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Old 17-03-2010, 00:38   #1
draggar
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Default Gastric Contortion (Bloat) in CsV?

I know gastric contortion is an issue that you need to watch out for with GSDs (enough that you should take precautions).

Seeing that CsVs are bred from working line GSDs - is this also a significant concern with the breed? I hear a lot about hips but some of the factors that raise / lower the risk of bloat with GSDs can also be genetic.

From the pictures I see the CsV's chest isn't as prominent as it is on the GSD and it looks much smaller / tighter (relative to their size) so this is giving me the impression that it isn't as much of an issue as it is with the GSD.
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Old 17-03-2010, 03:20   #2
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Sorry I can't answer your question directly, dragger, but I'm hopeful that someone with a lot more experience and history with multiple generations of CSV's will be able to answer this for all of us. I too, am very interested in the longer-term health charactersitics of the CSV.

I can confirm, as I have an adult female GSD (mutt) and an adult female CSV, that I was amazed at the differences in their chest shapes. My GSD has such a broad, barrel-shaped chest whereas my CSV has a much narrower tighter chest that is somewhat "pointed" at the under crest, lacking the large bellowing side expanses of my GSD's chest. I thought I remembered reading somewhere that this helped them run through the snow or something (not much snow down here in Louisiana).

Not to hijak your thread, but in addition to the bloat issue, I would also like to know a somewhat related health question - what is the typical/average life-span of a healthy CSV? Are there any differences in male/female life spans due to their genetically-based size difference?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 17-03-2010, 13:19   #3
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Flint's brother died from bloat so I know it can happen.

And though it is more common in barrel shaped dogs such as the GSD, any large breed dog can get it. Same with Hip Dysplasia, most people seem to think it is just a GSD disease, but any breed can get it, [bulldogs being the most common if I remember right.] And it's not necessarily genetic, my GSD came from Ch. parents who were both OFA 'good' and a grandparent who was OFA 'excellent' [only fewer than 1% of Shepherd get that rating] and sadly my girl developed Hip Dysplasia by the age of 6 months. CsV's seem to be a relatively healthy breed though, all I'm saying is all large breed can develop these problems.
The only health problems Flint has had is he's allergic to chicken [devlops hot spots/itchy skin] and he has a very sensitive stomach but I have him on a good diet and he never had a serious problem.

As for lifespan, I don't know since Flint is only 5, but his grandfather, Ali Reolup just turned 14 and is looking good so I'm hoping for a long healthy life with my boy! :]
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Old 17-03-2010, 14:45   #4
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Any breed can get bloat (our vet, during a bloat seminar, showed us x-rays of a toy poodle that got bloat).

While boat itself is not genetic, some of the conditions can be. A deep / barrel chest can raise the risk of bloat, "gassy" (digestive) dogs can also be a higher risk (I think this factor can also be genetic).

But - more energetic dogs can be a higher risk, this is not genetic (obviously).

Highly submissive dogs are also at a higher risk (rolling on their backs often) - obviously this is not generic either.

Royal Canin's German shepherd formula is also designed to help prevent bloat with the shape of their kibble (kinda look like larger X's from the Alphabits cereal). Even their GSD puppy formula is a smaller version of this.

While there are risks and factors that we can help prevent it (nap time immediately after means and a walk, etc.), some are higher risk than others (GSDs, Great Danes, etc..). I'm just wondering where the vlcak might be on the risk factor. I'm sure their size (slightly smaller than a GSD?) makes them a higher risk than most breeds, though.

I guess if Luna grows into a barrel chested, energetic, submissive girl who farts a lot we might need to keep the bloat kit in reach?
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Old 17-03-2010, 17:07   #5
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In Italian Forum we usually speak a lot about Gastric contortion, and I can say, by reading, as I am no owner yet - one day I'll be I hope - that CSVs can have it too. So the advices that are usually given are these:

1 - Divide the daily food income in two meals - so that the stomach does not get too full
2 - Keep the dog quiet for AT LEAST one hour before eating and AT LEAST two hours after eating
3 - If dogfood is used, avoid a great income of water immediately after the meal. Give just a small amount, and then more after few time.
4 - Check if the dog "burps". It is a good sign: the gas exits from the stomach and the way is free
5 - Do not water the dogfood: it absorbs water and starts creating gas in the stomach (same reason as per Point 3).

That's all I can remember right now ^^...

Last edited by Enid Black; 17-03-2010 at 17:10.
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Old 18-03-2010, 01:08   #6
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Well, they're definitely more at risk than other breeds, even without the barrel chest, but yeah, it sounds like you know the signs to look for and how to help prevent it so I'm sure Luna will be fine. And don't worry, I've never heard of a submissive CsV

Smaller than a GSD?? What makes you think that?? Flint is 27" at the shoulder and last time I weighed him, was at least 100 pounds. I know females are significantly smaller, but I remember Shetan [Flint's mother] was larger than my GSD as well. I fed my GSD Royal Canin but the main meat sorce is chicken so it's no good for Flint. I feed him either lamb & rice or venison & rice formulas. And I feed him at dinner time right before bed when he's not too active [though he gets pretty frisky when he hears the dog food cupboard open.]
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Old 18-03-2010, 09:58   #7
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lots of info here:
http://www.globalspan.net/bloat.htm#Causes
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Old 18-03-2010, 11:35   #8
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Very interesting Link, Bite! Even because it gives some advices that I usually found the other way round: here it says: Do not use an elevated food bowl, the question is: why?
I've always read that we should NOT use ground food bowls, but that we should keep the bowl at the same level as the stomach, to allow the gases and the air to go away while the dog is eating.

It is even interesting to notice that too many burps are as worrying as no burps at all.

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Old 18-03-2010, 12:02   #9
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Just in my opinion about bowls... you know how wolfs are eating? Yes, they're eating from the ground level, they don't put their meal on some rock or tree... so I think, that the natural (low) level should be kept for csv as well.
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Old 18-03-2010, 12:54   #10
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That's right Bite, but our wolfdogs don't eat hard and rare meat, just hunted and fresh (even if not tender unless they hunted a puppy or so), they eat dryfood at a much higher speed than a wolf can eat its prey (it has to separate meat from bone, and wild animals have harder meat because they make a lot of movement).
So, it would make sense with a BARF diet, but with dryfood? How does it behave inside the stomach? How would the gas exit better? These are questions that need an answer before taking a decision...

I am very interested in knowing everyone's experience and opinion, and if I question an answer is only to give more answers to our WHYs ...
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Old 18-03-2010, 13:59   #11
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now I'm confused all my dogs were always eating from ground level and any of them had any problems... but yes, they were quite small comparing to csv... I wonder what vet says about all this bowl level problem
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Old 18-03-2010, 14:44   #12
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I didn't want to confuse you ^^... Yes, what is vet's word?

(as soon as I have time, I'll translate the link you posted on Italian Forum: we discussed a bit of bloat few weeks ago, and I am sure we will have other opinions... some of them may answer directly here I think...)
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Old 18-03-2010, 16:26   #13
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Ah, bloat. A fear for many dog owners.. We’ve learned a lot about bloat for our Dobe.. This is what I can say about it..


Regarding the elevated or unelevated bowls.. there is no conclusive opinion one way or the other. It still is up in the air whether or not one is better.. some say yes.. some say no. A recently published Perdue study says not being elevated is better, but it’s not conclusive.

Regarding dog food – Only dog food containing Vitamin C should not be watered down prior to consumption from what I have learned.. keep in mind that "vitamin C" is not usually what is listed on the bag.. sometimes it is called "citric acid" as well. Doing so will cause the food to expand a lot in the dogs’ stomach.

Why would someone water down food in the first place? Well.. a lot of the higher protein foods like EVO and Orijen should preferably only be used with dogs who get adequate hydration (for kidney/liver health).. Orijen is roughly 40% protein.. when fed a raw diet, a huge portion of the diet is water. That means that without adequate hydration, Orijen is higher in protein levels than a raw diet.. watering down the food is the easiest way to get hydration. Worry not though, both EVO and Orijen can be safely watered down.

What is said about bloat is that feeding one large meal at a time is not preferable, either.


I think all this information regarding bloat is in regards to kibble-fed dogs, though. Our three are on a prey-model raw diet. In feeding raw, a lot of things above don’t apply .. we feed by a gorge-fast method.. meaning the dog will eat 1 or 2 times their daily allotment and then be fasted for the next day or so. Obviously, this should not be attempted with kibbles.. the breakdown is completely different. There is anecdotal evidence that kibble itself is to blame for a lot of bloat episodes, although I have known very rare cases (exactly 1) in which raw-fed dogs also bloated.

Something that Boxer, Great Dane, and some other large Mastiff owners (and other breeds really prone to bloat) do is have a gastropexy done. This basically staples the stomach to the inside wall of the abdominal cavity. Bloat can still occur- but the torsion (twisting) cannot. You must still get your dog to the vet and have emergency care given, but the twisting of the gut is one of the most dangerous parts of bloat that can be prevented with a gastropexy.
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Old 18-03-2010, 20:17   #14
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Regarding Gastropexy, I've read that it isn't always working. A dog that had a bloat and torsion can have it again, so one should be extra-careful. Sometimes the gastropexy just gives more time to operate but does not solve the problem...
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Old 18-03-2010, 20:20   #15
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No, it certainly doesn't solve the problem. All it can do is perhaps lessen the impact and buy a bit more time. Bloat can still happen, for sure.

If people do it here, they do it around 6mth to 1 yr of age, usually before the dog has ever had a chance to bloat. It's usually done at the same time the animal is spayed/neutered, which is widely regarded around here as part of pet ownership.

Last edited by yukidomari; 18-03-2010 at 20:23. Reason: adding info!
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Old 18-03-2010, 20:24   #16
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Exactly. I am not saying I wouldn't do it should it happen, but I think I would not do it as a prevention (it's still an operation). BUT I would make sure that I do not endanger my dog (I will make sure I won't endanger mu future dog... I'll have to wait...)
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Old 18-03-2010, 20:28   #17
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As I understand it, spay/neuter is not standard in Europe.. so for sure I would think about a gastropexy more if I were in your shoes. In the states, most people besides breeders or others involved in show or performance events will generally spay or neuter their dogs, so, again, it is an operation nonetheless but usually we combine the spaying/neutering and the gastropexy if we decide to have one. And in that way, here it is used as a preventative many times.
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Old 18-03-2010, 20:35   #18
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You're right Yukidomari, especially in Italy we usually think twice before operating our pets. Sometimes is just ignorance, I have to admit, but usually we do not like to "cut" them unnecessarily. Plus, neutering a bitch means "opening" her, but neutering a male one is just a small cut... even if they both need complete anaesthesia...
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Old 18-03-2010, 21:23   #19
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Statistics showed that dry food in general gives a higher risk than raw feeding or can food. The bigger the meal is, the higher the risk, one meal a day is riskier than more meals a day (but still a high amount keeps riskier).
To give left overs from the owners meals lowers the risk etremely (59%), to add can food also (28%) but not as much as left overs.
To give only one kind of food have a three times higher risk than dogs with changes in their diet.
The reason seems to be that dogs that are fed with dry food have the biggest stomaches (the ones with one meal a day the most) with the longest tissues compared with other dogs what makes the stomach turn more easily. Dogs with a turned stomach have longer tissues than normal dogs.
Dogs with under-avarage weight that suffered a severe or chronic disease in their youth have a higher risk in general.
As far as I know it has never been really proved that high activity after feeding can cause a turned stomach.
Dogs with a broad deep chest and giant breeds have a much higher risk, the theory is that their is more place for the stomach to turn. And as far as I can see CSW have a quite low risk but of course as all dogs can get one. Here in my opinion the reason is - like so often that the wolf exterieur is the one that has prooven the best - a not deep and broad chest, contrairy to a GSD.

Ina
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Old 19-03-2010, 03:54   #20
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Quote:
Royal Canin's German shepherd formula is also designed to help prevent bloat
How exactelly the shape ad formula of this dog food works preventing Gastric Contortion? I use this dog food, but I want to learn more about the subject.
Thanks!
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