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AKC Canine Health Foundation Fights Bloat in Dogs

RALEIGH, NC -- (Marketwire) -- 01/15/13 -- 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
Irish Setter Club of America Foundation

Lead Sponsors ($25,000 - $49,999)
Basset Hound Club of America
German Shepherd Dog Club of America

Charter Sponsors ($10,000 - $24,999)
American Black & Tan Coonhound Club
American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation
Briard Club of America Health and Education Trust
Gordon Setter Club of America
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America
Weimaraner Club of America

For more information about bloat, to donate to the effort, and to view a complete list of sponsors, visit www.akcchf.org/bloat.

Like CHF at www.facebook.com/akccaninehealthfoundation or follow CHF on Twitter at @CanineHealthFnd.

About CHF
The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping dogs live longer, healthier lives by funding research that helps prevent, treat and cure canine disease. Established in 1995, CHF's mission is to advance the health of all dogs and their owners by funding sound scientific research and supporting the dissemination of canine health information. Through the generous support of the American Kennel Club, Nestlé Purina PetCare, Pfizer Animal Health, dog clubs and dog owners worldwide, CHF has dedicated more than $34 million to canine health research projects and education programs. Visit CHF online at www.akcchf.org for more information.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:
Sharla Seidel
Communications & Development Manager
AKC Canine Health Foundation
Phone: 919-334-4012
E-mail: Email Contact


Shila Nordone, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
AKC Canine Health Foundation
Phone: 914-334-4020
E-mail: Email Contact


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