Bloat is the second leading cause of death for dogs. 50% of dogs who get bloat will die from it.
Often times we don’t think to prepare for deadly situations until after the tragedy has occurred. Bloat is one of those things that most dog owners don’t necessarily plan for but is deadly if not immediately addressed.
What is Bloat?
Bloat is a serious condition that affects dogs and can kill them if quick action is not taken. The medical term for bloat is gastric-dilatation-volvulus, meaning the stomach has filled with gas and fluid, and then twisted. As the stomach swells and rotates, it causes a decrease in the amount of blood going to the stomach and back to the heart, which can lead to shock, possible abnormal heart beats, and decreased oxygen to the stomach as well as other organs, which is why it is fatal if not treated immediately.
What are the Symptoms of Bloat in Dogs?
- Swollen abdomen
- Unsuccessful attempts to burp or throw-up
- Gagging or heaving without anything coming up
- Excessive salivation
- Shortness of breath
- Cold body temperature
- Pale gums
- Rapid heartbeat
A dog may exhibit one to a few of these symptoms so it’s important to know them all but not necessarily expect your dog to show them all at once.
Is My Dog at Risk?
Any dog can get bloat but it is more common in deep chested breeds including: Boxers, Dobermans, Great Danes, Grand Pyranees’, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Afghans, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Bloodhounds, Rottweilers, Standard Poodles, St. Bernards and Weimaraners.
What Should I do If I Think My Dog Has Bloat?
If you think your dog has bloat the only thing to do is to get to your vet, or any vet, as quickly as possible. Bloat requires emergency action and usually surgery to untwist the stomach.
Know where the nearest 24-hour Emergency Vet is and what their contact number is at all times. This can be the difference between life and death for your dog.
How to prevent bloat:
- If you feed kibble, feed smaller meals more frequently throughout the day rather than one or two large meals.
- Do not feed from a raised bowl as this causes the dog to gulp in excess air.
- Avoid the consumption of large volumes of water at once, especially right before or after exercise and exertion. Wait at least an hour after exercise to feed your dogs, and likewise let your dogs rest at least an hour after eating before exercise or strenuous play. After exercise limit the dogs intake of water, do not let them drink an entire bowl of water all at once.