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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11619
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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Hello, I have two Dobermans. One is 4 and one is 5 and 1/2.

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I have two Dobermans. One is 4 and one is 5 and 1/2. I worry about them getting bloat because I heard it was common in big dogs,especially if they are older. Is there anything they can take such as medicine to keep this from happening to them? Also, what kind of preventative measures can I take to keep this from happening to them?
Hello, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been a veterinary nurse for 26 years.Thank you for allowing me to assist you today.

I am sorry to hear that you are concerned with bloat but very happy that you not only know about this possibility but are taking the time to try to educate yourself on what precautions you can take.This is not common in all large breed dogs more so large breed dogs that are deep chested such as the Doberman and Great Danes.

While there are no medications that can be taken to prevent this there are things that can help reduce the risks.
1. Always wait at least one hour after eating and drinking before allowing the dog to do any exercise such as running jumping etc ( a simple slow walk is fine)
2. Do not encourage or teach deep chested dogs to roll over. While not a high risk some experts believe that a full roll over can increase the risk of the stomach twisting
3. Feed smaller meals throughout the day. Some owners feed 1-2 times per day but splitting the meals into 3-4 meals per day reduces the risks of bloat.
4. Do not allow the dogs to drink large amounts of water right after eating.
5. NEVER elevate the food bowls. Some owners of larger breed dogs use the elevated dishes thinking it makes the dog more comfortable when eating. This is proved through research to greatly increase the chances of bloat.
6. Some experts recommend not feeding dry food only to either mix with wet or moisten the food with water or broth.

It is also a good idea to always keep Gas X on hand if you have a breed prone to bloat.

Here is some additional information that might be helpful as not only do you want to know potential ways of avoiding bloat but also how to recognize the early signs. LINK

I hope this helps. Please reply back if you have additional questions or concerns and I will be happy to continue.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much. Wow, I have my dogs dishes elevated. It's been this way for years. They look so uncomfortable eating out of the bowls on the floor. But, then again I guess it's natural since that's what they would do in the wild. How common is bloat and if you had to guess, about how manylarge breed dogs out of 10 would you say will get it? I guess I am asking for stats.

You are very welcome. I would put the dishes back on the floor as this is been studied extensively. As for states that would be very hard to give since this is not a reportable condition so records are not kept. Having worked in the ER for more ten 12 years and having been in the field for 26 years if I had to guess I would say something such as 1 in 20 or 30 dogs will develop bloat. We saw an average of maybe 15 per year in our ER and we were a very busy ER covering several counties
Candy and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I came home from work and took those elevation containers away and put them on the floor. I also fed them small amounts, gave them a little water and didn't let them run around and play until and hour after they ate. I love these dogs and want to keep them around as long as I can. Thanks for your knowledge and experience.

You are very welcome. I am glad I was able to help. They are very lucky to have someone like you to love them