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Setter Man

Anyone have experience using Gas-X for bloat?

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Setter Man

BLOAT/TORSION/GASTRIC DILATION VOLVULUS (GDV) AND GAS-X

To begin with I make no pretense at being a vet. PLEASE discuss any questions you have regarding bloat with your vet. Dennis Stachewicz was the first person I know to have used Gas-X for bloat. Thankfully, he was able to stop the progression of it. I’d like to know just how common stopping bloat with Gas-X is. I have only recently seen the use of simethicone (Gas-X, etc) in literature. I did a great deal of research on bloat a number of years ago and posted it here on UJ. What follows are some of the results of MANY more hours of research. I enjoyed doing extensive (as with ruffed grouse color phases) research and writing papers in my undergraduate and post graduate college years.

The Purdue Study (landmark study in the 90’s) was fascinating to read. From it, Glickman’s name frequently surfaces just as Gullion’s does on all things ruffed grouse.  The information below constitutes a TIMEline from the original Purdue Study to more recent findings.

Reading the following might also enable dog owners to formulate questions for their vets. A former student lost a dog to gdv and it tragically comes up quite frequently on hunting boards. PetMeds list bloat or GDV as second only to cancer as the leading cause of death in dogs. Large dogs - namely the giant breeds - are especially vulnerable. Since deep chested, lean dogs - traits of our hunting dogs – are more prone to it, I will offer the following. The risk also increases with age.

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From New Research Into Canine Bloat, 24 Jan 2017, by Robert Belobrajdic

Bloat occurs when the stomach, which contains gas-producing bacteria, becomes distended with gas that can’t escape. A second phase, gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), occurs when the stomach then rotates in a clockwise direction, cutting off any escape routes for the gas through either the esophagus or duodenum as they are twisted and kinked. The twisting also impairs blood flow to the stomach.

As the gas builds up the dog becomes increasingly uncomfortable, stands with a hunched back, paces, pants and retches unsuccessfully.

As bloat progresses, the abdomen becomes distended, the gums pale, the pulse weak and rapid. Stomach tissue begins to die from lack of blood. As the vena cava, the main vein leading from the dog’s rear back to its heart, becomes obstructed the dog goes into shock.

Initial treatment is aimed at preventing shock by immediately starting intravenous fluids and relieving the pressure in the stomach either by inserting a trochar (basically a very large bore needle) into the stomach from the dog’s side, or by passing a tube from the mouth to the stomach. The dog is then taken to surgery where the stomach is untwisted and examined for dead tissue, which must be removed. The spleen is also examined for blood clots, which signal the need for its removal.

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NOTE THESE BREEDS THAT WERE LISTED IN ORDER ON TABLE OF TOP 25 DOGS TO EXPERIENCE GDV FROM DRS. FOSTER AND SMITH. IT CAN OCCUR IN ANY BREED. ALSO, INFORMATIVE ARTICLE:

Weimaraner, Irish Setter, Gordon Setter, German Shorthaired Pointer, Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2090&aid=402

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SIGNS OF BLOAT FROM RESHAREWORTHY.COM
Gagging or attempting to vomit, but nothing coming up, except ropey, slimy, marshmallow-like saliva
Extreme agitation
Pacing accompanied by the inability to sit or lay down comfortably
Swelling between the rib cage and the hips; it could start in the lower rib cage.
Heavy panting, often accompanied with labored and loud breathing
Head and tail hanging down, with a roached-up back
WATCH FOR UNUSUAL OR UNCHARACTERISTIC BEHAVIOR FOR YOUR DOG (e.g. a normally active dog suddenly having no energy; a normally hungry dog refusing food; a laid-back dog who is suddenly restless.) Your dog looks uncomfortable or in pain.
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THE FOLLOWING EXPERIENCE FROM DENNIS STACHEWICZ LAST FALL WHERE HE WAS ABLE TO STOP THE PROGRESSION OF BLOAT IS WORTH NOTING:

”Fed and watered approximately 12 hours before the hunt as always and she had some water upon waking up the morning of.

Symptoms = she seemed off and I noted she had swelled up like she swelled in size and she was acting like she was dying of thirst with a little drool and being extra needy.

This is the first stage.

I administered 1 gas x tablet, I think cherry flavored and she chewed it up.

Vet had me check gums, pink with refill and you are ok yet, if they go either pale or red you are in trouble. Check the guts, they should hopefully be soft yet after the gas x kicks in..if they are hard and dog has pain associated with you checking, get into surgery!”

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That was the first TIME I had heard of using Gas-X. You can bet it’s included in our first aid kit now!

From Veterinary Place:

Gas-X For Dogs

Gas-X (simethicone) is an over-the-counter medicine which can be used to relieve dogs of painful flatulence and wind, or as an aid during a bloat emergency. It works by combining small gas bubbles in the intestines into larger gas bubbles which can then be passed more easily from the body.

Contrary to popular belief, the medicine is not a cure for bloat, and may not even be very effective as an aid depending on the cause of the bloating. However, it may help to buy your dog some extra time and all owners should have the medicine in their cabinet for emergency situations. You can get cheap Gas-X and generic simethicone here.

Recommended Dosage

Warning: Speak to your vet before giving medicines to your dog. Also be aware that bloat is life threatening without professional veterinary attention and is the second biggest killer of dogs behind cancer. Do not attempt to treat the condition at home, always take your pet to the nearest animal emergency clinic.

Gas-X is available in regular strength, extra strength and ultra strength formulations. When treating dogs you should generally use the regular strength formula (each tablet contains 80 mg of simethicone) but the larger doses may be more suitable during an emergency. When not used to treat bloating the medicine is usually given at the following dosage:

Size of dog

Dosage

Small      20 mg
Medium 40 mg
Large      80 mg

In a bloat emergency, the best course of action is often to double the above dosage and immediately take your dog to the nearest animal hospital. For small and medium dogs the tablets are more suitable than the gelcaps as they can easily be split into halves and quarters.

How long will it take to work?

The effects of simethicone kick in very quickly, within minutes.

Example: A 10 lb dog could be given 20 mg or a quarter of a regular strength tablet.

Can I Give My Dog Gas-X?

Gas-X is very safe for dogs, it is not absorbed into the bloodstream and is usually well tolerated at unusually high doses. Up to 8000 mg has been given to dogs without causing side effects apart from a loose stool, which is why many choose a “better safe than sorry” approach to this medicine and give very large amounts whenever they think their dog is bloating.

Pregnancy: There is currently not much information about the safety of this medicine during pregnancy, but it does not cross the placenta and is likely to be safe. We recommend checking with your vet before giving simethicone to a pregnant pet.

Safety Recommendations

For safety we recommend you:

Always seek veterinary care if you suspect your dog is bloating
Always have a box of simethicone in your home for emergencies
Feed your dog when they are calm, rather than when they have been exercising hard
Feed smaller meals throughout the day instead of one large meal
Do not give too much water before or after meals

The best way to treat bloat is to make sure it never happens to begin with. Feeding your dog smaller meals through the day and feeding them when they are rested will greatly lower the risk of them developing this dangerous condition.

What Is It Used For?

Simethicone can be used to help relieve the discomfort and pressure associated with gas. It can also be used in an emergency during the beginning stages of bloat, but may be less effective or completely ineffective as the condition progresses, particularly if the stomach twists.

Side Effects

Simethicone is not likely to cause any side effects. If extremely large amounts are given your dog could experience loose stools.

Sources

Gas-X Website
Walker Valley Vet

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Dr. Patty Kuhly:

• Dogs who eat rapidly or from raised food bowls seem to suffer an increased risk of bloat (Glickman, et al. JAVMA 2000, 217:10). Feeding from food bowls designed to limit eating speed—commercially available everywhere—and getting rid of that raised feeding stand can help.

Veterinary medicine’s bloat risk watchlist currently includes dogs who…

• have a deep chest rather than a “barrel” chest (think Doberman, not Bullmastiff);

• have an aggressive or fearful temperament;

• exercise immediately after feeding;

• are fed only one meal daily;

• get small-sized kibble over the chunkier kind;

• are overly stressed; and

• are especially lean.

However—and this is a big however —these issues have yet to be conclusively proven as GDV risks.

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DR. JEFF GROGNET, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA:

Dogs fed one meal a day are twice as likely to bloat as those fed two meals a day. Rate of eating is also a contributor. Fast eaters have five times the risk than dogs that are slow eaters. Using bowls with fingers (or center posts) or putting large rocks in the bowl slows dogs down physically, but it’s also important to address the anxiety that comes with feeding around other dogs, because that can be a risk factor. Stressed dogs and those that are hyperactive are more likely to bloat. Separating dogs at feeding times may help reduce anxiety and stress surrounding food. Unhappy or fearful dogs are twice as likely to bloat as those that are happy.

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FROM THE PURDUE STUDY:

As for feeding one large meal a day, this can weigh down the stomach and stretch the hepatogastric ligament, which usually maintains the stomach's normal position in the abdomen. Dogs that have bloated were found to have a much longer hepatogastric ligament; it is thought that this is due to chronic stretching. This could also explain why bloat risk increases with age.
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Canine Bloat Update, Good Dog, 1-3-17:

Feeding one large meal a day, especially if your dog then takes a big drink, may be a contributing factor. It is also felt that vigorous exercise right before or after eating, which leads your dog to pant and possibly gulp air, might help lead to dilatation. Stress is a factor in almost any health problem and GDV is, most likely, no exception.

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FROM LINK BELOW THE PURDUE STUDY SUMMARY:

Stress Implicated
Other findings in the study suggest that many kinds of stressful events are often associated with the onset of bloat such as a trip, the excitement of a picnic, a thunderstorm, and kenneling. While it is virtually impossible for a dog owner to prepare a dog for all stressful situations, helping a dog ease into such situations is desirable. For example, if a dog is to be kenneled, accustom the dog to spending more hours in his dog crate and having limited access to exercise prior to being boarded.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH BLOAT (USING GAS-X ALSO) AND YOU ARE COMFORTABLE DISCUSSING IT, PLEASE ADD IN A COMMENT.

 

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Hub

Thanks for posting this.  Very interesting.  I know a few folks that have either lost dogs to torsion or required surgery to fix.  I personally feed smaller meals twice a day and don't feed dogs at all before I run them strictly because of torsion.  If a little Gas-X is helpful and doesn't have any side affects it might be worth my time, specifically when feeding larger meals after a hunt.

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Setter Man

Welcome, Hub. Thank You for your comments. I've been surprised by the number of people that have had to deal with this horrible condition.

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barna

A good friend lost his 10 year old Lab last year to bloat, they were traveling and decided to take the dog withy them, normally she stays home with the other two, but for some reason they wanted to take her.   It was terrible, out of town and having to look for an emergency vet.

 

thanks, for the info,

 

Barna

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Setter Man

Very Welcome, Barna. That would be a horrible position to be in. I wonder if stress from traveling played a role in the bloat. I also wonder, as with Dennis' dog, if Gas-X could have helped. Therein lies the reason I posted this. If it could help even one dog. it would be worth it...

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dogrunner

Interesting. Never have dealt with it , hope I never do. 

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Setter Man

Thank You, Dogrunner. Hope you never do too...

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evcvet

Gastric dilatation and volvulus(GDV) is a medical and surgical emergency.  Thirty years ago the standard of care was medical stabilization , decompression and delaying surgery. We used all sorts things after decompression in these patients. A paper out of Penn, Kirby et la. Changed all that. They showed a much higher survival rate with large volume fluid replacement and immediate surgery.  Now this is the standard of care.  Many GDV at surgery have splenic vessel or gastric vessel rupture which requires early surgical intervention.  In addition stomach wall viability needs to be assessed.  The large majority of dogs I see with bloat have torsion and rarely do I see a dog with dilation and no torsion.  I personally question the idea that GDV is a dilation caused by gas producing bacteria that results in torsion. I believe it is primarily a torsion caused from displacement of the stomach.  Therefore, I think there is little use for gas x.  Get them to the vet ASAP.

 

 

 

 

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Spin

Thanks for the information. My 11 yr old male Spinoni had bloat and had to have his spleen removed. Had I been aware of the possible benefit of using Gas-X

It may have relieved the ongoing condition during the time it took to get him to the Vet clinic or perhaps  lessened it's severity. Bloat is a killer and if it may increase the dog's chances for survival then I'm a fan.

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Setter Man

Thank You evcvet for your information. I certainly understand the need to get a dog to a vet ASAP. 

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Setter Man

Welcome, Spin. Sorry your dog had to go through that. I agree with your last sentence completely. Gas-X certainly made a difference for Dennis' dog and it is now in the first aid kit we carry hunting. I hope we never have to deal with it and as evcvet said above, we would certainly get a dog to a vet ASAP. If Gas-X buys TIME, all the better.

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Setter Man
On 4/28/2018 at 9:19 PM, evcvet said:

 I personally question the idea that GDV is a dilation caused by gas producing bacteria that results in torsion. I believe it is primarily a torsion caused from displacement of the stomach.  Therefore, I think there is little use for gas x.  Get them to the vet ASAP.

 

 

 

 Evcvet, I can't thank you enough again for taking TIME for your reply. It's odd, but friends and I have written vets addressing this issue and haven't received responses making yours all the more appreciated. I know bloat/torsion is at best, a murky subject. 

 

Could you please elaborate on "displacement of the stomach." Everything I've read suggests it starts with the formation of gas - if not from a gas producing bacteria, what exact role do you believe gas has?

 

Note:

LAURA NELSON, DVM, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY:

 

Dr. Nelson explains, “To make things even more complicated, the fat-to-protein level and carbohydrates in a dog food, as well as the calories a dog consumes and whether the food is solid or fluid, and the kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms in the gut also play a role in GI motility.”

 

Insights about how gastric motility may cause bloat are being shaped by a capsule-sized wireless motility device called a SmartPill™ first used to diagnose gastrointestinal motility disorders in humans. In the study underway at Michigan State University, about 80 dogs have swallowed the $600 SmartPill that measures gastric motility, relaying information to a SmartPill recorder worn in a harness or vest. The technological device picks up on changes in pressure, temperature and acidity as the pill passes through the gut and can record episodes of bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea.


Importantly, the SmartPill tells how long it takes for solids to pass through the gastrointestinal tract. “The pill may stay in the stomach of one dog for 21 hours and another one for only 10 minutes before reaching the small intestine,” says Dr. Nelson. “Prolonged transit of material through the stomach may stretch gastric ligaments to allow the stomach to twist. In addition, we know that the gas in the stomachs of dogs with GDV is a product of bacterial fermentation similar to what happens in cattle that bloat. With the SmartPill, we seek to learn if GDV risk and gastrointestinal motility are linked.”

 

PLEASE understand I'm not seeking to question your thoughts as I value them. I've spent so much TIME on researching this and I would like to learn as much as possible about it all. I certainly agree getting to a vet ASAP is of paramount importance. However, if gas does have a role, it would seem Gas-x might just help?

 

Also, how important do you think avoiding exercise prior to and after eating is?

 

Thanks Again!

 

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evcvet

Setter man;. Not a lot is known about the pathogenesis of GDV.  Is it due to bloating gas dilation and subsequent torsion or is it due to a primary torsion with gas dilation due to bacteria production. I believe the later.  The smart pill study you were looking at gastric motility as a potential cause. Sorry for the delayed reply.

.

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Setter Man

No apology necessary, evcvet. Again, I greatly appreciate your input!

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