Bloat and Hip Dysplasia
Good morning; I'm going to discuss a couple of health issues common to large breeds today. The fist is bloat; this is when the stomach swells up to a dangerous size; it can be caused by food; stress, gas etc. Once this happens a torsion may or may not follow. Torsion is when the stomach flips creating a twist in the esophagus and duodenum which may cause irreparable damage. Many things can cause bloat and stomach torsion but the most common one is the sequence of events as follows: Dog goes for a run; comes home and drinks a lot of water, is then fed a meal of kibble, then drinks more water. This is always in the back of my mind; therefore I never feed before a run and always wait an hour afterwards. You can give them a quick couple of bites snack about 1/2 hour before hand; a piece of cheese or chicken works well.
If you do choose to feed kibble; buy the best quality you can for your dog. Never feed too much at one time. Best to feed several small meals than one big one. Too much kibble in the stomach at one time can be very dangerous. Kibble expands and with added water it expands even larger. Here is a list of recommended foods from the Whole Dog Journal. Food list You'll notice that Iams; Science Diet and Purina are not on there. My kibble of choice is Orijen; a newer food from Canada.
I know many people who have dogs that have either just bloated or bloated and torsioned. With quick action a dog can live through a torsion but many sadly die. Bloat and stomach torsion can also be genetic; do your research. I found this wonderful site that has everything you need to know about bloat and gastric torsion. My boy Luke is definitely in the high risk category; he fits all of the stats under the Build and Physical Characteristics section.
Hip Dysplasia; is an abnormal formation of the hip socket. Unfortunately years ago HD was a death sentence for a dog, but nowadays many dogs live long and happy lives with HD. There are many degrees of HD; it can be so mild that there is never any evidence of the disease to a worse case scenario when surgery must be performed. This article on Hip Dysplasia explains it fully with images. In the last year I have done extensive research on the subject of Hip Dysplasia; there are again many causes, the #1 cause being genetic. One important piece of information that I found was the flooring material used when raising a litter. It is imperative that it not be a slippery surface. ie; Newspaper, vinyl flooring, tile etc. Puppies need to be able to get tractions as soon as they are born. Hip usage starts when as soon as they make their way to Mom to nurse.
There are many natural treatments for Hip Dysplasia available. Depending on the severity of your dogs HD; some may be useful. Natural dog health remedies. Hopefully your dogs will never suffer from either of these; but if they do, do your research and know what you are up against.