View Full Version : raised food bowls cause bloat?
05-04-2005, 11:48 AM
I have always heard that a raised food bowl/stand for great danes is great for digestion and bloat prevention. However I have just come across some information that contradicts everything I have heard. This is an article from Perdue Univ on non-dietary causes of bloat. I am interested to see what your thoughts are on this......espically the last paragraph..
Non-dietary risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus in large and giant breed dogs
(Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 217, No. 10, November 15, 2000)
Objective-To identify non-dietary risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in large breed and giant breed dogs.
Design-Prospective cohort study.
Animals-1,637 dogs >- 6 months old of the following breeds: Akita, Bloodhound, Collie, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Standard Poodle, and Weimaraner.
Owners of dogs that did not have a history of GDV were recruited at dog shows, and the dog's length and height and the depth and width of its thorax and abdomen were measured. Information concerning the dog's medical history, genetic background, personality, and diet was obtained from the owners, and owners were contacted by mail and telephone at approximately 1-year intervals to determine whether dogs had developed GDV or died. Incidence of GDV, calculated on the basis of dogyears at risk for dogs that were or were not exposed to potential risk factors, was used to calculate the relative risk of GDV.
Results and Clinical Relevance-Cumulative incidence of GDV during the study was 6% for large breed and giant breed dogs. Factors significantly associated with an increased risk of GDV were increasing age, having a first-degree relative with a history of GDV, having a faster speed of eating, and having a raised feeding bowl. Approximately 20 and 52% of cases of GDV among the large breed and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised feed bowl. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1492-1499)
05-04-2005, 11:50 AM
I don't think if you raise the bowl or feed them off the ground has anything to do with bloat. About half of mine have raised bowls and the rest eat off the ground. I haven't had a case of bloat in well over 5 years.
I strongly believe that stress is a major factor in bloat. I have read all the studies and talked to alot of Dane owners about this issue and I decided to feed off of raised food bowls. Wait a couple of years, they will say that raised food bowls decrease bloat, and then they will change it again. This is an issue that has been debated back and forth and probably always will be until they find a reason behind it.
05-04-2005, 12:01 PM
I've had danes, two or more at a time, since 1968, and have always raised their bowls. I've never had a single case of bloat.
>I've had danes, two or more at a time, since 1968, and have
>always raised their bowls. I've never had a single case of
Wow that is amazing! What is your secret??
"Factors significantly associated with an increased risk of GDV were increasing age, having a first-degree relative with a history of GDV, having a faster speed of eating, and having a raised feeding bowl. Approximately 20 and 52% of cases of GDV among the large breed and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised feed bowl."
This is erroneously reported. The factors are correlatively associated, NOT causative. This means that Danes bloat often, and Danes are fed from raised bowls often. The above extrapolates that therefore the raised bowls cause bloat, even though no evidence exists to support that conclusion. To try making these factors causative would be similar to saying most redheads are tall, most redheads are freckled, and therefore being freckled is caused by being tall. Make any sense?
Frankly I see no problem with raising bowls, we do for Emma for her comfort. Some Danes like to eat laying down, or from a bowl on the floor while standing. I don't think any of these things make a difference as to whether or not your Dane is going to bloat. I agree that stress is likely a larger factor in bloat than anything else, except maybe genetic predisposition (small pyloric valve).
05-04-2005, 12:21 PM
"Wow that is amazing! What is your secret??"
I wish I knew!
05-04-2005, 10:34 PM
Anne explained this very well.
The problem I have with this study is that I don't remember specific age groups and reports of incidence? (Shows how much credence I put into the whole thing)...Jo
05-05-2005, 03:06 AM
I don't want to jinx myself or my dogs here but in 20 years of Dane ownership I've never had a case of bloat and my dad had them even longer then that and neither did he. Same with horses, I've had them my entire life (almost 50 years) and have only had 1 colic and that was because of a bad batch of feed. I've always fed my Danes from raised dishes and always will.
05-05-2005, 04:41 AM
I agree...when I saw this article I was a little taken back. I am a first time dane owner and I have 2 4 month old puppies. I thought it was a good thing to feed them on a raised food stand....looks like thats still true!
:e) :e) Thanks for all the great comments....Ivan and Sara will be keeping thier food stand :e) :e)
05-05-2005, 02:18 PM
Debbe's secret, I would bet...is there was no Bloat in any of her Dane's immediate family.
05-05-2005, 02:22 PM
And another point we should make here is raising food bowls helps with possibly preventing neck and back stresses and injuries. Like someone said to me a couple of months ago, a full grown dane looks like a giraffe when it eats off of the floor. I can imagine this repeated action would stress the spine and vertebrae.
05-05-2005, 03:04 PM
That's mainly why I raise my bowls. It just looks uncomfortable w/ them leaning down all the time. I've never had a dog lay down to eat though. ruby
The participants were all volunteers. Under those conditions, it's hard to get the ages you'd like to have.
We don't condone studies with purchased dogs, and even if we did, the backgrounds of especially bred dogs would not accurately reflect those of the Great Danes out in the community.
And paying people (and their dogs to pariticipate) woud have so many inaccuracies that it wouldn't be worth the money. Even if someone would donate the money!
I believe they did a good job with what they had.
05-11-2005, 08:34 AM
Hi, this is my first time posting on here. but I just wanted to let you know that a few month ago I had my dane (Darla) spayed and at the same time had her stomach tacked. At first I did not want to do the procedure but now my mind is at ease about having to worry about her bloating. I'm happy with my decision in having the procedure done, it is definately something to consider but nothing that should be forced upon an owner. I hope everything works out.
05-11-2005, 08:54 AM
tacking does not prevent bloat. It is a preventative measure against torsion.
05-11-2005, 12:31 PM
well thanks for that bit of news. guess i thought i was doing the right thing.
thanks for clearing up my misguided information.
Theresa, it's still good that you did it. We also had a gastropexy done on Emma. It's much less stressful on the dog to have it done during spay/neuter than when in full bloat, in shock already, and having to do it emergency-style (while paying 3x as much).
For what it's worth, bloat is not normally lethal. Torsion IS. So you've bought her time in CASE she does bloat someday. She will be very unlikely to torsion, and therefore has a much better chance of surviving any potential bloat episode.
05-11-2005, 09:42 PM
"And another point we should make here is raising food bowls helps with possibly preventing neck and back stresses and injuries. Like someone said to me a couple of months ago, a full grown dane looks like a giraffe when it eats off of the floor. I can imagine this repeated action would stress the spine and vertebrae."
That is wrong. If a dog has a true risk of getting injured from eating from the ground then this breed has bigger problems then bloat to consider. The idea that it is uncomfortable for the dog to eat off the ground is totally human thought process. It looks uncomfortable to 'US' so we 'assume' it is for the dogs. NOT SO! My Danes run full speed with their noses to the ground. They do summersaults and use our legs as human slides when we are sitting down. They sleep completely twisted, upside down, front legs pointing this way, back legs pointing that way and can wad themselves up into incredibly small balls for their size. They leap high into the air in efforts to snatch a bird up! They jump over each other and wrestle like nobodies business. They stand on their heads in holes that are incredibly huge and dig faster then most machinery! The notion that a Dane is uncomfortable eating from the ground 10 minutes a day is ridiculous unless there is a true medical reason they need to be fed elevated.
That being said, we have never had a bloat either (knock on wood) and we have always fed our dogs from the ground as nature intended. Some of our dogs eat standing up and some eat lying down.
Well I do have one recent elevated eating story as Freedom snatched a pork chop off the counter last night! :P
Feeding Raw Since January 2003
05-11-2005, 10:53 PM
Let's listen to YEARS of experience.
I never had any incidences of bloat until I moved to Idaho. Same diet, different water. My well water now is clean. In Missouri, it had a high sodium content. Some relation there?
My first case was a dog already ill with chronic liver problems. Super Bowl Sunday and a blizzard. Some relation there?
I have also heard of other dogs with liver problems that bloated.
Diet doesn't seem to be a factor. I've heard of raw fed dogs bloating and kibble fed dogs bloating.
I think there might be a genetic predisposition for bloat in the structure of the body and the development of muscles.
I divide bloat into three kinds...juvenile, stress and old age. The juvenile is the worst IMO.
I for one like to be human. I can't stand for my almost 37" male to spread eagle himself to reach a food bowl on the floor. All my dogs have elevated feeders. I think they deserve to be comfortable.
The point is until we know for a fact what causes bloat, we really don't know. What is of utmost importance is to be able to identify the signs and to seek veterinary care immediately...Jo
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