Believe it or not, bloating in dogs is one serious emergency that needs immediate attention. At one moment, you see your canine pal happy and healthy. The next hour, you see him battling in a life and death situation. In cases like this, the odds can be against your favor.
So, what should you do as a pet owner? Of course, you have to be able to identify the signs of bloat. But before you familiarize the symptoms of bloat, let us first explain what a dog bloat is.
The Definition of Dog Bloat
In a medical sense, dog bloat refers to the condition called Gastric Dilation Volvulus. It is characterized by a rapid expansion of a dog’s stomach, caused by fluid and gas, which then goes around inside, resulting in twisting off both stomach ends. In the long run, the fluid and the gas begin to ferment and pressure builds up. If that happens, the blood supply to the stomach is limited and a portion, or worse, the stomach may no longer function.
When the stomach cannot do what it is supposed to do, a number of health problems are triggered. Therefore, it is not surprising why dog bloat can lead to death in just a couple of hours, especially if it is not given immediate attention.
Dog Breeds That Are Susceptible to Bloating
While some dog breeds are not at risk to experience bloating, others are. And if you can notice, the large-chested breeds are among those that are more susceptible.
We’ve listed the dog breeds that are more likely to get bloat:
- Basset Hounds
- Blood Hounds
- Doberman Pinschers
- Great Danes
- German Shepherds
- Great Pyrenees
- Labrador Retrievers
- Old English Sheepdogs
- Rhodesian Ridgebacks
- Standard Poodles
Symptoms of Bloat to Watch Out For
Bloat may happen when you least expect it. And it is very prone and common among dogs in their middle age years. If you are wondering why, dogs at this age eat large meals, drink too much water, and may exercise vigorously after eating. That makes them very susceptible to bloat.
Here are five early symptoms of bloat among dogs:
- If your dog is drooling more than the usual, then you might need to check on him.
- If you notice your canine pal is trying to vomit, but he is unable to do so, he might be experiencing bloat.
- If your dog’s stomach is swollen or tight, he might be suffering from bloat.
- If your dog seems tired and restless, chances are, he is bloated.
- If your dog appears uneasy or in pain, particularly in the stomach area, then he could be bloated.
These are only the early signs. In the next few minutes, the issue may progress. At that time, your canine buddy may go into a state of shock, wherein his gums and tongue may turn pale. He may even have a fast heart rate, but a weak pulse.
If you suspect your pet dog is bloated, take him to the nearest pet hospital right away. He might need immediate surgery to get treated.
How to Prevent Bloating Among Dogs in a Non-Surgical Way
Up to date, there is no exact cause for bloat in dogs, but debates say that it is associated with stress and genetics. Even there is no proven cause, you can do things to prevent it from causing further complications. There are:
- Feed your dog a few times a day. Avoid giving him one big meal.
- If your dog is a fast eater, you might want to slow him down. Use a slow feeding bowl, which is often included in every purchase of a dog house.
- Do not let him engage in heavy exercise before or after eating.
- Let your dog drink water slowly, but surely.
- Avoid feeding him in a raised bowl.
- If you wish to feed him dry food, make sure you soak it first.
How to Treat Bloat
If your dog’s breed is included on our list above, then you have to consider preventative surgery like gastropexy. This surgical procedure involves opening the stomach of a dog and stitching it to the abdominal wall. That way, the twisting of the stomach is prevented.
Now, you might be wondering why you should get your dog operated. Through this procedure, you can prevent the worse things to happen.
Here is something you should remember after a gastropexy. Your dog may still experience bloating after the surgery. Then again, he can burp to eliminate the excess gas in the stomach.
If you are not sure whether your dog is bloated or not, take him to the vet. Remember that his life is at risk here. Every second counts, so take him there as soon as possible.