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AKC Canine Health Foundation Takes Significant First Step in Preventing Bloat in Dogs

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) has taken a significant step toward the eventual prevention of the devastating condition commonly known as bloat. CHF is pleased to announce the approval of two research grants which will work to establish the causes and pre-dispositions for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), or bloat. These studies will provide the insight necessary to one day prevent the condition.

The two grants will provide $485,000 in bloat research. The first study, headed by principal investigator Dr. Claire Rebecca Sharp, BVMS of Tufts University will evaluate the complex genetic basis of bloat. Importantly, Dr. Sharp’s grant will support the beginning of a biobank of samples that will facilitate the study of bloat by other investigators in the future. The second study, headed by principal investigator Dr. Laura L. Nelson, DVM of Michigan State University seeks to determine the abnormalities in the stomach’s ability to contract and how this might predispose large-breed dogs to bloat.

According to Dr. Shila Nordone, CHF Chief Scientific Officer, “Bloat is a major health concern for many dog owners and through our Bloat Initiative we aim to better understand this condition and ultimately equip veterinarians and dog owners with tools that will protect dogs from this devastating illness.”

Gastric dilatation–volvulus, or bloat, can develop in any dog, although it is particularly common in large-breed and deep-chested dogs. Bloat develops when the stomach fills with air and then twists on itself, preventing air and liquid from leaving the stomach. Over time, the stomach gets larger and larger. This cuts off circulation and prevents blood from getting back to the heart from the rest of the abdomen and the rear legs. The stomach wall itself can also be severely damaged from loss of blood flow as can the spleen. Bloat requires immediate stabilization and prompt surgical correction, and may still be fatal in some severely affected dogs.

As part of the Bloat Initiative, CHF has released a free webinar which features Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski, a key opinion leader in the study of GDV. In this webinar Dr. Rozanski present the signs and treatment options for bloat along with current options for prevention.

CHF is grateful to the many breed clubs, individuals and foundations that have provided partial funding for these two grants. For a full list of Bloat Initiative sponsors, as well as information on how you can support this effort, please visit www.akcchf.org/bloat.

- See more at: http://www.akcchf.org/

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Comments
  • Margie du Preez November 18, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    I have a Rough Collie, he is 9 months old. How can I be more aware of what to look out for. He is a Rescue Dog and he has been neutered. I Love him with all my Heart. Please advise. I live in Pretoria, South Africa.

  • heather
    Heather rife dvm November 18, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Margie, the signs of bloat can differ ,but almost universally the dog will be restless at first. He will walk continuously , or lay down and get right back up again. He will most likely be panting due to the pain. The classic sign is regurgitation, where he may attempt to vomit, but , due to the twisted stomach, not be able to. Instead he will produce small amounts of saliva and white foamy mucus. He will regurgitate repeatedly. In later stages, the abdomen will be large and tense. it is crucial that you get him to a vet immediately. Any delay may very well be fatal. As a side note ” little ” deep chested dogs such as dachshund, Bassett hounds, springers are also susceptible to Gastric dilation vulvulus.

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