Bloat and Nutrition
by Kymythy Schultze and Mary Ellen Lunde Schultze, A.H.I. (as posted to the Wellpet List)
Of course, there is never just ONE reason for anything. Many factors come into play. Unfortunately, that means there are no easy answers either, darn it.
I’d like to share my thoughts on nutritional factors that may contribute to bloat. The following are foods that I find to be troublemakers and why:
1) Yeast (any form) = not a species-appropriate food, a fermented byproduct that expands and outgases, very high in phosphorus which can upset mineral balance.
2) Sugar = (any form; beet, raw, brown, cane, fructose, corn sweetener, corn syrup, date, dextrin, dextrose, glucose, lactose, maltose, manitol, polydextrose, sorbital, sorghum, sucanat, sucrose, barley malt, molasses, honey and maple syrup) sugar feeds yeast, combine sugar and yeast together and you’ve got yourself an old-fashioned “still” that expands.
3) Dairy (any form) = another un-natural food for weaned adult animals, another source of sugar (lactose).
4) Grain = not a species-appropriate food (cats and dogs have no nutritional need for it), NOT often found in “stomach contents” of prey animals (would contain grasses, herbs, roots, bark, seeds, nuts, etc), grain biochemically breaks down into sugar.
5) Food that is not species appropriate = unfamiliar foods may be difficult to digest, thereby causing intestinal upset and malabsorption.
Tolerance of these foods differs between individuals. Symptoms may be expressed in different ways, depending on the animal and whether it’s body has the strength to raise a rebellion (negative reaction/symptoms). Of course, this list is not all-inclusive of causes…just a few things I’ve been working on over the years :-).
Kymythy Schultze Animal Health Instructor
Kymythy’s recent posting on causes of bloat left some questions in my mind. I think some of these are appropriate for discussion on the list. First Kymythy cites yeast as a potential cause of bloat.
I am assuming that this does *not* include brewers yeast since Billinghurst since brewers is not a living yeast but the dead bodies of yeast organisms and according to Billinghurst, one of the richest, most concentrated sources of nutrients known.
If you are feeding BARF or a super premium kibble, what would contain yeast?
I agree sugar should only be a minimal part of a dog’s diet, but if you eliminate the yeast are you less likely to call it a source of bloat if you feed honey and molasses as some listers do occasionally?
Many of the listers ala Billinghurst feed yogurt, cottage cheese, regular cheese when giving pills,. Are we saying these should generally be avoided? Billinghurst does seem to agree that milk, except for puppies, is not necessary.
Billinghurst seems quite sold on grains especially when fed with legumes, since he believes that they compliment each other very well.
Would like to know what other listers think and welcome further insights from Kymythy.
Mary Ellen R. Lunde
Don’t stop feeding those items unless it makes sense to you to do so!
I wrote this post with some trepidation because I wasn’t sure how listers would react to it. Sometimes uncommon thinking is unpopular!
Thank you for your kind questions. Remember, I believe these foods to be contributors; other factors may certainly have a role in bloat. I wish some bloat studies would be done on diets that exclude the foods I mentioned…that has NOT been done, but might be interesting.
I take it from most posts, that more clarification is needed….
1) Yeast (ANY kind) = there are many foods that are loaded with nutrients…but, unfortunately, that does not make them digestible or necessarily good for a body. Kinesiology and cytotoxic tests shows that 9 out of 10 dogs can’t assimilate yeast. Beyond that, it is certainly not a “natural” food for a domestic carnivore. Yeast is a major ingredient in many pet food products. (I can think of a popular supplement that has both yeast and sugar in it and I also know dogs that bloated on it).
2) Dairy (ANY kind) = is a hormonal growth fluid created to grow baby bovines (or goats), not dogs and cats.
3) Sugar (ANY kind) = natural forms of sugar (honey/molasses) are still sugar. Even too much fruit (high in natural sugars) can upset the blood sugar in some animals, which doesn’t mean it’s evil, but should be given in moderation.
4) Grain (ANY kind) = “just say no,” the fact that it cannot be fed raw tells us a lot (wild carnivores did not cook or soak food). One of the symptoms of gluten (a protein in some grains) intolerance in humans is bloating.
There are no nutrients contained in the above foods that animals can’t get from a more species-appropriate source. Philosophies differ – some diets are made with “natural” foods and some are species-specific. As your animal’s guardian, it is your responsibility to take care of your pet in a way that makes you comfortable – which may be quite different from someone else.
Another thought is that there is no definite “diet” for all animals (isn’t that what makes us so nervous at the start!). There are diet “guidelines” – the actual meal that is made depends on the person creating it. If you are happy feeding the above foods and the reason you are feeding them makes perfect sense to you…..great!
If you want to do some more research on your own, there are many resources available to you. Applied Kinesiology can be a helpful testing tool to see what your animals need (find a well-qualified practitioner). Also, we live in the real world with real temptations…if you feed some no-no’s to your pet occasionally, don’t beat yourself up, just understand that you might see a reaction from it, so don’t be surprised.
Some of the food offenders are worse than others for some dogs. It all comes back to looking the whole big picture…the holistic view.
Hugs to your furry friends,
you have to drain the swelling every time there is too much tension.
Don’t poor out all the fluid though, just enough to take the tension away. It might take up to three weeks – that is my experience – before it is healed.
I never used any medicine. I’ve been told by my vet that it will not be helpful. The veins in the ear flap are not very well capable of transporting the fluid out of the flap – all one can do is keep the fluid ‘in balance’ with the tissue until it cures from the inside out. Or have surgery done which, according to my vet, hardly ever is necessary because ‘time’ is the best healer.
Richard Allport B Vet Med, Vet M F Hom, MRCVS in his book ‘Heal Your Dog The Natural Way’ :
homeopathy – Arnica [to be administered in acute dosage] for three days, followed by Hamamelis [given in chronic dosage] for two weeks, may help to reduce the swelling of the earflap. [Arnica is an excellent remedy that is also used to reduce bruising following injury.] herbal medicine – witch-hazel lotion may be applied directly to the ear flap. minor therapies – ferrum phos.[acute dosage] will help to relieve the symptoms.
Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine on:
Witch Hazel:Extracts of astringent, hemostatic witch hazel are highly regarded for their use in bleeding, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. The distilled extract, “witch hazel water”, is used for bruises, dermatoses and sprains. It is approved for use in hemorrhoids. NOTE – Witch hazel should only be used topically. Arnica: Always remember Arnica can not be wrong in any injury and will always help. Do not use topically on open wounds. The sooner it is given, the better it will help.
Ferrum phos: may be prescribed for bleeders with a nervous, sensitive and anemic disposition.
Hamamelis virginiana L. is the Latin name for Witch Hazel.
My best wishes to Baron [and to you],
Ignit Bekken, Surinam
OK I have to put my 02c in here….years ago a friend had a mix that had a huge hematoma…….vet wanted to do surgery…we opted not to. So we did the following. We took a pot put in on to boil…but sea salt in pot until pretty salty. Put salt packs on ear every hour…within a day the salt packs drew the hematoma out of the ear…little prickles of blood leached thru the ear we continued for an additional day…no crumpling, no disfigurement…this dog was a vizla..show candidate…..and finished the following month in 6 shows…. I am not sure this would work for you but just thought I would tell you are experience…
Kat, the Wire Group….and Chassis (mini schauzer)