Never dismiss Dog Bloat as a minor irritation that will go away after a good fart, it is a very serious condition.
All too often dog bloat has fatal results and death happens extremely quickly
Bloat is as the name implies, a condition where the dog’s stomach becomes inflated because of excessive gas content.
Other terms for dog bloat:
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)
There is quite a bit of confusion because of the term ‘bloat’ and can be used as a generic term to describe excessive gas in the stomach whether or not the stomach is actually twisted and the latter is cricially important.
Is every dog at risk of bloat?
Generally it affects older dogs and larger dog breeds with deep chests but it is not a specific breed issue; examples are:
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Irish Setters
- St Bernards
Why does bloat happen?
Bloat can begin due to a dog taking in a lot of air during their eating, the air turns to gas due to the fermentation of food within the stomach.
Just like a balloon being inflated, the stomach begins to overstretch due to excessive gas. This gas accumulates and the dog’s stomach swells and possibly twists. (Gastric Torsion )
It is the twisted stomach that becomes the problem because the gas that would normally have been expelled after a burp or fart is now trapped.The dog cannot even vomit.
How to treat dog bloat
It is important to let out the gas as a matter of urgency because The blood supplt to the stomach, spleen and other vital organs can suffer extreme damage.
The next stage is the dog going into shock, the gas now contains bacterial toxins which will be released into the system causing collapse leading to death.
This doesn’t mean that every dog who suffers from bloat will die but it is likely to suffer again, indeed some dogs tend to get bloted often …but not suffer from twisted stomach.
Always take the dog to the vet and discuss options of treatment, keep it warm and comfortable.
What to look for with dog bloat.
- Abdomen feels hard
- Breathing problems
- Constant attempts to vomit or poo with no success
- Evidence of abdominal pain
- Excessive drooling
- Heavy panting
- Legs seem stiff and back is arched
- Pale/cold lips and gums
- Stiff legged stance with arched back
Preventing dog bloat
Take advice from your vet as opposed to enthusiastic good intentions, they may recommend a special diet or suggest feeding small frequent meals instead of one or two large meals a day.They may prescribe medication.
Ask you vet about whether you should not exercise your dog or play games during the hour before feeding and more importantly the hour after that meal.
Do not provide water half an hour before or after food.
“eating like a pig” is a term often used when dogs eat far too fast. As strange as it sounds they may inhale their food, sucking it in like a vacuum cleaner. No chewing, simply swallowing everything in a suction action.
There are lots of tricks geared towards encouraging dogs to eat their meal slowly by putting a ball, stone or toy in their bowl.
A ‘Slow Down’ dog bowl will stop them whoofing down their meals too. They act in the same way as the ball, stone, toy idea but especially designed.
Households with more than one dog may need to separate them at meal times to This cut down the competition for food.