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

10/07/2013

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.

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Hospice Care / End of Life Care For Dogs

10/30/2014

In this podcast we are wrapping up our “Old Dogs Rule” educational series with a difficult, but important conversation about end of life care. We are very fortunate to feature Dr. Kathleen Cooney, founder of “Home to Heaven,” an in-home pet hospice and euthanasia services practice. She is also the owner of the first-ever pet euthanasia center in the United States. The center is located on her 35-acre farm in Loveland, Colorado and offers two comfort rooms for pet euthanasia. It is open year-round for families looking for an alternative to standard clinic or in-home euthanasia. Dr. Cooney graduated from the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in the spring of 2004. That same spring, her family had to say goodbye to their 15-year-old yellow lab, McKenzie. McKenzie passed peacefully under the aspen tree in their front yard. From this experience, Dr. Cooney learned just how important it was for pets to be at home for the end of their lives. In 2012, she completed writing the book “Veterinary Euthanasia Techniques: A practical guide.” Dr. Cooney served on the 2013 American Veterinary Medical Association's panel on euthanasia guidelines. She is currently the Vice President and conference coordinator for the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC). She travels frequently to speak on her work and on the current advancements in end-of-life care.

This podcast was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, A KeyBank Trust.


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