In May 2017, Tailored Pet Services lost our furry Director of Love and Fun to a condition called “bloat” so we wanted to educate the public on this series condition.
We’ve all been bloated and it can really feel terrible. However usually, it’s nothing that a little Pepto or Alka-Seltzer can’t fix. Unfortunately, for our dogs, it can be a little bit more serious. Much like us, dog blog happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food or fluid and makes it expand. When this happens in our dogs it puts pressure on other organs, which can lead to some grave problems such as:
- Tears in the stomach
- Difficulty breathing
- No blood flow to the heart or stomach lining
Sometimes a dog’s stomach will actually rotate or twist. This is what veterinarians refer to as gastric dilation volvulus. When this happens, blood in the stomach gets trapped and blocks it from returning to the heart and body, this can lead to shock.
Symptoms of dog bloat:
- Signs of stomach aches
- Swollen stomach
- Drive heaves (vomiting, but nothing comes up)
More serious symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pale gums
Any of these symptoms should be a red flag. If you are worried about your dog and see any of these symptoms call your vet right away.
What Causes Dog Bloat?
It can be hard to tell what causes dog bloat, but thankfully we do know things that put our dogs at risk for it.
- Eating only one big meal a day
- Too much running or playing after meals
- Eating or drinking in excess
- Meals out of a raised food bowl
- Eating too quickly
All dogs can end up with this, but it’s more common in large dog breed with deep chests, such as Akitas, Boxers, Great Danes, Setters, Weimaraners, and St. Bernards, etc.
How Is It Treated?
After your dog has been examined it is not unusual for your vet to put a tube down into the stomach to release pressure. If the stomach is twisted, the tube won’t pass from the throat to the stomach. When this happens, the vet may end up having to use a large hollow needle into the belly to release the pressure. If it’s gotten so bad that your dog is in shock they will probably need fluids, antibiotics and x-rays.
How Can I Prevent Dog Bloat?
It may be a scary sounding condition, but there are things we can do to prevent it from happening to our fur-babies.
- Feed them a few small meals throughout the day
- Don’t use raised bowls unless it is vet recommended
- Make sure they drink plenty of water
- Don’t allow them to play too much right after a meal
We all want to give our pets the best care possible and keep them safe & healthy. Unfortunately, dog bloat isn’t as simple as our every bloating. It can be far more serious.