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Discussion Starter #1
Otto bloated in October- no torsion. Thursday afternoon it seemed that he was starting again, although his stomach never distended.

I'll be talking to the vet on Monday about surgery to tack his stomach to his abdominal wall to prevent torsion if he bloats again.

Has anyone on the forum had this done?

This is major surgery and I am not rushing into it. I want to understand as much as possible before I have it done.

Input from anyone experienced with this would be appreciated.
 

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I know people with breeds prone to GDV are having this done, but as you say, it is major surgery and not something I've ever had done, despite having had 4 cases, full torsion. If your dog is prone to blowing, you may be better to look to why this is going on - adjust his diet and perhaps feed him 3 small meals a day (we always feed twice a day). No food for an hour after exercise or other 'stress' so his system is resting before eating, and for sure, no exercise for 2 hours after a meal.

There is a feeling, based on work done over here on the condition, that there may be a familial involvement in this but this is, as far as I'm aware, unproven. I am noticing that some lines here seem to suffer with this more than others however. In my 4 cases, the first one, elderly and not having as much exercise as before (muscle tone!) was saved, tacked once the stomach was repositioned, and had no further episode. The second, who had been prone to EVERYTHING after a gastric illness as a puppy was not so lucky - despite getting him to my vet asap, he didn't survive. In fact having seen how it knocked the first one back, I asked my vet not to bring him back from the g/a. He'd asked to open him up to see if he could learn anything new - he did, but didn't!! That boy was elderly too. BUT not directly related to the first. The third, more closely related to the second case, again elderly and not 'typical' as he blew early in the morning . He may have been on his way out in any case and his system simply shut down. The last (I hope!) case was a grandson of the third. Again not typical as he was ony 8, fit and active. He was found in his crate surrounded by white foam and immediately off to the vet. On the table, and back that evening, minus his ruptured spleen. He too was tacked and lived to his 15th year before stroke claimed him.

Despite these cases, I've not opted to have Preventitive Gastropexy done.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you- after the first episode, I've been doing as you suggest re: food, exercise, etc. and will continue to do that.
My husband is not on board at this point with having the surgery. I want him at the meeting with the vet so that we BOTH understand everything before we do this.
For now I'm trying to gather information and want to talk with people who have gone through losing a dog to bloat and people who have actually had this preventative surgery done.
I really appreciate your input!
 

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I'm afraid I haven't had it done either, all of the dogs I've had that bloated were seniors and not saveable for one reason or another (at least twice the bloat was a complication of hemangiosarcoma). If I had a dog bloat and recover I would certainly look into it.
 

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Thanks Miriam-Murray was around 12 when he bloated and torsioned; he had never bloated before this final episode and the vet said his age and many disabilities were probably the cause.

Otto is a little over 2 now so I think this is young for this to be happening. When it happened in October he had eaten cut grass laying in the yard, but this time I'm at a loss- I did give him a Greenie a couple of hours before he started showing signs of distress, so I'm thinking maybe that was the cause? Just not sure although he won't be getting anymore Greenies.

Thanks for your input-
 

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When Nancy Richmond's Allie bloated at a hunt test the emergency vet tacredit the stomach as part of the bloat surgery I believe it is standard procedure to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Otto didn't need surgery in October because he didn't torsion- they were able to reduce the gas build up pretty quickly.
Two years ago when Murray bloated and torsioned we had him at the vet's within 20 minutes even though it was 11pm and in the middle of an ice storm-they did surgery and tacked his stomach, but his spleen had been ruptured by the torsion, he had lost alot of blood which had pooled in his body cavity, and he was so debilitated due to age he couldn't be saved.
Hard for me to think about even two years later.
 

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We do keep gas-x (simethecone) on hand and if we're even a little bit doubtful we give them a couple.
 

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Yes! As soon as I saw Otto was distressed, I gave him 2 extra strength Gas X- it buys some time until you can get them to the vets- I took some Gas X out to his Day Care too and they know they have to watch him while he's there.
 

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Ester did have torsion, and I have read up a lot on it....latest thinking is that there may be a link to the flora of the intestine. At any rate, seems that there is no one thing that can actually be seen as causal. She did have her stomach tacked. This happened when we had her less than a month, and she was about 10, and not overly healthy...she came thru just fine.
Given Otto's age, I would probably opt for the surgery. With torsion, if you can not make it to a vet capable of doing the surgery in minutes, the surgery gets worse.
I am lucky to be 10 min from a teaching university with a 24/7 ER. ( BTW The surgeon said simethicone doesn't really help with this.. I had given her some). They kept her open on the table for an hour to make sure all the tissue became pink again....when torsion happens the blood flow is cut off, tissue can die, and gangrene can set in if the surgeon closes too soon....any dead tissue needs to be removed... He said we were very lucky. If we had been an hour away, she would have died.. Next pup I get I will get pet insurance for. Meanwhile I have ordered some new probiotics.....
 

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Years ago now Liverpool Uni did extensive research into this, calling for tissue from patients who died etc. They did find some familial connection, in Bloodhounds. Some lines had smaller sphincter muscles, in and out, and once they went into spasm, then the problems started. Again I have noted cases of GDV in certain bloodlines in Bassets here, so there may well be some familial connection in the Basset too. My own theory, until our last case, was to do with the old hound not doing as much exercise as before perhaps meaning their muscle-tone wasn't as good as it might be. Our last case put all that out the window as, as said, he was 8, fit and well and still on full exercise. And nothing about him suggested he'd go to this - he wasn't a gassy hound, for eg.

I don't know about gas X here, but with one I felt was looking suspiciously as if she might have been in trouble, I gave an antacid and walked her, slowly and not very far. She was fine.

I still don't think I'd put a hound through the tacking surgery without it being done during the GDV surgery. It's an invasive procedure, and I really can't think of opening them up 'just in case'.
 

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Ester had an upset tummy the other night for no reason I can figure, I also gave her an Tums, a gas X, and walked her about on lead....she was fine. Re the surgery, if you are far from an emergency vet, I would do it. Surgery is harder on a "stressed" dog, and ON YOU....that was a horrible night for all of us.
 

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Simethicone never helps if torsion (twisting occurs) there is debate about how Bloat occurs and progresses does distention occur before or after torsion. If it is before Simethicone which reduces gas in the stomach (distension) may prevent boat/torsion from occurring in which case it is helpful. There is the flip side if you wait to see if helps and there is torsion you just wasted precious minutes.
 

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Simethicone never helps if torsion (twisting occurs) there is debate about how Bloat occurs and progresses does distention occur before or after torsion. If it is before Simethicone which reduces gas in the stomach (distension) may prevent boat/torsion from occurring in which case it is helpful. There is the flip side if you wait to see if helps and there is torsion you just wasted precious minutes.
I'd say torsion is more likely to occur after the stomach becomes somewhat distended. With our cases, our vet tried intubation first but wasn't able to get in because the stomach had twisted. In other words, not being able to intubate confirmed the torsion, meaning she had to open up.
 

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those that have prophylactic surgery generally do so when the dog is being spayed.
That's a good idea BUT........ ALL 4 of our cases have been in MALES :D And that's another bit of my 'theory' - much as I have heard of cases where a bitch has a GDV, often after something stressful like whelping!!
 
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