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The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) announces today a major effort underway to tackle the devastating condition commonly known as bloat. The Bloat Initiative will address the need for both education and research.
Gastric dilatation – volvulus, or bloat is a devastating condition that 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.
CHF has released a Bloat Initiative Request for Proposals (RFP) to the research community. Letters of Intent (LOI) from researchers seeking funding are due on March 18, 2013. Researchers with an interest in gastrointestinal physiology are encouraged to apply for this grant at: http://www.akcchf.org/research/application-process/program-area-rfps/bloat-rfp.html
A committee of experts in the field will review the LOI and CHF will invite selected researchers to submit full proposals. Funding decisions will be announced by October 1, 2013. “Bloat is devastating for dog owners when it occurs. Through this major funding effort, researchers, for the first time, will have the resources they need to work towards establishing the causes and pre-dispositions for bloat,” said Dr. Shila Nordone, Chief Scientific Officer of CHF. “Once we understand why bloat occurs we will have better treatment options and possibly be able to prevent the syndrome from occurring in the first place.”
To help educate dog owners about bloat, CHF will launch a free webinar in mid-2013 describing possible causes of bloat, susceptible breeds, symptoms, medical intervention, and explanation of research needed. “Because bloat progresses so rapidly, part of our focus is on educating the public on the signs and symptoms to look for if they suspect their dog may have bloat,” said Nordone. The Foundation will also provide continuing education for veterinarians showing surgical procedures used for prevention during spay and neuter.
CHF is extremely grateful for the dog clubs that, as the inaugural sponsors of the Bloat Initiative, are making these education and research efforts possible.
Champion Sponsors ($50,000+)
Collie Health Foundation
Greyhound Club of America
Irish Setter Club of America Foundation
Saint Bernard Club of America
Lead Bloat Initiative Sponsors ($25,000 - $49,999):
Basset Hound Club of America
German Shepherd Dog Club of America
Newfoundland Club of America Charitable Trust
Charter Bloat Initiative Sponsors ($10,000 - $24,999):
Akita Club of America
American Black & Tan Coonhound Club
American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation
Briard Club of America Health and Education Trust
Doberman Pinscher Club of America
Gordon Setter Club of America
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Weimaraner Club of America
Bloat Initiative Sponsors ($2,500 - $9,999):
American Bloodhound Club
American Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club
Delaware County Kennel Club
English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association
English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association Foundation
Flat-Coated Retriever Foundation
Forsyth Kennel Club
Great Pyrenees Club of America
Irish Wolfhound Club of America
Kuvasz Fanciers of America
Poodle Club of America Foundation
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States
Scottish Deerhound Club of America
TarTan Gordon Setter Club
Versatility in Poodles
For more information about bloat or to donate to the effort visit www.akcchf.org/bloat.
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.