Calm down dear Boy..Calm down
Michael Winner was a friend of mine so I am certain he will not mind me stealing his wonderful catch phrase Calm down dear Boy..Calm down when dealing with a greedy eater.
I am now writing about my Boy Boy (BB), For those that do not know he is a Rottweiler who weighs in at 75 Kilos well trained and has never left my side since he was 8 weeks.
Due to moving home I was compelled to put my two dogs into Cat and Dogworld whom I have known for some 40 years before we came to Spain, they are true professional caring people. Thank God they have a night inspection and Amy found BB had a Bloat, most dogs die within the hour but due to the quickness of Amy and Dennis knowing the problem he was at the vet within 15 minutes of midnight and 2 hours later we were informed we had to say a prayer he might not pull through. We were blessed and BB lived through and is back home.
I now confess that BB has always been a pain in the neck eater, I bet a lot of you know what I mean! BB always eats slowly and dislikes dried food I am compelled to add a little tuna or sardine and then I have to talk to him like a baby to eat. Now back home after his ordeal he scoffs his food so quickly without any sardine or tuna and rather than be delighted I am very concerned knowing that when a dog eats too fast he swallows too much air during a meal which can cause distension of the stomach and predisposing it to twist over on itself the stomach torsion which is not uncommon can occur a second time if the stomach has not be sewn to the side so that it cannot turn over. His stomach is sewn to the side.
When feeding a hungry greedy dog it is more like throwing raw chicken at an alligator, it can be frustrating and involves several potentially harmful issues. The layout of this will start with the least dangerous going up to life threatening. The faster they eat, the less they chew, which can cause them to choke. When they race through their food they are also swallowing a large amount of air. This can result in something simple like burping or passing gas, not enjoyable for those around but it is relatively harmless. Some dogs, typically large deep chested breeds but small dogs can do it too, can cause a food bloat from the large amount of air and how much they eat. With food bloat their stomachs have not twisted, yet. The chance of the stomach twisting while they are bloated with food/air is greatly increased the longer they are bloated. There are many theories of what causes a bloat that twists (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus)and eating fast is one of the most common. When the stomach twists it greatly decreases, or cuts off, blood supply to the stomach. This is life threatening and can cause serious irreversible damage to the stomach or death. They MUST be seen immediately by your veterinarian, there is NO home remedy. Any time your dog looks bloated or suddenly ‘fatter’ they should be seen immediately by the vet since it’s impossible to determine if it has twisted, or not, without x-rays. Bloated belly, walking hunched over, attempting to vomit (unsuccessfully), listlessness and pacing are the common symptoms seen with bloat.
I have now slowed him down and as a tip for those of you that have fast eaters you might consider a metal non-tip food/water bowl. Just flip it upside down and spread the food in the ring around the center. For BB to get all the food he has to circle around the bowl as well as pick his head up to shift to the other side. It works well. Another idea is to place a LARGE rock in their food bowl and spread the food around it. (only use LARGE rocks because some dogs may eat the rocks if small enough)