There is a condition known as Gastric Torsion, commonly called Bloat. It is a serious, life-threatening condition, and it is most comonly seen in deep-chested dogs like Greyhounds. The stomach first dilates with gas and fluid, then becomes twisted. Signs are:- panting, vain attempts at vomiting, restlessness and visible abdominal distension with drum-like tightness just below the ribs. The dog should be taken immediately to the vet for emergency surgery.
This sounds like an alarming condition and indeed it is. No one wants to see their beloved Greyhound in such a life-threatening state. One of the things that can cause bloat is placing your Greyhounds' food bowl on the floor so he/she has to reach down to it when eating. Because of their long neck and deep chest, it is particularly bad for them to have to do this.
Fortunately the answer is easy. Most pet shops sell purpose made metal stands with a hole in the top to hold your dogs' food bowl. They are made of light steel or aluminium and come in different sizes for different height dogs. However, if cost is a consideration for you, and I have to admit that it can be for us with up to 11 Greys to feed, then why not do what I did, make your own out of cardboard. Of course, they don't look as good as the shop bought ones but they cost nothing. The one pictured at the bottom of this article has lasted for many years. It looks tatty and home made but hey, it does the job and it's not what it looks like that matters anyway is it? If you find that you dog knocks your light cardboard one over, just place a weight such as a small brick or stone in the bottom, or alternatively, place it against a wall or piece of furniture.
Since I wrote this tip I have received a very helpful addition from Anna in Florida. This is what she says.--- Re the tip on feeding up off the floor. I have found that plant stands work well, they come in various heights, look good and are very inexpensive. They're available in hardware stores and places like Wal-mart and Kmart too. I've attached some pictures.
I am the proud owner of an ex-racing boy we call him Arri his racing name was Arrigle Go. I was reading your tips on feeding your dog. I also looked at the more 'specialised' feeding bowls but decided they were very expensive. So I bought a cheap plastic bucket and cut the bottom out. Now an ordinary stainless steel dog bowl fits very neatly into the upturned bucket. If you are really clever you can co-ordinate the colour of the bucket with the decor in you kitchen! Hope you find this tip both useful and money saving!
Regards Joelle (Arris' mum)
PS: cheaper buckets work best as it's easier to cut the base out.
To end this I will quote the rest of the article from Anne Finchs' book.
Nobody is absolutely certain what causes it. (bloat). A large intake of dry food or water, especially after exercise, has been suggested as one possible cause. Divide meals into two or three a day, and do not allow your dog to eat or drink too much when he is still stressed from exercise.
|Anna's plant stands.|
|Here is Hannah showing off her raised feeder from Argos. Only cost £12.99 Hannah tells me.||My home made contraption. Cost nowt.|
|Margaret in Australia got her husband to make this stand for their dog Bobby.|
Please buy or make something like these to protect your Greyhound.