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Vonderbrink German Shepherds


GSD Health Watch

The German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) published 2 Blue Books (so called because the bindings were blue) Vol 1 & 2 in 1984-85. Volume I is the genetics committee report edited by Carmen Battaglia.

Topics covered in the book include: Toxic Gut Syndrome, Cancer, Hip Dysplasia, Pituitary Dwarfism and color inheritance. At the end of the book is a Genetic Survey instrument which can be copied and sent to the committee.

 For further information on the research being conducted on these diseases, search the following sites:

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

Purdue University


Toxic Gut Syndrome/Gastric Dilation-volvulus (Bloat)

Risks for acquiring TGS: (exerpted from a Purdue University report)

1. increasing age (the older the dog the greater the risk)

2. having a relative with TGS (parents, siblings, grandparents)

3. eating from a raised food bowl

4. In addition, Purdue researchers found a greater risk in dogs fed a dry food containing fat in its first 4 ingredients or a dry food containing citric acid that was also moistened by the owner before being eaten.

5. A dry food containing a rendered meat meal with bone among its first 4 ingredients significantly decreased the risk by over 50%.

A raw diet was not mentioned in the report.


Symptoms of onset of Bloat (Exerpted from the Blue Book report)

1. Change in attitude:

Owners describe that dogs have lost their "spark." May show change in attitude as early as 2 days prior to onset of symptoms. May refuse to eat a meal. Usually have at least one dark, loose, foul smelling bowel movement. May smell like decaying flesh or partially digested blood. May vomit one or more times and usually last meal included in vomitus. Dog now refuses to eat. (Call vet)

2. Modified posture

Dog walks gingerly with head up or down. May appear "tucked up" or dehydrated. Normal or subnormal temperature with rapid and weak femoral arterial pulse (checked inside hind leg in groin area). Gums and lips a grey color and after pressing on the gum, they return to their color slowly. They should return in seconds. May have a wuffling action to lips. (Call vet immediately!)

3. Progressive deterioration

Salivation, relaxation of abdominal muscles giving dog a full look, does not move around, sunken eyes, strained expression, some fecal seepage, respiration rapid and shallow. (Death is near)

Most cases are discovered too late. If the dog is found during the early stages, immediate surgial intervention is needed and can be successful.

exerpted from "Toxic Gut Syndrome of the GSD" by Charles Kruger, DVM and Helen Sherlock. Genetics: 1984-85 Volume 1 (The Blue Book). German Shepherd Dog Club of America Inc. pp. 11-17.