What Is Bloat?
Bloat, also called Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV), is a very serious problem that is most common in larger breeds of dogs. It requires immediate medical and surgical intervention.
Bloat happens when your buddy’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid. This can cause it to expand, which will put pressure on other organs. This can affect the blood flow to those organs (including the heart and stomach lining). In some cases, the stomach will rotate or twist, which traps the blood and prevents it from returning to their heart.
Bloat often comes on quickly, and you have very little time to get your pup to the vet. These are the symptoms of bloat:
- Your dog may act restless and anxious
- Excessive drool
- A swollen stomach
- Your fur baby may pace back and forth
- She may try and vomit, but nothing comes up
- Display weakness and be short of breath
- As time goes on, she may collapse
If your dog has these symptoms, get her to the vet immediately: put your dog in the car and call your vet on the way. Bloat can be deadly without swift veterinary intervention.
Vets are not 100% sure why some dogs bloat, but these things can raise the likelihood of it happening:
- Having only one large meal per day
- Eating from a raised bowl
- Eating very quickly
- Running or playing before or after they eat
- Eating or drinking too much
We know that bloat sounds very scary, and it is. However, there are steps you can take to prevent bloat from happening. Don’t use a raised bowl unless your dog has a medical reason for one. Keep her quiet before and after she eats. Don’t allow her to drink copious amounts of water. It is much better to feed your pupper a few small meals during the day instead of all at once. Some veterinarians may perform a small surgery on breeds prone to bloat which tacks the stomach down so it doesn’t twist; this is something to discuss with your vet.
Breeds that are more disposed to bloat are; Great Dane, Bloodhound, Newfoundland, St Bernard, Weimaraner, Irish Setter, and Poodle. However, even smaller breeds can bloat.
While you can’t prevent all cases of bloat, if you take the precautionary steps above, you may be able to reduce your dog’s risk. If your furry friend shows symptoms, you need to see your vet immediately.