Bloat is a very serious health risk for many dogs, yet many dog owners know very little about it. According to some research, it is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer. It is frequently reported that deep-chested dogs, such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, Mastiff breeds, American Bulldogs and Dobermans are particularly at risk. This page provides info about possible symptoms and causes Please consult with your vet for medical information.
If you believe your dog is experiencing bloat, please get your dog to a vet immediately! Bloat can kill in less than an hour, so time is of the essence. Notify your vet to alert them you're on your way with a suspected bloat case. Better to be safe than sorry!
The technical name for bloat is "Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus" ("GDV").
Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air (although food and fluid can also be present). It usually happens when there's an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid, and/or foam in the stomach ("gastric dilatation").
Stress can also be a significant contributing factor.
Bloat can occur with or without "volvulus" (twisting). As the stomach swells, it may rotate 90° to 360°, twisting between its fixed attachments at the oesophagus (food tube) and at the duodenum (the upper intestine). The twisting stomach traps air, food, and water in the stomach. The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs. The combined effect can quickly kill a dog. .
- Attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful); may occur every 5-30 minutes
- Significant anxiety and restlessness One of the earliest warning signs and seems fairly typical
- Hunched or "roached" appearance
- Lack of normal gurgling and digestive sounds in the tummy
- Bloated abdomen that may feel tight (like a drum) Tapping the abdomen will usually result in a hollow sound
- Pale or off-colour gums
- Unproductive gagging
- Heavy salivating or drooling
- Foamy mucous around the lips, or vomiting foamy mucous
- Unproductive attempts to defecate
- Licking the air
- Seeking a hiding place.
vidence of abdominal pain or discomfort The dog may refuse to lie down or even sit down , stand spread-legged May attempt to eat small stones and twigs
- Drinking excessively
Heavy or rapid panting, Shallow breathing, Cold mouth membranes,
- Apparent weakness; unable to stand or has a spread-legged stance.
- Accelerated heartbeat Heart rate increases as bloating progresses
- Weak pulse
- Dog shows
- Change in routine
- Activities that result in gulping air
- Eating habits, especially rapid eating,
- Dry foods that contain citric acid as a preservative (the risk is even worse if the owner moistens the food)
- Eating dry foods that contain fat among the first four ingredients
- Dilution of gastric juices necessary for complete digestion by drinking too much water before or after eating
- Eating gas-producing foods
- Exercise before and especially after eating
- Heredity (especially having a first-degree relative who has bloated)
- Build & Physical Characteristics Having a deep and narrow chest compared to other dogs of the same breed
- Older dogs
Bullbreed Advisory Service © 2009