I am so excited…..

Getting ready as we speak to go pick up Chloe…they told me when I called yesterday that she was too big to be spayed ‘in house’ so she would have to be sent out to another vet which could take awhile…so come get her!(That was the reason she did not come home with me on Tuesday…she was waiting to see the vet and to be spayed) My daughter has taken the day off school in case I need a hand (she is my almost graduated beautiful 18 year old Shelby) Anyways gotta put my scrubby clothes on to wrangle an unknown (to her) super large extremely hairy dog that has not even sniffed me yet…and I am gonna try to shove her in my expedition…lol.
This could be interesting…wish me luck! 🙂

Bloat, Part One: What it is, how you prevent it…

Bloat, Part One: What it is, how you prevent it…


Bailey was one of my favorite cocker’s.  A black and white parti-color, she was a gem of a dog.  She belonged to our tenants, who lived in our upstairs apartment, and I would talk to her from the yard as she stood watching me from a window, wiggling her little nub of a tail with great energy. In the morning, she would sit on the front porch steps with me, soaking up the sun and “helping” me read the newspaper.  Her owner’s took her running, fed her excellent food.  Made sure she was groomed and played with every day.  They even picked up her poop when they walked her.  Bailey led a fabulous life. Right up until the morning her owner’s awoke to find their beloved girl dead at the foot of their stairs.  She had died a horrible death while they were sleeping. A necropsy gave the results.  She had been killed by GDV – Gastric Dilatation – Volvulus. Commonly known as bloat.

Bloat is one of those unexpected killers, a train wreck in your dog’s gut.  Bloat occurs when food, fluid, air, and/or foam accumulate in the dog’s stomach, stretching it far beyond its’ normal size.  For reasons not fully understood, this may cause the stomach to rotate and twist, cutting off both the blood supply and any possible “exits” for gas or food.  It is incredibly painful, and is always a medical emergency.

The following uncontrollable factors contribute to an increased risk of bloat:

  • Large, deep-chested breeds (greyhounds, great danes, etc), although ANY dog of any breed can bloat.
  • If the dog has a close family relative who has bloated (mother, father, sibling, or offspring).
  • Older dogs – those 7-12 or older.
  • Anxious dogs

The following bloat increasing factors are controllable. Check to make sure you are not inadvertently increasing the chances that your best friend will suffer this horrible affliction:

  • “Gulpers” – does your dog seemingly inhale her food?  Take measures to slow her down:  place several fist sized rocks in her bowl (you may need to get a bigger bowl), eating around them will slow her down.  Distribute the food among the cups in a muffin tin.  Use a buster cube or other food releasing toy and really make her work for her meal. Try a brake-fast or dogpause bowl.
  • Grab your dog food bag and check the ingredients, if one of the first four ingredients is citric acid, it’s increasing your dog’s risk of bloating.  If it includes fat among the first four ingredients, it’s increasing your dog’s risk of bloating by 170%
  • Moistening of food caused no increase in bloat risk, unless the food contained citric acid.  Moistening these foods increased the risk of bloat by an amazing 320%!
  • If one of the first 4 ingredients is rendered meat meal with bone – congratulations – you’ve just reduced your dog’s risk of bloating by 53%
  • Feeding your dog from a raised bowl increases the risk of bloat by 110%.  Feed your dog from a bowl on the ground, unless he suffers from mega-esophagus or some other disease where raised bowl feeding is a must.
  • “Gastric Indiscretion” – the medical term used by veterinarian’s after your dog has found a food source and “pigged out”.  Every owner deals with the issue of their dog stealing a loaf of bread (or some other delicious-ness) and inhaling the entire thing at some point.  Do your best to keep anything that your dog will find irresistible out of her reach.

These days, when there is a wealth of high quality kibbles on the market, there is no need to feed one which will actually increase the chances that your dog will suffer an extremely painful and possibly fatal medical emergency.  So check your food, and, if necessary, change brands.  Don’t feed your dog from a raised dish unless medically necessary.  And read Bloat, part 2, to learn what the signs of bloat are, and what you should do if you think your dog might possibly be bloating, because no matter how diligent your are, there is always the chance that your dog will suffer this problem.