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  • Bloat and diet

    *I'm not entirely sure where to put this, so if it needs to be moved, please feel free to do so*
    **also, this is long, sorry, I just keep thinking of things that might be relevant**

    Our Egon just turned 6 years old in early January. His life has been pretty uneventful- the only "traumatic" thing we've ever gone through with him (aside from vacation separation) is his neuter surgery.
    Thursday night (two nights ago), Egon got sick. The first time, we sort of blew it off, but figured we'd keep an eye on him. Then he puked again. And a third time after drinking water (only now it was foamy instead of mucus and gel like). We called the emergency vet to make sure they were in, and told them why we were coming in. Long story short, it was bloat, and his stomach had twisted. Somehow, through blind luck and a bit of me being obsessively worried about that happening to him (and thus knowing early signs), we'd managed to catch it early enough that no damage was done to his other organs, and there's no reason to think he won't make a full recovery.
    His stomach is now tacked, and he's at home recovering. He's still not got much of an appetite, but he's drinking normally, and I can't say I blame him. I've had a tube shoved down my throat, and I didn't feel like eating for weeks afterwards. He's eating a bit of food, but nowhere near what he normally eats. However, he is on medication now (pain pills an antibiotic, and an antacid) some of which need to be taken with food, some on an empty stomach.
    Poor pup is doing okay. We are doing okay after spending 24 hours worried sick about him and how he was doing. But I started looking into potential reasons. We had him on Nature's Variety Instinct (kibble). The only "issue" we had is that he seemed to make this weird "rusticating" sound (that's what our vet called it when he heard it yesterday, but I may have spelled that wrong, or gotten the word wrong entirely). We didn't think anything of it, just assumed it was hiccups. He's sensitive to food changes.. even a can of food as a treat keeps him pooping. Stealing a hot dog from the garbage can gives him the poops.
    So now I'm worried that his diet is causing this noise, and that the noise has something to do with how he ended up with bloat. I spoke with our vet, and he doesn't want us making any changes while Egon is healing, and I'm fine with that. He did think that a raw diet might decrease his general gassiness, but wasn't convinced that it would prevent a recurrence of bloat. So I think, in 2 weeks, when Egon is healed, we're going to go ahead and switch him over to raw.
    I'm not sure where to start, but the ideal for me would be to buy, say, a bunch of ground beef, bunch of organ meat, a bunch of fish, a bunch of whatever I need, and turn it into a few weeks worth of frozen, then thawed, dog food for him. I'm nervous to do full bones, because we've tried before, and he has zero interest in them, so I'll need a calcium source. Can someone help? Am I screwing up by introducing a raw diet when he's already 6 and suffering from gastro... weakness I guess? Or is there a chance that this will make a difference, that it will help keep him from getting gassy and thus maybe from EVER going through bloat again?
    sigpic
    Lucy, rescued 5/16/15
    Egon 1/7/07-3/22/14- loved and missed

  • #2
    I think there is always the chance that the diet will work really well for him and hopefully will solve stomach issues but while it may help I wouldn't count on it being a miracle cure. My boy is just about 7 and has been on raw diet for approximately 2 years. He survived bloat and torsion at the age of 2. The raw diet has been wonderful but he still does have recurrent bouts of what we call "episodes". While I think the raw diet has done great things for him in terms of reducing the number of episodes, I've come to the realization that I probably won't ever be able to eliminate them. We have just started trying to head them off at the pass when we see them starting to try and reduce his stress and the stress on his body.

    Don't know that this really helped you. It is possible that it may make a difference for him. It's worth a try anyway and for your sake and his i sure hope it helps!
    Tamara and Deuce
    sigpic

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    • #3
      My dog (Jazz) has bloated many many times. From my experience with kibbles, raw etc, it didn't really matter she just has a genetic predisposition to bloat. She has had issue with every food source. Currently she is on an easy to digest home cooked food.

      My vet was completely ok with my giving her simithicone with her food and I did so for quite a while until I was comfortable dropping it off. You can speak with your vet about that.

      I"m glad your boy is home and on the way to getting better!
      sigpic
      Emily
      Jazz - GD rescued at 5 months (september 27th, 2009)
      Blues - GD rescued at ? grew through 2012 (July 29, 2011)
      Preston - 8 y/o "grumpy old man" yorkie mix

      bluesfightscancer.com

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      • #4
        Thank you both for your thoughts. My husband is leaning towards the "I don't think it matters what you feed him, if he's gonna bloat, he's gonna bloat" camp. I can't help but think that if I can reduce his overall gassiness, then somehow, it's gotta help. If nothing else, maybe it will be more palatable to him- he's a notoriously fussy eater, LOL.
        Plus, with his allergies... we had him on Nutrisca, which is grain and potato free and he did phenomenally on that. But after about a year, he just refused to eat it anymore. And at $80/bag, I can't say that I was all that disappointed to move along... Only now, he won't touch the kibble he was on before the bloat incident, but is happily snacking on the cats' food. We also gave him a can of canned food yesterday (deciding the heck with it, if he gets loose stools again, at least he's eating), and he snarfed that down quite happily. So I think, one way or the other, he's telling us he doesn't want this kibble anymore, either. If he doesn't eat it by tomorrow, I have to make a decision. Another brand of kibble, or raw/homecooked (our vet actually favored cooked foods for food handling purposes)?
        I just feel so bad for him. He's doing okay, doesn't seem to be in much pain this morning, has pooped, and just seems to be improving steadily (knock on wood). But I just feel so awful for him, that this happened to him. I want to do what I can to ensure that it doesn't happen again, and that whatever happens- I guess I just want to make sure his last years are comfortable and enjoyable for him.

        Also, side note- the vet, in doing his own Xrays, found a small spot on his right lung. It was only visible in one of the 4 films they had. So he'll be going back in about a month to see if it's changed or grown, or even still there. We're hoping like crazy it was just some sort of random anomaly in the machine, just not our puppers.
        sigpic
        Lucy, rescued 5/16/15
        Egon 1/7/07-3/22/14- loved and missed

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        • #5
          Well it sounds like you will have to make a change no matter what. If you feel you can do raw or home-cooked then by all means give it a try. Maybe it will help, you never know.

          I am of the same belief as Emily (Jazzandcompany), I think that there are certain dogs that are predisposed to it. Unfortunately some whose digestion just doesn't work right and causes the bloat.

          Fingers crossed that his recovery continues to go smoothly and that spot on the X-ray was nothing.
          Tamara and Deuce
          sigpic

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          • #6
            I just wanted to throw out that often adding a probiotic can help w/ gas. It helps to get the flora of the gut back in order and things get digested easier. This is especially important after antibiotic use. Dealing w/ sensitive tummies sucks, but maybe a powdered supplement would be easy on his belly? I give plain yogurt, but my dogs tolerate that, not all do.
            Michele
            Mom to: Angel huskyx (3/15/2001), Lestat labx (12/1/2001), Mystra beaglex (04/01/2005), Merlin airedale (08/01/2012)
            RIP my loves:
            Isis (dane) (7/1/2005-11/5/2011), Venus (dane) (9/1/02-06/24/13)

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            • #7
              While you are giving antibiotics and he is healing I would try to give cooked chicken & rice. It is very bland & easy on the stomach. Neither of my Danes can have dry food with chicken or rice in it (diarhea) but handle cooked chicken/rice just fine (Logan tries to eat just the chicken & leave the rice). With our St Bernard years ago we gave just canned chicken to keep him eating and keep the stomach upset to a minimum while giving meds. It was expensive but worked.
              As for feeding raw - Logan has a notoriously sensitive stomach, he doesnt get loose stool often but will have "episodes" of upset stomach where he furiously eats grass or paces in pain. We fed him raw for a year and while it helped in many many ways (coat, teeth, stool consistency) it did not stop those "episodes" from happening.
              We have the best luck keeping him on a strict lamb/potato diet and are currently feeding Taste of the Wild.
              "I don’t care if a dog is 150 pounds or 10 pounds, and whether the issue is leash manners or biting visitors. There are no dogs who need a heavier hand—there are only trainers who need more knowledge and a lighter touch." Suzanne Clothier
              sigpic
              Rocky & Emma
              Follow our adventures at
              www.instagram.com/spottedangels

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              • #8
                My husband was pretty decisive yesterday that he wants to stay on kibble. Egon's been on Taste of the Wild, Canidae and Nutrisca (and has had other sample bags as treats here and there). We're torn between trying Barking at the Moon (he's had a sample bag of that and liked it) or going back to either TotW or Canidae and seeing how he does.
                I thought about a probiotic, but wasn't sure what kind to get him, or how much to give him. Any thoughts on that? Do I just start that now, or wait till he's done with the ABX?
                sigpic
                Lucy, rescued 5/16/15
                Egon 1/7/07-3/22/14- loved and missed

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                • #9
                  If you go back to TOTW make sure it's the lamb or fish formula because the others can be too rich for sensitive stomachs.
                  I like the Proviable paste for probiotics - works like a charm & even picky Logan eats it right up.
                  "I don’t care if a dog is 150 pounds or 10 pounds, and whether the issue is leash manners or biting visitors. There are no dogs who need a heavier hand—there are only trainers who need more knowledge and a lighter touch." Suzanne Clothier
                  sigpic
                  Rocky & Emma
                  Follow our adventures at
                  www.instagram.com/spottedangels

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                  • #10
                    Our bloat experience

                    Our Dane bloated at 3 years old last summer - but I believe it was caused by gulping down some leftover chicken kabobs as opposed to his regular food. After his emergency surgery (twisted stomach - no other damage) he did fine for about a week on the prescription canned food but then just stopped eating. Finally got him to eat ground beef and rice but after a few weeks he was back on Kibble. He was on Blue Buffalo Wilderness which he still gets but I am mixing with Fromm chicken ala veg.

                    Our vet had him on Pro-Pectalin which is a probiotic to offset the impact of the antibiotics. I just remember it had to be spaced out from the anitbiotics. Also - those are available "over the counter."

                    Good luck and I am glad you caught his bloat early!

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                    • #11
                      So now:
                      It's been a week since he's come home. He is on Cephalexin (ABX), tramadol (for pain- the first 2 days home was 3/day, then 2 times a day, today I dropped to one a day since he doesn't seem to be in ANY pain right now), and Prevacid (20mg or whatever the dosage is, one pill daily on an empty stomach). He was on Rimadyl as well (not sure why, maybe additional pain relief?), and I saw a side effect was decreased appetite. He's been off of it for 24 hours.
                      Is it normal that he's still not eating much? He's never been a big eater- we fed him on a schedule, but he just turned it into a free feed thing. He ate what he wanted when he wanted, but over the course of the day, he ate 6 cups of food. Today, he hasn't even had the two I gave him this morning. I don't know if this is normal for the healing process, and if I should just give him beef and rice until he feels up to eating normally. Or is this something I need to worry about? It's been a week of him not eating much, and he's already pretty thin (post surgery, he was down to 118, from a high of 127 a few months prior to that).
                      I'll call the vet in the morning if he's still not eaten anything.
                      Also, the vet wants us to do his heartworm shot and rabies shot when we bring him in for the staple removal. I'm not sure that's a good idea... like it will be too traumatic for him, too much at once. Am I over-reacting? Should I wait another month or so, give him time to really recover? I mean, we'll have to go back a month later anyway to follow up on his Xrays (that spot he found on the one film), so it's not like we CAN'T bring him back. And I suppose if that spot is something, I wouldn't want to be giving him shots anyway...I think I just talked myself into waiting on the shots for now.
                      sigpic
                      Lucy, rescued 5/16/15
                      Egon 1/7/07-3/22/14- loved and missed

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                      • #12
                        He ate! This morning he ate! He's eaten three cups of his kibble, and a bite of canteloupe (his after pills treat). I'm SO relieved right now!
                        sigpic
                        Lucy, rescued 5/16/15
                        Egon 1/7/07-3/22/14- loved and missed

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