The Rescue Dog
&
Bloat
He is your friend, your partner,
your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his
leader.
He will be yours, faithful and
true, to the last beat of his
heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy
of such devotion.
-Anonymous
Rescue dogs come from Animal Shelters, private parties and rescue groups. Northern
California Weimaraner Rescue has handled rescue Weimaraners from 4 months of age
through 12 years.  Some of these dogs have had very little training, some have been
outdoor dogs, some have been valued family pets.  Some are strays and have not been
reclaimed by their owners so we know very little about their background.  Some were
purchased as cute little pups but grew up into a dog that was more than the owner was
willing to deal with, some are from divorces, owners moving, job changes.  Some have
excellent pedigrees and some are “back yard”dogs.  Most are the traditional grey
color, others are blue and some are Weimaraners mixed with other breeds.

Each situation is different, but all rescue dogs share the same characteristics.  They
are happiest when with people.  The recent loss of their home leaves them somewhat
confused and lonely and  may exhibit some shyness and apprehension. Some may
have separation anxiety.  They recuperate quickly in most cases. We don’t know what
these dogs have gone through, but all respond to love, attention and direction.  Many
of these are perfectly lovely family dogs who need someone to bond with.  Many
people give up dogs because they do not understand the animals basic behavior and
needs.

When considering a rescue Weimaraner, please consider all ages, not just the youngest
dog listed.  These dogs all have love and companionship to offer.  All dogs must be
spayed or neutered before placement.  Here is a brief description of the age
characteristics.

DOGS 4 MONTHS UP TO 1 ½ YEARS OF AGE:  These dogs are the ones everyone  
wants because they may have the longest life expectancy.  Yes, this is true, however,
they are also the most difficult to live with.   We seldom get young pups.  Many of
these dogs are given up because the owner did not want to give them the training they
need or to deal with their adolescent period.  These dogs need lots of direction,
socialization, training, exercise, love and attention.  They are normally too energetic
for young children.  They may chew and dig and have bad habits.  Some are not
housebroken.  These dogs normally learn quickly and respond to direction and to
someone who cares about them.

DOGS AGE 2 THROUGH 7:  These dogs are beginning to settle down and mature.  
They usually have had some sort of obedience training.  They need lots of exercise
and are looking for direction and companionship and enjoy doing things with their
people.  

DOGS 7 AND ABOVE:  These dogs have a hard time losing their homes and are
anxious to bond with someone again.  They are more mellow and less active and are
really the best to adopt.  They can be easy to live with in many ways can integrate
more quickly into your life because of their maturity and eagerness to fit in.  Every
day is special to them.

Rescue dogs are not perfect.  They just need to know what is expected of them and
want to be a part of a family.  Stress plays a very large role in the lives of Weimaraners
and can have a detrimental affect on the dog.  When stress is removed, personalities
change. When these dogs are adopted into a good home and receive the attention they
are craving, after visiting these dogs later on, they are different animals. With the
proper home that appreciates them, they change and personalities blossom.  Dogs are
like children in that they need rules to follow and must have human companionship
which provides security.  
                                BLOAT & STOMACH TORSION

The Weimaraner is a deep-chested dog which makes them a breed which is high on
the list of dogs affected by Bloat and Stomach Torsion.  You may never see this
problem in your dog but we want you to be aware of the symptoms and necessary
care.

Bloat/Torsion is a problem that can manifest in all ages of Weimaraners.  The
majority of cases are in older dogs whose body functions may have slowed down.  
However, it is occasionally seen in younger dogs. Whenever it does appear, it is to be
considered AN EMERGENCY SITUATION.

Bloat occurs when there is gas production in the stomach and that gas buildup is
unable to be expelled via belching or vomiting or passed through the intestines.  This
gas buildup can cause the stomach to rotate or flip and thereby twists the esophagus
and small intestine closed so there is no passage of stomach contents or gas in or out
of the stomach.  This rotation or Torsion also cuts off the blood supply to the
stomach.  The spleen may also be twisted and tissue becomes starved for oxygen and
dies.

Symptoms of bloat are as follows:

- A “bloated” look to the chest area of the dog.
- The dog is uncomfortable, pacing, gagging, salivating, wining, etc.
- The dog may attempt to vomit or pass stool repeatedly.
- The dog is very restless.  Gums may be pale.

The dog should be taken to a veterinarian IMMEDIATELY and an x-ray should be
requested to determine the position of the stomach.  If the stomach has not yet
twisted, a tube may be able to be inserted into the dog’s stomach to relieve the gas.  If
there is a torsion, then immediate surgery is required to save the dog’s life.  During
surgery, the vet may tack the stomach to the abdominal wall to make sure it does not
flip again.  Discuss this with your vet before surgery.

Purdue University conducted a study to determine the cause of bloat, but was unable
to come up with a cause or prevention.  The following guidelines will help in
preventing bloat/torsion:

Feed twice a day.  Use a quality food with a meat base (first ingredient on bag).  We
prefer a rice base rather than corn or wheat.

Vigorous exercise should be avoided one hour before and two hours after meals.

Water should be available at all times and should be limited immediately after
feeding, stress, or vigorous exercise, or if your dog appears to over consume.

Animals who stress should be watched carefully while under stressful conditions
when feeding and watering.  Try to keep them from becoming stressful.

Weimaraners, having excellent noses, sometimes get into dog food containers or
trash cans.  Watch carefully after these episodes.  Chewing up the dog bed and eating
large pieces of fabric or anything that may lodge in the stomach could cause
problems.  Rawhide should be avoided for large dogs.

Do not give an old dog a big knuckle bone to chew or a food that they are not used to
that they might have a problem digesting.  Dogs should be supervised when chewing
anything to make sure they are not eating large chunks of the item.  

Older dog’s digestion seems to slow down.  Do not change their food or exercise
activity drastically.