What is Dog Bloat and Why Is It so Dangerous?

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What is Dog Bloat and Why Is It so Dangerous?

Most people associate bloating with feeling uncomfortable after a big meal – which can happen in humans! Dogs can bloat as well, but for our canine friends, the condition is much more serious and can even turn fatal when not addressed quickly.

In the most serious cases, it’s estimated that almost half of cases become fatal.

Bloat, also called "twisted stomach” or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), is caused when air, liquid or food fills the stomach at a rapid rate, one that happens quicker than the body can process the expansion. When the stomach is forced to expand so quickly, it pushes the organs against the abdomen cavity, which can lead to organ failure or difficulty breathing.

Due to the quick expansion, bloat can turn serious in a matter of hours. If you notice your pet is experiencing any of the symptoms below, seek veterinary care immediately.

What are the symptoms?

Veterinarians have determined that there are a handful of symptoms that can lead to dog bloat, including eating food too quickly, only eating one larger meal a day, drinking too many fluids in a short time and exercising right after a meal. While these aren’t the only reasons, and veterinarians still see bloat from other causes, they seem to be the most common triggers.

Dogs experiencing bloat usually have a hard, enlarged stomach, show signs of excessive drooling or have trouble breathing. Contact a vet as soon as possible if your pet displays the bloat symptoms.

Is my dog susceptible?

All dogs are subject to bloat, but in our experience the larger breeds seem to have the most trouble with bloat. This is thought to be a result of their larger, deeper chest cavities that are most sensitive to an expanding stomach.

How is it treated?

The most important aspect of treatment is a quick response and speedy trip to the vet. Once at the hospital, canine bloat is generally treated by releasing the extra gas from the stomach. Most dogs find almost immediate relief once this gas leaves the abdomen. If time allows, some vets will take an X-Ray to ensure that nothing in the stomach is causing the symptoms.

Can it be avoided?

Vets have yet to find a way to keep all dogs from bloating and outside sources can still cause the medial situation, but there are a few ways you can help avoid it at home. By feeding your pet a few smaller meals throughout the day, gauging how quickly meals are consumed and monitoring water intake, bloat can be prevented.

If you think that your pet is bloating, please contact our staff at Butte Oroville Veterinary Hospital immediately. We have experience in treating bloat cases and understand that this serious situation needs timely action and attention.

Posted Tuesday, October 07, 2014