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I chatted with a man at the dog park today who said he's careful with his dog about bloat, and mentioned that he thought GRs were at risk. When I looked it up online, I found several articles about it.

For the experienced GR owners and breeders here, is it really something to worry about and try to prevent? I've always fed Tucker in the morning then taken him to the dog park. Should I wait an hour? I just hate to have him running around hungry... I found the attached article online, but am not sure how much credence to give it.
 

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Yeah, my vet is a breeder of Goldens and cautioned me about this years ago. It scared me enough that I became very careful about feeding and exercise time - I used to leave a one hour cushion around his walks just to be on the safe side. Better to be safe than sorry.

A neighbour with a Bernese Mountain Dog had this happen to his dog and said it was a very traumatic experience.
 

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I leave an hour before and after exercise before feeding. I think there is some research indicating a correlation between temperament and the incidence of bloat, so I am not as worried knowing that none of my dogs are aggressive, fearful, nervous. ect. But I do take a lot of precautions, because it does happen to goldens and dogs with any temperament. I recommend doing your own research and citing sources, and coming to your own conclusion for your dog. As every dog has a different level of risk, with body types and/or history of bloat in litter mates being pretty significant.

Also a dog won't notice having a full stomach or empty when exercising. The way their metabolism works is far different than ours. That is why sled dogs can run hundreds of miles with just a few hours of rest, and not many calories (relative to our needs for the same work).

Some people even have their dog fast one day a week. I'm not sure of the benefits of this, but I have heard of it in several places. I'm sure vets or other experts can elaborate.
 

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Jill -- Maisie's "Mom"
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Yes...

After discussing this with Maisie's vet, doing some reading, consulting her breeder and trainer, I decided bloat was enough of an issue with GRs that when she had her spay done laparoscopically earlier this week, I decided to have a gastropexy also performed. I hadn't known of this procedure which prevents torsion due to bloat. Since she was already under the anesthesia and it only required one additional incision of about 3 inches, it seemed like a good chioice. For a male dog, though, I guess it would be a bigger deal.
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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I lost my 8 year old Golden, Phoenix, to bloat almost 3 years ago. After that, I stopped giving my dogs rawhide of any kind. And I too, am very paranoid about it. I watch them like a hawk!!!

I usually try to wait at least 2 hours after they've eaten to exercise them. You should become familiar with the bloat chart so you can readily recognize the symptoms should they ever arise.
 

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Dog Lover
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Bloat

I think that Goldens are one of the breeds that Bloat is a risk for - I believe it is deep chested dogs.

I would wait an hour or so after he's eaten before I take him running to the park.

In our family, we've had two Male Samoyeds, get Bloat, they both survived the surgery, but ended up passing away from something else, 5 months later.
Neither one of them were exercising when they got the bloat.

Outwest
In the attachment, here are some of the suggestion:
Do not use an elevated food bowl
Do not exercise for at least an hour (longer if possible) before and especially after eating
Particularly avoid vigorous exercise and don't permit your dog to roll over, which could cause the stomach to twist
Do not permit rapid eating
Feed 2 or 3 meals daily, instead of just one
Do not give water one hour before or after a meal
It dilutes the gastric juices necessary for proper digestion, which leads to gas production.
Always keep a product with simethicone (e.g., Mylanta Gas (not regular Mylanta), Phazyme,
Gas-X, etc.) on hand to treat gas symptoms.
Some recommend giving your dog simethicone immediately if your dog burps more than once or shows other signs of
gas.
Some report relief of gas symptoms with 1/2 tsp of nutmeg or the homeopathic remedy Nux moschata 30
 

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Yuki's mom...Syd
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i also make Yuki rest 1 hr before and after meals. i also have the habit of making him sit or stand upright with his paws on me and pat his back and tummy after each meal. he burps sometimes. (-_-) he farts a lot! eeew....

i also keep some meds handy for gas in case i see or feel the tummy is swollen...i first give the med.

Saya's tummy used to have gas, exercise or not, she would get it so i picked up the habit of patting the back to make her burp and giving meds for gas when needed.

i dont really know if patting/rubbing the back/tummy to let my dog burp is good or bad. if i am wrong please do correct me.
 

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Was just reading this and I tend to agree with all the suggestions but one. I do not know why the elevated dog dish would figure in all this. Anyone know? I have both my girls dishes elevated off the floor but not high maybe 7-9". I read this somewhere else and they, too, offered no reason why not to do this.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone. I started with the bloat precautions today. Fed Tucker early and waited a couple hours before taking him to dog park. He already eats slowly because he uses a Wobbler. He's a real Gobbler. :D

I also would like to know the thinking behind not using elevated dishes. I always thought they were good for older dogs.
 

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For the experienced GR owners and breeders here, is it really something to worry about and try to prevent?
Bloat is a true emergency. Also worth stashing some Gas-X just about everywhere (car, house, etc.). It won't prevent torsion, but it will prevent the instances where bloat causes torsion.

I read something the other day though where a vet said bloat is about air filling the stomach, not gas (as in gulping air while eating). Not sure what I think of that. I think they are thinking that once the dog's stomach has twisted, it then fills with air. That twist could be caused by gas, maybe the stomach being too full of water and then moving the wrong way, and probably a number of things that we don't understand. Not sure.

There's a sticky at the top of this forum, but I haven't read it all yet.
 

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Yes, from what I learned in college and working in clinics, it is about gulping excess air when eating big amounts of dry dog food. That causes the "gas" in the stomach and especially when exercising afterwards, rolling around especially also, can twist the stomach on itself such cutting of the blood supply. The gas is trapped and might increase and the blood supply cuts of the circulation to the intestins and other organs. Ideally a bloat would be caught and treated by passing a big tube through the mouse into the stomach to release the air before the stomach twists on itself. I have seen dogs die from bloat, I have helped save dogs from it. That is a true emergency.
Deep chested dogs are more prone to this, does not matter what breed.
 

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In the Moment
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Always better safe than sorry. Food and exercise at our house is always separated by at least an hour or more. I think any larger dog is at risk. Here is a bloat chart that is a sticky in the health section. I urge everyone to become familiar with it and print it out to have in a handy location. Bloat is so serious and life threatening and time is critical.

http://bouviers.net/dogblog/files/bloatchart.pdf
 
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As to gastropexy, I personally would not have a gastropexy done on my dog "just in case", if he did not have a bloat before. But that is me - not meant as an insult, just a statement.
 

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Yeah, bloat is something that I'm a little paranoid about. Sometimes I think maybe I'm a little more cautious than I need to be, but then I tell myself that it's better to be too cautious than not cautious enough. We have enough to worry about with these Goldens - if bloat is something that we can possibly prevent, I don't see a reason not to try.

I pretty much follow the guidelines that have been mentioned already. And believe it or not, I still hand feed Riley to make sure he eats slowly enough. His food would be gone in about three seconds if I didn't. And he probably takes in less air, eating the food from my hand.
 

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Yuki's mom...Syd
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Bloat is a true emergency. Also worth stashing some Gas-X just about everywhere (car, house, etc.). It won't prevent torsion, but it will prevent the instances where bloat causes torsion.
thats what i did before and still do. better take precautions and try avoiding it before any mishaps happen.

let me add some more points which i know/read about:

feeding dry kibble and then letting the dog drink water right after...causes the kibble to absorb water and expand inside the stomach. this is another cause for bloat. one site suggested doing a kibble expanding test to check how much the kibble you feed your dog expands. soak some kibble overnight in some water and check in morning to see the expanded size, compare to dry kibble. the less it expands the less chances of bloat. also smaller kibble size is better than larger kibbles.

feeding kibble thats been soaked in water for 20-30 mins solves this. <--i think this is the best for the dog.

if feeding dry kibble then never let the dog drink water right after dry-feeding. give water after 1 hr. <--i honestly dont like to do this.

another point to remember is never feed water 1 hr before and after meals. its the same as with exercise.

where the bowls are placed really isnt that important. whats more important are other factors that lead to bloat.
 

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i also make Yuki rest 1 hr before and after meals. i also have the habit of making him sit or stand upright with his paws on me and pat his back and tummy after each meal. he burps sometimes. (-_-) he farts a lot! eeew....

i also keep some meds handy for gas in case i see or feel the tummy is swollen...i first give the med.

Saya's tummy used to have gas, exercise or not, she would get it so i picked up the habit of patting the back to make her burp and giving meds for gas when needed.

i dont really know if patting/rubbing the back/tummy to let my dog burp is good or bad. if i am wrong please do correct me.
I love the burping idea! But he's so big now...should have started dwhen he weighed 12 pounds! :)
 

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Yuki's mom...Syd
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I love the burping idea! But he's so big now...should have started dwhen he weighed 12 pounds! :)
Saya was over 60 lbs and i still did it. no lifting the dog lol. just make them stand with their paws on the couch and pat the back and sides. Saya got so used to it that she would stand on the couch and bark at me for the patting. she loved getting her back massaged :doh: 30 mins-1hr...not enough for her lol. she was a massage loving dog :doh:

when i saw my cousin lifting her baby after feeding her and patting the baby's back, the baby burped. that kinda gave me the idea of doing the same with my dogs/pups to help them get the air out.
 

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My Golden Woody, got bloat when he was about 7 years old. He ate, went outside and barked like crazy, didn't run around at all. He came in, started trying to throw up so I let him outside. When he didn't come right back, I knew there was a problem and went out looking for him. He was just sitting there. So I felt his stomach, (felt like I was feeling a big rock hard mound). I knew it was bloat, threw him in the car and took off. We live in a rural area, took me 30 minutes to get to a vet, then that vet did not do the surgery and all the vets that did do it were on vacation. I begged them to puncture his stomach and the finally did and then I had another hour to go to get to a vet that did the surgery. It was a nightmare. They gave me a 40% chance of him making it but he did. After that, he got 3 small meals a day, NEVER a large amount of food at once. All the postings by Karen on the this thread were what we did. Bloat can happen to all dogs but most often to large chested or large cavity breeds. Woody was a huge dog. We had a friend lose a Basset Hound though and they have that large cavity.
Our new Golden gets 3 small meals a day, I never want to go through that again!
 

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When they say no exercise does this include walks? I thought I heard that walks aren't always as much of a problem as actual running. With our working schedules we have limited time in the morning for a walk. Right now we are feeding her when we get up and then walking between 1/2 hour to an hour after feeding and then going downstairs to run around.

Does this sound okay or are we risking it?

And no water with their meals?
 
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