The following is an article from The Weimaraner Magazine March 2002
by Lawrence Glickman, VMD Non-Dietary Risk Factors, reported by Judy Colan The 5-year bloat study, funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation and several Parent clubs, including the WCA, has been completed. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the study i will give you a brief summary of the purpose and aims of the study and the findings.
Objective: To identify non-dietary risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in large breed and giant breed dogs.
Animals: 1991 dogs over six months of age of the following breeds were enrolled in the study: Akita, Bloodhound, Collie, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Standard Poodle, and Weimaraner.
Procedure: Dogs of varying ages that did not have previous history of GDV were recruited at dog shows. The dog's length and height and the depth and width of its thorax and abdomen were measured. Extensive information concerning the dog's medical history, genetic background, personality and diet was obtained from the owners. owners were contacted by mail and telephone at approximately one year intervals to determine the status of the dog.
The following is a synopsis of the findings. Many of these findings are contrary to methods of prevention which have been favored in the past.
Factors which were found to increase the risk of bloat.
There is a 20% increase in risk for each year increase in age.
Having a First Degree Relative with Bloat
This turned out to be one of the strongest predictors. Dogs with such a relative had a 3 and 4 fold increased risk of developing bloat. A first degree relative was defined as either a parent, sibling, or offspring.
Deep narrow Thorax/Abdomen
Dogs which were broader in body type had a lower incidence of bloat. Dr. Glickman postulates that the deeper and narrower the abdomen, the greater the room for the stomach ligaments to stretch down or lengthen as part of the aging process.
Dr. Glickman felt that these underweight dogs may have problems with their gastrointestinal tract which prevents them from gaining weight and that would predispose them to bloat.
Feeding Only Once Daily
Several studies, including this one, showed that as the number of meals increased per day, the risk of bloat decreased.
Fearful, Easily Upset Dogs
Personality turned out to be a major predictor. According to Glickman, it is not the amount of stress in a dog's life that is significant, but the way in which the dog handles the stress. "When animals are placed under stress, there are certain stress hormonal and neural responses. Some of these responses affect gastric motility. A fearful dog may have a very different response physiologically to stress than a happy, easygoing dog. We think those physiological responses my contribute to the rotation of the stomach because of the motility. This is the second or third time we have demonstrated temperament, particularly easygoingness or fearfulness is related to the risk of bloat.".
Raising Food Bowl
The study revealed that the higher the bowl, the higher the risk. Dr. Glickman feels the elevation may be causing an increased incidence of swallowing air which could account for the higher risk.
Since bloat does not usually occur immediately after eating, Dr. Glickman has no explanation for this. He did find that the faster the dog ate, the greater the risk of bloat.
Dr. Glickmans Recommendations For Lowering The Risk Of Bloat
Dietary risk factors for bloat (GDV) in dogs were identified using the 1991 dogs from the study. 106 dogs that developed bloat were selected as cases while 212 other dogs from the study were randomly selected as controls. A complete profile of intakes was constructed for each dog based on owner-reported information, published references and nutritional database.
The study confirmed previous reports of an increased risk of GDV associated with increasing age, having a first-degree relative with GDV and having a raised food bowl. new significant findings included a 2.6 fold (160%) increased risk of GDV in dogs that consumed dry foods containing fat* among the first four ingredients. The GDV increased 3 fold (200%) in dogs that consumed dry food containing citric acid* as a preservative. Dry foods containing a rendered meat meal with bone product among the first four ingredients significantly decreased GDV risk by 53%. Moistening of dry food alone was not associated with GDV but consumption of owner-moistened dry foods that also contained citric acid significantly increased GDV 4 fold (300%). Approximately 30 and 33% of all cases of GDV in this food related study could be attributed to consumption of dry food containing fat among the first four ingredients or citric acid, respectively. These findings can be used by owners to select dry foods that my reduce the risk of GDV.
* The information on fat and preservatives can be found under "Ingredients" not "Guaranteed Analysis"
The following is an article from the AKC Gazette August 1984
by Carol Benjamin, Second-Hand Dog
The second-hand dog has become commonplace. he may be a champion you purchase from a fine kennel. She may be an established brood bitch you wish to add to your breeding program. Or it may be a dog who was disappointing as a show prospect. More often than not, the second-hand dog is slated for pethood and his somewhat checkered past is rarely revealed in full, in fact, the dog in your life who needs a bit of patching and refurbishing may even be a found dog, a treasure left somewhere to fend for himself in a cold, cold world.
Whether the older, used, second-hand, pass-around dog, you know was recycled for a "legitimate" reason or not, you will have taken on a problem. Solving the problem, or more accurately, the set of problems that come with your new pet, can be a most satisfying, and necessary, pastime.
If your second-hand dog has been abused, neglected or battered in any way, even by being low man on his pack's totem pole, you'll want to change your rules and standards for him, at least for the first few months. I would not take a dog who had been wandering the streets or neglected in a kennel run and teach it not to jump up. In fact, I'd be delighted to see a dog with that history jumping up to say hello. And while any new dog needs a dose of R and R (rules and regulations), the hand-me-down dog needs more than that. He needs, in fact, more of everything; more good food; more grooming; more contact; more company; more bonding activities; more long, solitary walks with you; more exposure to your particular environment; more time in your car; more games; more patient training.
Since every dog has a history, if your new friend comes without one - or with a sketchy one - careful observation will help fill in the missing details. you'll never get them all, but you'll get a surprising amount of information by watching quietly while your dog adjusts to his new home and new playmates. you'll learn more by watching without interfering than you'll learn by jumping in and trying to control what he does. Eventually, alone with him, collar and leash securely on your pet, the training process will be another stage in your learning about him, while he learns to understand what you want and what you'll praise or correct.
While each of us has certain standards of behavior for our pets, the second-hand dog, in some severe cases, may not be able to live up to your most fair standards. Something in his past, something you may or may not know about, may eliminate the possibility of you using a crate, for example. There are some dogs that will not tolerate confinement, especially if they are grown when first exposed to it. In this case, the dog may be destructive when left alone. This is a most difficult rehabilitation case because it will take a month or more to work the dog out of it. The chore of convincing the dog that past is past and this is now, will take time and cannot be done with words. But if you are one of those who feels that "if it isn't me who'll help, who will it be," here are some guidelines for helping a slightly or very used do to adjust well to your new and loving home. Remember that you may not be able to do all of these things with every pass-around dog, particularly, as stated, item #1.
How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With by Rutherford and Neil
Choosing the Right Dog by John Howe
The Right Dog for You by Daniel F. Tortora
Your Purebred Puppy, A Buyer's Guide by Michele Lowell
Mother Knows Best - The Natural Way to Train Your Dog by Carol Benjamin
PupQuest - Learn to Be Puppy-Source Savvy