Torsion in Dogs

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Dog owners can take steps to help prevent a case of bloat or gastric dilation volvulus. However, you may find that expert recommendations do contradict each other on what to do. Recommendations that are often consistent include avoiding strenuous exercise immediately before or after feeding your dog and breaking up your dog’s daily food allotment into at least two meals. In a 2004, Purdue University based study, dry dog food with meat meal that contained bone as one of the first four listed ingredients was associated with a decreased risk of GDV. Fat as one of the first four listed ingredients was associated with an increased risk of GDV.

A Word About Raised Dog Food Bowls

For decades the common advice given by veterinarians and other dog experts, including breeders and trainers, to help prevent GDV was to always feed large dogs from an elevated food bowl. The thinking was that gravity helps the dog swallow the food completely while taking in less air. Then in 2004, the Purdue University study came out with a startling and confusing result. The researchers stated that dogs fed from elevated food bowls were more likely to get GDV. However, whether or not feeding from a raised food bowl actually causes GDV is still in question. The results only showed an association. The study did not prove raised dog bowls caused bloat or torsion. Dogs that are fed in raised food bowls tend to have several risk factors associated with getting bloat or torsion such as difficulty swallowing. To help you decide if a raised food bowl is best for your dog, speak with your veterinarian.

The causes of bloat and torsion in dogs are not fully understood by even the best of animal medical experts. This makes evaluating the information and research available difficult and confusing. If you are the owner of a large breed dog, you should know that this is a serious health risk for your beloved family pet. However, determining the best prevention for your individual pet should be based on your veterinarian’s recommendations.

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