Information on Bloat in Dogs

Bloat in dogs is something most of us dog owners do not even think of, yet it is something that can be fatal to your pet.

In an effort to keep you informed about the different possibilities that may occur during your pet’s lifetime, I found this information on bloat extremely interesting.

Granted it may seem like something that rarely happens, but in my research I have found that in large breed dogs it happens with some frequency.

Why does it happen?

Believe it or not, the stomach in dogs can twist and rotate, the stomach apparently is not really attached to anything inside the body of the dog that will keep it completely stationary.

There is a surgery called prophylactic surgery that can secure the stomach into a position so that it will not move. However, this surgery is only recommended as a last resort for dogs that are prone to bloat.

What causes bloat is not really known.

It is said that dogs with nervous personalities seem to have this problem, along with large dogs, who have more room in their chest cavity and abdomen.

It seems that with more room in the dog’s body, along with excessive air or food, it is possible for the stomach to flip, bringing the spleen with it and closing down the stomach.

The problem is that the blood supply to the stomach and spleen is shut off.

If the dog is not taken to the vet immediately, the chances of survival are slim and even then there is no guarantee, your vet can save your pet.

This is a case where “time is of the essence.”

What are the symptoms?

Typical symptoms are:

  • Restlessness and pacing
  • Attempting to vomit with no results
  • Showing visible discomfort or stomach pain
  • Swelling of the stomach area
  • Excessive drooling

    When can it happen?

    Within a matter of minutes.

    A dog can be fine one minute and suddenly it is not.

    What dogs are most likely to be affected?

    It is possible that it can happen to most dogs, however the larger breeds of dog are the most likely candidates.

    Such as:

  • Great Danes
  • Akitas
  • Standard Poodles
  • Saint Bernards
  • Bloodhounds
  • Weimaraners
  • Irish Setters
  • Dobermans
  • German Shepherds
  • Gordon Setters
  • Mastiffs and all other large breeds

    What can be done to prevent it from happening?

    Other than the surgery mentioned earlier (and it is not recommended, only in rare cases,) there are some precautions that can be taken. However, these precautions are just that, precautions, not assured prevention.

    If your dog is a gulper and seems to inhale its food, feed smaller meals more often, to prevent hunger pangs. Divide your dog's food into two, three, or four meals during the day.

    If you usually exercise your dog after meals, do only moderate exercise, nothing strenuous.

    Do not allow your dog to gulp water after eating or exercise, restrict its intake of water until your pet has relaxed and will drink normally.

    Gulping increases the chances of air moving into the stomach.

    Strenuous running, which jars the stomach and causes excessive thirst may stretch the muscles that support the stomach and cause it to twist or rotate.

    Also,recent research has shown that raised food dishes and water bowls may cause an increase of air flow into the stomach which can lead to bloating. It is better to keep your dog’s bowls at floor level.

    Bloat, though not seemingly common, in most of our pet’s lives, is a possibility and your awareness of it can save your dog’s life.

    The key here is if you notice any of the above symptoms occurring in your dog do not hesitate to take your pet to your vet or emergency clinic.

    This is one time an extra visit could very well be the difference between the life or death of your pet.