Saturday, February 19, 2011
Cats, Cats, and more Cats! part three
Here is the last part of the cat blog where I introduce you to some more short hair cats and even a hairless cat. Enjoy!
History: This cat originated in Russia, hence the name Russian Blue. It was brought to Europe via sailors and their ships.
Temperament: The Russian Blue are loving, gentle, and quiet. They are a little on the shy side and don't like noisy households. They get very attached to their owners and are quite content to be confined to the house as long as they are with their favorite human.
Description: They have a long and graceful body with long legs. The coat is short, silky, and very thick. The tail is long and tapered. The head is a short wedge with ears that are large and pointed. The eyes are almond-shaped and wide apart. When they walk, they appear to be walking on tip toes.
Color: Just like the Korat, the Russian Blue comes in the color blue only.
History: The Chartreux has been around since the 13th century and was found in the mountains of Syria. The Carthusian monks kept them to keep the rodents out of the monasteries.
Temperament: The Chartreux is a super sweet breed with quick reflexes. They are athletic, playful, and sociable. They are very suitable for a household with dogs and kids.
Description: Chatreux have a stocky but muscular body with short, stocky legs. The head is round with round, golden eyes and medium size ears, set wide apart. Their lips point upwards on both sides, giving the impression that they smile. They have a very thick and water resistant topcoat and a very dense undercoat. Unfortunately, that brings with it a lot of shedding.
Colors: Just like the Korat and the Russian Blue, the Chartreux comes in blue only.
History: As the name suggest, the Scottish Fold was first seen in Scotland and is the result of a naturally occurring gene mutation.
Temperament: The Scottish Fold is a sweet and gentle breed. They are good with kids, other cats, and even dogs.
Description: They have a moderate body type, similar to the Manx with a thick and resilient coat. The ears are set wide apart and are folded forward and downward. The eyes are large, round, and can be of any color. The head has a completely flat appearance.
Colors: The Scottish Fold comes in any color and variation of markings.
History: The Singapura came from Singapore and originally was called the Drain Cat because it lived in gutters. It is a rather small cat.
Temperament: What it lacks in size, it makes up in personality. They are sweet, loving, and affectionate. However, they can be a little reserved at times.
Description: It is a small cat that is heavier than it looks. The coat looks similar to that of an Abyssinian. The ears are large, slightly pointed, and wide at the base. The eyes are large and almond-shaped and the head is round with a blunt muzzle.
Colors: The ticked coat is similar to that of an Abyssinian and comes in similar colors.
History: This is a crossbreed between a Siamese and an American bi-color Short Hair which provided the gene necessary for the white paws.
Temperament: The Snowshoe is a sweet-natured cat, laid back, and intelligent. They make a great pet in a laid back household.
Description: They are quite large with a short, close-lying coat. The eyes are large, almond-shaped and always blue. The head is a medium triangular wedge with a distinct break in the nose.
Colors: They come in all the colors that Siamese and Himalayans come in but the muzzle and paws must be white.
History: This is a crossbreed between a Siamese and a Burmese. The breeding program was developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s in North America.
Temperament: They are outgoing, friendly, and affectionate. Very inquisitive, they will be into anything and everything.
Description: Tonkinese are not as long and elegant as a Siamese but not as chunky as a Burmese either. The body is medium size and muscular with a short wedge-shaped head. The ears are large and rounded. The eyes are large and oval-shaped. The coat is short and dense.
Colors: They come in all the colors of the Burmese and with all the color points of the Siamese.
History: The first Burmese came to the United States from the Far East in 1930 as part of a breeding program. It was a small, brown female by the name of Wong Mau. The program had a very slow start because it lacked a male Burmese. When the program finally did take off, the Burmese became quite popular due to the fact that their voices are not as loud as that of the Siamese.
Temperament: Burmese are very loyal, outgoing, and don't like to be left alone. They like to be in the middle of everything and are very good retrievers. They also enjoy the company of another cat or dog greatly. So it is best to give them a cat or dog companion. They are playful and trusting. They should be indoor cats because they are so trusting and can easily end up being stolen. Burmese are also great escape artists and could have taught Houdini a lesson or two.
Description: Burmese are medium size, sturdy, and very muscular. The head is round with wide-set, medium size ears. The nose shows a distinct break and the eyes are almond-shaped and yellow. The coat is short and close-lying.
Colors: The come in sable, blue, champagne, platinum, red, cream, and tortie.
History: The Bombay is a crossbreed between a black American Short Hair and a Burmese. They originated in 1958.
Temperament: Bombay love attention and are true lap cats. They are not shy at all and are good with other cats, dogs, and kids. They are playful and like to jump. Just wave a toy in front of a Bombay and they will try to reach the ceiling.
Description: Bombay have a small, muscular body that feels heavier then it appears. The head is round with a short muzzle. The legs are short and stocky with the hind legs slightly longer than the front. The nose is very short and the ears are medium size and wide set. The eyes are large, round and amber in color. The coat is short and silky.
Colors: The only color the Bombay comes in is deep black.
History: The Siamese is one of the oldest breeds. They were once sacred cats guarding Buddhist temples. In ancient times it was an offense, punished by death for one of the cats to be stolen or let alone taken out of Siam. They did finally make it to the west and are now, along with Persians and Burmese, the most popular pedigree cats.
Temperament: Siamese are a very vocal and outgoing breed. Very noisy and demanding, they are the kind of cat you either adore or hate. They have a real need to be part of the family and don't like to be left alone for long. This cat will give you life-long devotion.
Description: The body of a Siamese is long, slim, and muscular with long, elegant legs. The tail is long and tapered. The head is a long wedge with no visible break in the nose. The ears are large, wide at the base, and set well apart. The eyes are almond-shaped with a slant and of a deep blue color. The coat is short, sleek, and fine textured. The color points are restricted to the face, ears, legs, and tail which are the cooler parts of the body. If a Siamese had surgery on a part of its body, the fur will temporarily darken in this area. Also, Siamese living in warmer climates tend to have paler coats than those living in cooler regions.
Colors: The main body should be a pale cream color with color points in seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, cream, and lynx.
History: The Javanese is a gross breed between a Siamese and a Balinese. They became a recognized breed in 1979.
Temperament: Javanese are extremely affectionate, playful, and intelligent. They are as vocal as a Siamese and don't like to be left alone much.
Description: Javanese have a similar body as the Siamese but with a plumed tail and a medium length coat.
Colors: The Javanese come in the same colors as the Siamese
History: The Balinese have the same history and are a long-haired version of the Siamese. They were officially recognized as a breed in 1963.
Temperament: The introduction of the longhair gene somewhat modified the behavior of the Balinese. They are less vocal and not as boisterous as the Siamese.
Description: The body of the Balinese is the same as that of the Siamese except that the coat is long and silky with a plumed tail.
Colors: The Balinese comes in the same color points as the Siamese.
History: This breed is a naturally occurring mutation, first seen in 1966 in Canada. The breeding program was established to produce a continuous line of completely hairless cats.
Temperament: The Sphynx is outgoing, loves people and is as naughty, and mischievous as the Rex. Surprisingly, they don't suffer much from the cold. They are highly intelligent and trainable. I once knew a family that had two Sphynx, trained to use a human toilet and flush it afterwards. If you think you have seen it all, just watch a hairless cat balance on the rim of a toilet and then flush it. Unfortunately, the owners had to turn off the water because they would make a game out of it and flush the toilet all day long.
Description: The body of a Sphynx feels hard and muscular with long, slim legs, slender neck, and a long, tapered tail. The head is longer than it is wide with large, wide set ears. The nose has no distinct break and the eyes are oval-shaped. They completely lack fur of any kind, even whiskers. However, pigmentation and pattern of the skin is present.
Colors: The Sphynx comes in skin toned with dark pigmentation in various patterns.
Well, my friends, this concludes the last part of the cat blog where I told you more about short hair cats and even a hairless cat. I would like to encourage you to visit a cat show where you can see all these lovely felines, learn more about their personalities, and their distinctions. Every cat show has a non-pedigree category as well and you might want to consider entering your own lovely feline in the show. They also have many vendors with unique and beautiful cat related items. It is definitely a worth while afternoon of learning and fun.
There is also a great book, called CATS, written by David Alderton. It is a visual guide to more than 250 types of cats from around the world with lots of useful information and great pictures.
Love and Peace,
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Cats, Cats, and more Cats! part two
As promised, here is part two of the cat blog. Today I will tell you all about short hair pedigree cats, their history, temperament, description, and colors. So, here we go!
BRITISH AND AMERICAN SHORT HAIR
History: This is a very old breed and goes back to Roman times. The Roman soldiers kept them because they were good hunters and kept rodents away from the food supply and also because they were somewhat self-sufficient and did not require much grooming.
Temperament: It is a very gentle and loving cat but can be a little shy. They are affectionate, have quiet voices, and don't like to wander. They are perfectly happy to be confined to the house.
Description: Their body is large, strong, sturdy, and muscular with a deep chest. Legs are short and strong. The face is round with defined jowls in males. Ears are small and set apart. Their coat is short and dense. Eyes are round and have a deep copper color.
Colors: The come in self-colors such as white, black, blue, cream, chocolate, and lilac as well as patterned colors such as tabby, tortie, color points, tipped, smoke, and bi-color.
History: The Manx has a similar history as the American and British Short Hair.
Temperament: Manx have a delightful temperament. They are gentle, affectionate and don't like to wander.
Description: Their body is similar to that of the American and British Short Hair but they lack a tail and their nose is a bit longer. Also, the hind legs are considerably longer than the front legs and the coat is thicker and thus, more prone to matting. Manx come in four forms: The Rumpy with no tail, the Stumpy with a small amount of tail, the Tailed with a normal tail, and the Cymric which is a long haired version and is very rare.
Colors: Manx come in any color and any combination of colors.
ORIENTAL SHORT HAIR
History: The Oriental Short Hair became popular in the 1950s and was a result of experimental breeding between a Siamese and a Russian Blue among others.
Temperament: They have an outgoing personality and demand a lot of attention with a very loud voice which they like to use often. They enjoy being part of everything that is going on in a household and don't like to be left alone much. These cats benefit greatly from a companion cat. They also like to fetch and make an endless game out of it.
Description: They have a muscular, slender, and elegant body, similar to that of a Siamese but without the color points and they should feel heavier than they look. The legs are long and slender. The coat is short and silky. The eyes are shaped with a slant but unlike the Siamese, they come in different colors. The face is triangular with a long nose and large ears that are wide apart.
Colors: The come in all the self colors as well as patterned such as tabby and tortie.
History: The Angora has a similar history and is a similar cat as the Oriental Short Hair. To be specific, it is the long hair version of an Oriental Short Hair.
Temperament: They are intelligent, playful, and affectionate. They like company and are very vocal just like the short haired version.
Description: Their body is the same as in a Oriental Short Hair, except the coat is longer but not as long as in a Persian.
Colors: They come in all variations of colors and patterns.
History: They are an old breed as well and were imported from Abyssinian which is now known as Ethiopia. Their shape and size resemble that of a mummified cat found in tombs in Egypt as well as wall paintings of Bast and other feline gods. Recently, breeders introduced a long haired version which is called Somali.
Temperament: They are intelligent and outgoing. Disliking to be alone, they benefit from a companion but don't like to be over crowded.
Description: Abyssinians have a medium build and muscular body with a long and tapered tail. The head is a moderate, medium wedge with large ears that are broad at the base and are wide set with tufts at the tips. The eyes are large and a little slanted with either amber, green, or hazel color. They have long, slender legs. The coat is short, close-lying, and ticked (the tip of the hair is a dark color).
Colors: They come in ten colors, usual, sorrel, blue, chocolate, lilac, silver, fawn, red, cream, and tortie.
AMERICAN WIRE HAIR AND AMERICAN CURL
History: Both are the effect of a naturally mutated gene that has only be found in the United States.
Temperament: They are friendly, intelligent, sturdy, and adaptable.
Description: Both have a medium size body with a rounded head and a well developed muzzle. The American Wire Hair has a unique, wiry coat and straight ears. The American Curl has a thicker, medium length coat and the ears are curled away from the head.
Colors: They come in any color and combination of markings.
History: The Burmilla was an accidental breed between a Chinchilla Persian male and a Burmese female due to a negligent house cleaner's leaving a door open between the two lovers. The result were adorable kittens that gained in popularity. The name Burmilla was derived from Burmese and Chinchilla.
Temperament: Burmillas are friendly, outgoing, and sociable. They are not as loud and demanding as the Burmese but a bit more adventurous and inquisitive as the Persian.
Description: They have a medium size, muscular body with a medium to long tail. The head is wide with a distinct break of the nose. The eyes are roundish and set wide apart as are the ears.
Colors: They come in any color or combination of colors and markings.
History: The Bengal is a very new crossbreed between a Domestic Short Hair and an Asian Leopard Cat with its first attempt in the early 1960s. However, it took almost 20 years for a structured breeding plan to be developed. The interest was mainly because the Asian Leopard Cat did not have the Feline Leukemia genome in its DNA and this made the Bengal a very sturdy breed.
Temperament: Bengals are friendly, loving, alert, curious , and intelligent. They have little fear of other animals and thus are good hunters and get along well with dogs.
Description: The Bengal is a large, sleek but muscular cat. The hind legs are slightly taller than the front legs. The coat is sleek and more like a wild cat's pelt. The head is a broad, long wedge and the ears are short with rounded tips. The eyes are oval with a slight slant.
Colors: The coat of the Bengal is spotted and should show a distinct contrast between the spots and the back ground colors.
History: The name Mau comes from the Egypt word for cat. It is a spotted variety of a Siamese type of cat. Despite the name, it did not come from Egypt but was bred for the coat pattern that resembles cats from Ancient Egypt. The breed was not developed until the mid 1950s.
Temperament: The Egyptian Mau is friendly, outgoing, adventurous, and intelligent. They love company and don't like to be left alone a lot.
Description: It is a Siamese type of cat with a rounded wedge shaped head. The tail is medium length and tapered. The eyes are almond shaped and pale green.
Colors: The coat is accepted in black, smoke, pewter, bronze, and silver. The spots have to be in a deep contrast to the main color.
History: As the name states, it originated in Japan and has a bopped tail. In Japan, this cat is considered a symbol of friendship and hospitality. The Japanese people often display ceramic cats of this type in their homes as a symbol of welcome.
Temperament: The Japanese Bobtail is the most friendliest cat and it makes a perfect pet. They are intelligent and have a very sweet disposition. It loves human contact and gets along well with other animals in the household.
Description: This is a mid-size, slender but muscular cat. The hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs. The tail appears cropped and is carried upright. The head is similar in shape as that of a Siamese. The eyes are large and oval. The ears are medium size.
Colors: Traditionally, the Japanese Bobtail is white with black markings but other color varieties are accepted.
History: The Korat originated in Thailand where it is considered sacred. It is one of the oldest breeds but did not come to the United States until the early 1950s. In Thai, Korat means good fortune. They are a unique breed because they are available in only one color.
Temperament: Korats are quiet, gentle, and loving. They are intelligent but do not like loud noises or lots of commotion around them. They are best suited for a quiet home.
Description: Korats have a heart-shaped face with round, green eyes. The head has a slightly pointed muzzle with medium size ears that are set high. The coat is short, sleek, and silver blue in color. The body is medium size, muscular, and firm.
Colors: Korats come in only one color called blue. It is a silvery grey.
History: The Ocicat is a crossbreed between a Siamese and an Abyssinian. It was bred for its spotted coat and its resemblance to an Ocelot. Thus the name Ocicat.
Temperament: Ocicats are intelligent, playful, and outgoing. They like company but are not as demanding and vocal as the Siamese.
Description: Ocicats are large and well spotted. The head is a modified wedge with a broad muzzle and does not have a noticeable break in the nose. Ears are large and wide apart. The eyes are large and almond shaped. The body is muscular and should feel heavier as it appears.
Colors: The Ocicat can have any main color with distinctive dark spots.
History: The Rex is a naturally mutated breed and was first discovered in the late 1950s in Great Britain. They come in two forms, the Cornish Rex which has a thick, curly coat and the Devon Rex which has a thin, wavy coat.
Temperament: The Rex is a lively, intelligent, and active breed. They love people and want to be included in everything that is going on in a household. They can be very naughty and mischievous.
Description: The Cornish Rex has a long and elegant body with firm muscles. The legs are long and the head is a medium wedge with a strong chin. The nose is straight and level with the forehead. The eyes are medium size and oval shaped and the ears are large and high set. The tail is long and tapered. The coat is slightly longer, curly, and does not have an undercoat.
The Devon Rex has a firm, muscular body with a broad chest. The head is a medium wedge with full cheeks and a short muzzle. The ears are large and low on the head. The eyes are large, oval shaped, and wide set. The tail is long and tapered. The coat is very short but wavy and can have bold spots.
Colors: They come in any color, marking, or variety thereof.
And this my friends, concludes the second part of our cat blog where I told you all about short hair pedigree cats. Stay tuned for the conclusion where I tell you about a few more short hair cats and even a hairless cat.
Love and Peace,
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Cats, Cats, and more Cats!
this blog is all about cats, cats, and more cats. Since it is a big topic, I will do it in three parts.
There are approximately 90 million domestic cats in the United States and approximately 500 million in the entire wold. They come in any variety of shape, size, and color. We can group them into two main categories - non-pedigree and pedigree cats. I would like to tell you about both, their history, temperament, description, and what sets them apart. In part one of the blog I will talk about the non-pedigree and long haired pedigree cats. In part two and three I will tell you about short haired pedigree cats.
Non-pedigree cats come in all varieties. Some have a known ancestry and others may even have a pedigree parent or grand parent but the majority of them have no known parentage. Nevertheless, they make some of the best pets. There are the domestic short hair, the domestic medium hair, and the domestic long hair. The colors can vary from a self color in black, white, brown, orange, and grey to bi-colors and even tri-colors as in calicos. Their markings can be tabby, tortie, lynx, and mackerel. A tabby has short stripes or round spots in a darker shade of the main color such as brown tabby, orange tabby, or grey tabby. A tortie has orange markings on a black coat. Torties and calicos are always females. Lynxs have stripes and spots only around the head and Mackerels have long stripes on their sides. The advantages of having a non-pedigree cat are that they are often much more affordable, are available in any possible variety, and have in general less health issues due to a larger gene pool. However, if the ancestry is unknown, you will not have an indication of how your kitten will develop in terms of temperament, size, and health.
A pedigree means that the cat has a known ancestry, complies with the standards of the breed, and is registered at one of the two cat registries. One of the registries is called Traditional Cat Association, Inc. and it is the largest cat registry in the world. The other one is called North American Purebred Cat Registry. The pedigree cats can be divided into short hair and long hair pedigrees. Lets start with the long hair pedigrees.
History: Persians have been around since the 16th century and were fairly common in what once was known as Persia, now Iran. Thus the name Persians. They were one of the first recognized breeds in the U.S.
Temperament: They have a quiet, gentle disposition and do not require constant attention. Being very content, they make perfect lap cats.
Description: There body is small and stocky with a long luxuriant coat. The head is round and short. Eyes are large, tiny nose, and small wide set ears.
Colors: They come in self colors such as black, blue (that means grey), chocolate, cream, lilac (lighter shade of grey), red (that means orange), and white and also in patterned colors such as bi-colors (torties), cameos (different color only on tips of hair), and chinchilla (white under coat with even tipped top coat).
History: Himalayans are around since the early 1900. They are a crossbreed between Persians and Siamese and have points on the face, ears, legs, and tail.
Temperament: They have pretty much a similar temperament as Persians but need more attention and are a bit more vocal.
Description: They have a more petite body than Persians with a long coat that has the color points of a Siamese (darker color on ears, face, feet, tail). The head is round and short as in the Persian breed. Their ears are small and the eyes are round and blue.
Colors: The main coat is white with color points in seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red (also called flame point), cream, and lynx.
History: It is said, that Birmans were the temple cats of Burma. They first were introduced in 1920 in France and are a crossbreed between a Siamese and a bi-colored longhair cat.
Temperament: Birmans are very clever and not as demanding as a Siamese. The long coat needs more attention but not as much as in Persians. Birmans are good natured and are great cats in a household with kids or dogs. They are very social.
Description: The coat is not as long as in Persians and a little more dense with a bushy tail. They have color points as the Siamese have and the paws are white. The body is large with stocky legs and a round head. The ears, eyes, and nose are medium size. They also have a ruff of longer hair around the neck.
Colors: The body is white with color points and the paws are white.
History: The Maine Coon is a young breed, recognized in 1967 and originated in Maine. They have a bushy tail like a raccoon, thus the name Maine Coon.
Temperament: The Maine Coon has a very sweet nature, is playful, and friendly. Even so they can grow to become very large, they have a very gentle disposition and get along good with kids and dogs.
Description: Maine Coons have a very large, solid, and muscular body with long legs and large paws. Their coat is shaggy with a facial ruff and a fluffy tail. They have large, wide set ears with tufts on the tips. The head is long, with a square muzzle. The eyes are large and come in any variety of colors.
Color: The Maine Coon comes in any color and pattern. Anything goes!
NORWEGIAN FOREST CAT
History: As the name states, this cat originated in Scandinavia and is a fairly new breed, recognized in 1977. The Norwegian Forest Cat is similar to the Maine Coon but has a thicker coat.
Temperament: They are lively and independent and are excellent hunters. They like company a great deal, so it is best to have two. Norwegian Forest Cats are also excellent climbers and they can reach places that the average cat would not be able to reach.
Description: Their body is similar to the Maine Coon but with a thicker and waterproof coat, a bushy tail and a small neck ruff. The ears are large and set wide apart but lack the tufts at the tips. The eyes are almond shaped.
Colors: Like the Main Coon, they come in any variety of colors.
History: The Ragdoll is a crossbreed between the Birman and the Siamese. They were first recognized in 1960 and came from California.
Temperament: The Ragdolls are the most laid-back cats. They just flop over in your arms and that is probably how they got the name. They are undemanding, very tolerant, gentle, and relaxed.
Description: Ragdolls have a long, muscular body with a broad chest and hind legs slightly higher then the front legs. They have a silky coat with a large neck ruff and a long, bushy tail. The head is medium large with tufted ears and large, oval eyes which are always blue.
Colors: Ragdoll kittens are born white and develop their colors later which is bi-color, color points, lynx, or mitted (with white paws). The color points are restricted to the face, ears, and tail, and are the same as in the Siamese.
History: The Turkish Van was discovered in the Lake Van area of Turkey where they are highly respected because of the white marking between their ears. There it is said that the marking is the mark of Allah. They were recognized as a breed in 1969.
Temperament: The Turkish Van is friendly, social, and intelligent. They like company, lots of attention, and have a soft voice. Very playful, the Turkish Van loves water and likes to go for a swim unlike most other cats.
Description: The Turkish Van is a strong and sturdy cat with strong, muscular, medium length legs. They have a very thick and water resistant coat. The tail is brush-like. The head is long with a long nose, large ears, and large, oval eyes.
Colors: The classic Turkish Van is white with auburn to cream markings. The markings are restricted to the head, ears, and tail. They have a white mark between their ears.
And this my friends concludes the first part of the blog where we talked about non-pedigree and long haired pedigree cats, their history, temperament, description, and colors. Stay tuned for the next part where I will tell you all about short haired pedigree cats.
Love and Peace,
Friday, February 4, 2011
Canine Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
Most of us have heard the story of Marly and Me. It came out as a book and was also at the movie theater. The story is about an adorable Labrador Retriever with a serious stomach condition called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or bloat. Today I would like to tell you more about this disease and also let you know the signs and the treatment of it as well as some preventive measures to keep it from reoccurring.
Gastric dilatation-Volvulus or bloat is an extremely serious condition and requires immediate veterinary care. Dogs can die of bloat within several hours. There is a relation between the breed and build of dog and volvulus. It occurs mostly in large breeds with deep narrow chests. Some examples of these breeds are: Great Dane, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, Weimaraner, Irish Setter, Standard Poodle, St. Bernardt, Basset Hound, German Sheppard, Pittbull, Golden Retriever, Boxer, Labrador Retriever. Older Dogs are more prone to GDV than younger dogs. Also, male dogs are twice as likely to develop GDV than females. A dog's eating habits can contribute to bloat as well. Dogs that are fed only once daily and exercise soon after the meal are at higher risk and so are dogs that tend to be more nervous, anxious, or fearful.
What actually happens is that the stomach fills with air due to unknown reasons. This puts pressure on the diaphragm and the other organs as well as on large veins in the abdomen. When the stomach is filled with air, it can easily rotate within itself and thus, pinching of its blood supply which causes the stomach to die. With this, the dogs condition deteriorates very rapidly. In the x-ray to the right, you can see very well what that looks like. The big black balloon is the stomach filled with air. It has twisted within itself and moved way towards the diaphragm (on the left of the x-ray). The stomach would normally be a lot smaller and more towards the right side of the x-ray.
Signs of GDV are: abdominal distention (swollen stomach), non-productive vomiting, restlessness, rapid breathing, profuse salivation, and lethargy. If any or all of these signs are present, the dog should be seen by a veterinary or emergency clinic immediately.
The veterinarian will most likely stabilize the dog by administering intravenous fluids, a pain reliever, and antibiotics. The veterinarian will also take an x-ray of the stomach and in the case of GDV will aspirate the air from the stomach either with a stomach tube or with a large needle. Some dogs can develop a bleeding disorder because the stomach puts pressure on blood vessels which can cause blood clots to form. To prevent this, an anticoagulant like Heparin will be administered. The heart rate and heart rhythm is closely monitored. Once the dog is stabilized, abdominal surgery to untwist the stomach is performed. At this time, the stomach will be sutured in a way that prevents it from twisting again. If this is not performed, 75 - 80% of dogs will develop GDV again. After the surgery the dog will be closely monitored for several days.
There are preventive measures that can eliminate the recurrence of GDV. As mentioned above, suturing the stomach at a certain way can keep it from twisting again. Owners can do their part as well. Owners of susceptible breeds should be aware of the signs and contact a veterinarian immediately should they occur. Large dogs should be fed two or three times daily rather than once. Water should be available at all times but not immediately after feeding. Diet changes should be gradually over a period of time. Anxious or nervous dogs should be fed in a quiet location. It is recommended to feed more moist food than kibbles since kibbles can cause more gas than moist food due to the high content of grains. Exercise, excitement, and stress should be avoided one hour before meals and two hours after meals.
To sum it all up, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or bloat is a life threatening disease in dogs. It affects mostly large breeds with deep chests. Owners of susceptible dogs should know the signs and seek veterinary treatment immediately. By following preventive measures, owners can reduce the likelihood of the occurrence or recurrence of the disease.
Well my friends, I hope you have learned something new today. As always,
Love and Peace,