when she and our other dog are home alone... pit mix is only 4, so young as well. That is A LOT more years to worry about the both of them in their lifetime...

Not only vacations where typically we have people just come feed them twice a day (fenced in yard so they have free range when alone), but also what about just errands on a normal day? 5 hours of errands... dog can die of GDV within that time period. I haven't found one thing on the internet thus far about how people deal with a dog post-GDV or susceptible to GDV in terms of when the dog has to be left alone. And i'm talking long after the dog has healed from surgery.

I'm afraid everytime i leave in the future i may come home to a dead dog. My pit mix, a male, when he was very young would get a minor case of bloat with distended stomach when he would eat too fast and he would cry, but it would go away on its own with a couple minutes. But because of that, it's always been something i've watched with him and he's eaten out of a brake-fast bowl ever since. And here it happens to my OTHER dog in it's worst form. I feel like i have 2 doggies i have to worry about until they live out their lives.

Anyways... sorry for rambling... i'm new at this, plus at just barely 2 weeks later my emotions are still running a little high. I just don't know how i'm going to manage this for the rest of her life, and the other pup's. I know people out there are away from their homes even more often than me due to a full time job, and i wonder what do you do to manage this with a post-GDV dog (after healed) or susceptible dog? Do most people never leave their dogs alone because of this? Or something else i'm not aware of? Other than the normal preventative measures of having them eat/drink slow, not exercise right after eating, etc. any advice would be appreciated.

Which way did- they go?
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 5:09am PST 
This video is very informative. Not sure if you have heard of Dr Becker but she is one of the top 10 in the Chicago area.

Dr Karen Becker on Bloat

Member Since
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 5:27am PST 
i actually have seen that video before! i've researched a lot about bloat and GDV over the years because of my pit mix experiences as a puppy. That video is very informative about understanding what bloat and GDV is, but it doesn't really discuss the issue of post-GDV dog's or susceptible dog's long term care in regards to ever leaving them alone, etc. which is the one thing i am concerned about and wanting to hear what other people do. I know a lot about GDV signs, but can't really find any resources on long term care. I worry about leaving and coming home to a dead or nearly dead dog.

Aina- Aloysius de- LeMaitre

work hard, play- hard
Barked: Fri Jan 11, '13 8:14am PST 
I would consider reviewing diet in depth with a vet who can recommend more than the kibble/canned food they sell in their office. Supplements for improving the GI health are especially important now.

Also, cultivate a calm tempered dog since I personally feel that emotions play some part in the condition. That may mean boosting the dog's confidence, playing calming doggy music,etc.

Another evaluation would be of environment and routine. For example, a routine of calm before and after meals may prove useful. Maybe you've heard about the "study" that said raised dog bowls are a contributing factor in bloat and GDV. I don't feel the "study" holds much weight since it was only a compilation of a diverse group of studies in which existing data was viewed from only a particular perspective. But I have heard anecdotal evidence in both directions regarding raised food bowls. These ideas may prompt you to evaluate the lifestyle more thoroughly for triggers though.

When i have been present to witness the early stages of gas increase,I have used acupressure, reiki, and homeopathic remedies to address it successfully. Meaning no progression but actually a release of gas either via belching or flatulence.

Heal healthy, heal well.