Some info will be on serious note but a lot of the time, I hope for it to be fun and frivilous! I also hope to get some helpful and create comments! So here it goes! drum roll please!
the first of Wednesday's Helpful Pet Tips!and I'm starting on a serious note:
the reason that I decided to start with this is because a Great Dane "Gunnar" that I have taken care of in the past, died suddenly at home on the weekend from "gastric torsion" also known as BLOAT. He was only a few years old and this really hit home for me because my Blue is 4! I have always feed Blue on an elevated little table because I had read that it was easier on them to eat this way. After this horrible incident I started to do some research and I am now no longer feeding him this way.
A good friend of mine, Amber has two rescued Mastiffs.
They are just big sweet puppies but when it comes to their food they just enhale it! She has researched into ways to get them to slow down in their eating and she found special bowls with a molded raised area in the middle that forces them to eat around it and slow down some. But of course being a frugal pet-owner like myself, she found an alternative to the expensive pet bowl! She went to the Goodwill and purchase a couple of bundt cake pans for her big boys and it's been working great for her big boys! So that is the tip of the day! - Bundt Cake Pans!
Disclaimer alert: I am not a professional of any kind, just a dog lover who has done research over the internet on my own. If you have any questions, please consult your veterinarian for accurate and professional advice.
So here is what I gathered take from it what you will:
Bloat is a very serious health risk for many dogs, yet many dog owners know very little about it. It is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer.
1. Be aware that this condition can be fatal.
2. Know your dog's risk: The condition is most common in large and giant breeds.
3. Help prevent bloating and torsion by feeding your dog twice a day.
4. Avoid vigorous activity 1 hour before and after a meal.
5. Be sure to always have water available for your dog, but prevent your dog from drinking large volumes immediately after exercise.
6. Take your dog to the veterinarian immediately if within hours of a meal she is salivating, wrenching, vomiting and appears to have an enlarged stomach.
Typical symptoms often include some (but not necessarily all) of the following. Unfortunately, from the onset of the first symptoms you have very little time (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours) to get immediate medical attention for your dog. Know your dog and know when it's not acting right.
Attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful); may occur every 5-30 minutes This seems to be one of the most common symptoms & has been referred to as the "hallmark symptom"
"Unsuccessful vomiting" means either nothing comes up or possibly just foam and/or mucous comes up
Doesn't act like usual self, perhaps the earliest warning sign and may be the only sign that almost always occurs !
There are reports that dogs who bloated asked to go outside in the middle of the night. If this is combined with frequent attempts to vomit, and if your dog doesn't typically ask to go outside in the middle of the night, bloat is a very real possibility.
Significant anxiety and restlessness
One of the earliest warning signs and seems fairly typical
"Hunched up" or "roached up" appearance
Lack of normal gurgling and digestive sounds in the tummy. Many dog owners report this after putting their ear to their dog's tummy.
Bloated abdomen that may feel tight (like a drum)-but despite the term " bloat",
many times this symptom never occurs or is not apparent.
Pale or off-color gums
Dark red in early stages, white or blue in later stages.
Heavy salivating or drooling
Foamy mucous around the lips, or vomiting foamy mucous
Unproductive attempts to defecate
Licking the air
Seeking a hiding place
Looking at their side or other evidence of abdominal pain or discomfort
May refuse to lie down or even sit down
May stand spread-legged
May curl up in a ball or go into a praying or crouched position
May attempt to eat small stones and twigs
Heavy or rapid panting
Cold mouth membranes
Apparent weakness; unable to stand or has a spread-legged stance
Especially in advanced stage :Accelerated heartbeat
Heart rate increases as bloating progresses
Reducing the chances of bloat are:
Avoid highly stressful situations. If you can't avoid them, try to minimize the stress as much as possible. Be extra watchful.
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
Allow access to fresh water at all times, except before and after meals
Make meals a peaceful, stress-free time
When switching dog food, do so gradually (allow several weeks)
Do not feed dry food exclusively
Breeds most at risk according to the links below:
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bouvier des Flandres
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
English Springer Spaniel
German Shorthaired Pointer
Old English Sheepdog