American Kennel Club funding research on bloat

Published on January 30, 2013
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The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation has launched a research initiative with the aim of better defining and ultimately eradicating bloat in dogs.

“Bloat is of foremost concern to the AKC Canine Health Foundation and its donors, and as such will require a major research effort to identify the underlying mechanisms of this disease,” according to the request for proposals.

The foundation anticipates providing two to three grants of $250,000 each for studies on bloat. March 18 is the deadline for letters of intent.

“The exact cause of bloat is not understood, and to date only risk factors have been identified,” according to the request for proposals. “It is clear that large-breed and/or deep-chested dogs are at higher risk, and it is consensus opinion that these anatomical features may predispose certain breeds to disease. Beyond anatomical features, genetics, feeding practices, exercise, gut motility, and stress have been proposed to be associated with development of bloat, but definitive studies are lacking. In order to move beyond these anecdotal and associative relationships, we must better define the pathophysiology of disease.”

The foundation strongly advises grant applicants to collaborate with breed clubs to identify study participants and samples.

The request for proposals is available at by clicking on “Application Process” and then on “Bloat Initiative.”