Bloat Cues?

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Postby JCleve86 » August 19th, 2006, 9:46 pm

For anyone who has had a dog with bloat, or treated a dog with bloat...were there any warning signs? I know the basics for prevention...I don't feed within an hour of activity (either before or after)...they don't get much water for half hour to an hour after meals...but still, them being Boxers I'm freaked out about bloat.

I noticed Molly's stomach does this wierd rolly thing after she eats. (And NO, it's not her breathing!!! lol) It FREAKED me out when I first noticed it yesterday, but she's fine. May very well have ALWAYS done it and I just didn't notice. It's not extreme...just like this wierd rolly wave thingy right after she eats...do your dogs do that? Somebody pay attention after dinner tonight and tell me. It's wierding me out. :shock:

Anywho...signs of bloat? Other than, of course, being bloated.
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Postby pocketpit » August 19th, 2006, 10:16 pm

Agitation and the inability to get comfortable. Acting painful (sometimes dog will whine and look at their abdomen, stand hunched), non productive vomiting attempts, and lethargy can all be signs of bloat.
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Postby Malli » August 19th, 2006, 10:29 pm

what pocket pit said ;)

I wanted to add : shaking and shivering, and standing tensly and staring (also painful behavior)

Oscar burps ALL the time after he eats, thats his only behavior I can think of :lol3:

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Postby ParisStreetPitCrew » August 19th, 2006, 11:28 pm

Definately anxiety. When Piper had this (it was actually bowel torsion, not the stomach) I knew right away that something was "wrong". He was really worried. He was salivating, and his gums went from pale to paler to purple in a matter of 15 minutes to a half hour or so. It was damned scary. He kept wretching and trying to urinate or defficate with no success.
He kept laying down on the ground and stretching his abdomen out, kind of like a crawl. It's called a "praying pose" and it is a sign of abdominal distress.
Another thing was that he kept trying to hide. He would run to the corner of the yard and try to get under the bushes. Our trainer told us once that when dogs (or wolves) think they are dying, they will try to hide themselves from their packmates.

Hope that helps.
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Postby JCleve86 » August 19th, 2006, 11:35 pm

Thanks all...judging by the fact that they are both snoozing away on the couch, I'm thinking this rolly thing isn't a big deal.

How long from the onset of the bloat do dogs usually have to get treated before it becomes life or death? I know it's very quick...but...like long enough to generally get to a vet or should I invest in one of those "bloat kits?" (Which freak me out, BTW)
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Postby ParisStreetPitCrew » August 19th, 2006, 11:46 pm

We were lucky, I think.
I was away for Sunday night dinner with my folks and the dogs were fine when I left. I came home, knew something was wrong, called a girlfriend over for her opinion (he wasn't acting too bad at first, just weird). Then we called an on-call vet at a nearby office, and she said she'd meet me in 45 min. since she had to drive in from out of town. In that time, I was scared I was going to lose him because he just kept getting worse and worse.
So I'm not sure when it happened, but I was with him at home for probably at least and hour & a half to two hours before he could be seen.
I have heard, though, that some dogs go quicker. Since you are with your dogs in the house, I generally would think you'd be able to identify the signs and get to a vet in time.

I'll admit, though, that I really did not know a whole lot about bloat before this happened. I just thought maybe he had eaten something and had a bowel obstruction (which he also had about 6 months before the bloat).
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Postby JCleve86 » August 19th, 2006, 11:58 pm

ParisStreetPitCrew wrote:I just thought maybe he had eaten something and had a bowel obstruction (which he also had about 6 months before the bloat).


Yeaaaahhh...did I mention that Molly eats anything cotton not anchored down? Underwear, sox...papertowels...a ratty handrag once...tampons... :oops: ...add paper, money (bills and coins) cotton stuffing from toys and plastic toy chunks to that and you've about covered what I've had to pull out of her arse the past year. :shock: I've gotten very, very careful about making sure doors are closed and everything is picked up before I leave...but without fail every now and then SOMEBODY forgets something. And I notice another pair of my undies are half eaten. Nice. I just thank God when I note it comes out the other end.

All kinds of wonderful paranoias about guts around here.
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Postby ParisStreetPitCrew » August 20th, 2006, 12:08 am

Can she not be crated when you're away?

I forgot to ask about the "bloat kit". Are you talking about having to shove a tube down into the dog's stomach? I've heard of that before. However, something like that still wouldn't have helped Piper since his intestines had twisted around.
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Postby JCleve86 » August 20th, 2006, 1:07 am

Yeah, that's the general concept behind the bloat kit.

And no, she isn't crated when we are gone. She never was and isn't particularly fond of it now, but mostly she just doesn't need it. Well...aside from eating non-edibles, but if folks would just clean up after themselves that's not an issue. Her and my boy Bosco are too bonded to each other to be seperated anyway...(and before you ask, they aren't pit bulls)...she FREAKS OUT if shes seperated from him for more than a few minutes...as in, breaks out in hives, drools, and paces freaking out. :shock:

(And yes, I understand it's a risk to leave them alone together, but considering that they aren't a "fighting" breed it's a smaller risk compared to a pit bull, and considering the alternative it's a risk I am willing to take.)

Plus, they are technically my mom's dogs. I do the care taking, but when I move out they will be cared for by her. She won't crate them, period, so it's not worth stressing my neurotic girl out to do it now just to have them switch back in about a year when I leave.
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Postby ParisStreetPitCrew » August 20th, 2006, 9:35 am

I wasn't going to grill you about the crating at all. They are boxers, aren't they? I saw their smooshy faces in the gallery. :D

My only concern is that she could get herself into some BIG trouble if she eats stuff while you're away. You know this, but I just have to reiterate, since I lost my girl Bump because she wasn't crated and got into stuff that I had thought was sufficiently "put away".... and it was totally out of character for her, since she'd never gotten into anything before. I can and DOES happen to people. I'd never wish that on anyone.
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Postby Marinepits » August 20th, 2006, 11:42 am

JCleve86 wrote:How long from the onset of the bloat do dogs usually have to get treated before it becomes life or death? I know it's very quick...but...like long enough to generally get to a vet or should I invest in one of those "bloat kits?" (Which freak me out, BTW)


Depending on the dog it could be anywhere from a hour or so to several hours and sometimes even days.

One of the major problems with bloat is that the muscle tissue of the stomach starts to die off fairly quickly once the blood supply is cut off from the torsion. If too much of the tissue dies off, then the dog will have to be euthanized.

We had a client at the vet once who boarded his healthy female 3 year old Rottie at a kennel for a long weekend. He came into our office on a Tuesday morning with the dog obviously severely in pain and attempting to vomit -- the vets did immediate emergency surgery only to discover that the dog's stomach was completely bloated and all the muscle tissue had died. The stomach basically looked like a big black ball. The vets immediately euthanized her. According to the vets, she must have bloated sometime Sunday and the kennel never noticed. The owner noticed the dog was obviously hurting when he picked her up on Tuesday morning and brought her straight in to us.
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Postby ParisStreetPitCrew » August 20th, 2006, 12:03 pm

God, how awful. :(

A good portion of Piper's intestinal tissue was already dead. We had to cut that out and reconnect the good tissue, hoping that it would regenerate and still be fully functional. The vet who did the surgery was pretty skeptical about whether or not it would work. Pipey had some angels on his side, though.
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Postby Marinepits » August 20th, 2006, 12:08 pm

I'm glad to hear that Piper's doing so well. You're right -- he must have had some angels watching. :smileUp:
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Postby Malli » August 20th, 2006, 12:09 pm

I thought I'd mention that there is also a chance when you tube a dog that you could miss the stomach and go into the lungs, I know its possible for the technicians at work to do it even with their training, so I can imagine the chance would increase when someone with no training does it...
no idea if its harmful or not...

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Postby Marinepits » August 20th, 2006, 12:13 pm

Malli wrote:I thought I'd mention that there is also a chance when you tube a dog that you could miss the stomach and go into the lungs, I know its possible for the technicians at work to do it even with their training, so I can imagine the chance would increase when someone with no training does it...
no idea if its harmful or not...

Malli


Yeah, I was just thinking about that, too. If you miss the esophagus and get the trachea instead, I would think you could do a lot of damage to the lungs and create even more problems for the dog.

I'm not sure how these "bloat kits" work. I've never seen one, let alone operated one. Does anyone have a link with the details?
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Postby JCleve86 » August 20th, 2006, 11:24 pm

Well considering that's how you'd create an airway should a critter (or person) not be breathing normally, I don't think it'd hurt much. But it certainly wouldn't help and would likely increase stress in both the dog and the person. But yeah...I could definitely see that happening...and God forbid the person not realize it and the dog is now both bloated AND not able to breath normally. :shock:
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Postby Malli » August 21st, 2006, 11:56 am

I've seen animals that had the breathing tube used for anestetic rip thier airway and cause all sorts of complications (like-weirdly enough- air under the skin), I also just thought of that...

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Postby katiek0417 » August 22nd, 2006, 6:42 am

Also, the tube used for bloat is larger than a breathing tube. Please keep that in mind.

Another symptom of bloat that no one mentioned is a hard belly.

This is a good article about bloat:

http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/bloat.html

Much research has shown that bloat seems to be genetic. Having a family member (father, mother, grandparent) who has had bloat raises the likelihood that your dog would have it. Another tip that someone mentioned to me one time: have your dog eat at the same level (don't let it's head go down or up). In the wild, dogs eat laying down (mostly) so they are level. If your dog stands up while eating, get a raised food bowl that allows it's head to be level with it's torso.

Also, when the dog drinks water, don't just let it drink until it doesn't want anymore. I have a rule: count to five (1-mississippi, 2-mississippi, etc), then make the dog stop. If it's still thirsty, let it come back in 5 or 10 minutes.
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Postby JCleve86 » August 24th, 2006, 6:47 pm

katiek0417 wrote:Also, when the dog drinks water, don't just let it drink until it doesn't want anymore. I have a rule: count to five (1-mississippi, 2-mississippi, etc), then make the dog stop. If it's still thirsty, let it come back in 5 or 10 minutes.


Praise GOD somebody else does it too! EVERYBODY tells me how mean I'm being to my dogs when I make them stop guzzling water...though I generally am only careful before and after meals and before and after exercise for about an hour each way. Any other time in between I generally let them just drink as they please, but I have to watch Bosco because he's a guzzle and puke kind of dog. :x
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Postby katiek0417 » August 25th, 2006, 6:46 am

JCleve86 wrote:
katiek0417 wrote:Also, when the dog drinks water, don't just let it drink until it doesn't want anymore. I have a rule: count to five (1-mississippi, 2-mississippi, etc), then make the dog stop. If it's still thirsty, let it come back in 5 or 10 minutes.


Praise GOD somebody else does it too! EVERYBODY tells me how mean I'm being to my dogs when I make them stop guzzling water...though I generally am only careful before and after meals and before and after exercise for about an hour each way. Any other time in between I generally let them just drink as they please, but I have to watch Bosco because he's a guzzle and puke kind of dog. :x


Large amounts of water at any time can lead to bloat in a dog that is already predisposed. I just make it a general rule that they don't get a ton of water.... :|
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