A dog that has bloat is nothing to mess around with. It is a very serious condition, and one that will need immediate medical attention. A dog that has bloat can be saved, but you only have a little window of time to get
your dog to your veterinarian or dog emergency clinic.
Know what dog bloat symptoms are so you know what to watch for with your dog. It is very painful and distressing for your dog and can be fatal if not quickly brought in for treatment.
There are no home remedies for bloat. Medical treatment is required.
What Is Dog Bloat
Dog bloat is an enlargement or swelling of your dog’s stomach. It can range from mild to very severe.
The dog’s stomach fills with gas, food or fluid, causing it to expand. The gas or food are stretching the dog’s stomach.
There is a mild case of bloat that can occur where your dog isn’t able to release the gases in their belly, but there is also a much more severe case of bloat that is called Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus or GDV. Both cases are going to require medical treatment.
GDV is when a twist occurs at both ends of the stomach and completely blocks the escape of gas, liquid or other stomach contents from escaping. It will cause the stomach to expand like a balloon or a bloated stomach.
GDV also compromises the blood flow to and from the stomach and throughout the entire body including the heart. This can also lead to breathing issues. It can prohibit blood flow to the heart and stomach lining. A tear in the wall of their stomach is possible and your dog will have a hard time breathing.
Bloat can kill a dog within an hour if it is left untreated. Neither Bloat or GDV can be resolve by itself. If a dog isn’t taken into the veterinarian for surgery or release of the gases, they won’t survive.
Dog Bloat Symptoms
There are many different symptoms that you might notice if your dog is experiencing dog bloat. They may not experience all of these symptoms, but that doesn’t make the urgency any less to act quickly to get your dog medical treatment. The following list are some of the actions you might notice from your dog if they are experiencing dog bloat.
- Pacing and restless. Your dog will have a hard time lying down and getting comfortable. They will be acting very anxious. This is one of the most obvious and early signs to watch for that your dog has bloat. You need to pay close attention to your dog with this behavior. Their behavior will deteriorate to them staggering, possibly collapsing and they will become less responsive.
- Excessive saliva. It can be quite profuse. They also might do “lip smacking.” They could have almost a foamy saliva coming out of their mouth. They could have large volumes of thick stringy saliva coming out. This is another large sign that your dog could be experiencing bloat.
- Repeatedly trying to vomit with no success. They will gag unproductively, trying to vomit without anything coming out.
- Fast breathing or difficulties breathing. Also, swallow breathing.
- Sits in a hunched position.
- Rapid heart rate. This can be due to the pain and distress they are in. Their body is in a state of shock.
- Whines and tries to find a hiding place.
- Standing with elbows outward and neck extended. Your dog will do this to try to improve their breathing. The bloated stomach will make it difficult for their lungs to expand.
- Drinks water almost continuously.
- Unable to stand on their own.
- Unable to lie down.
- Pawing at their stomach or looking at their stomach.
- Your dog collapses.
- Have pale gums.
- Hard or bloated stomach. This is harder to tell on large dogs or dogs that are deep chested. The stomach may be up behind the rib cage. It will also be less obvious if your dog is overweight or very furry.
Prevention Of Dog Bloat
Any dog breed, or age of dog can experience bloat, but it is more common in deep-chested large breeds. Boxers, Basset Hounds, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Weimaraners and St. Bernards are some breeds that experience bloat more commonly.
Dogs weighing over 99 pounds have a 20% higher risk of experiencing bloat.
Food allergies or inflammatory bowel disease are both things that could slow down movement in the stomach that can contribute to development of bloat. You might want to change your dog’s food to something that they wouldn’t be allergic to.
Feed your dog smaller portions more frequently throughout the day.
Slow down eating. If you are having a hard time getting your dog to slow down when eating, I recommend either purchasing an interactive puzzle feeder, or you can take a muffin or cupcake pan and spread your dogs food between all the different cups. It will take them longer to pick the food out.
Avoid foods with rich fat content, or citric acid. If fat is listed as any of the first 6 ingredients, you should look at getting a different food.
The following things can increase the risk of bloat.
- Having 1 large meal a day. Break your dog’s meals into at least 2 or 3 meals.
- Eating too quickly.
- A lot of running before and after eating.
- Related dogs that have had bloat. Some will be genetics.
- Eating or drinking too much.
How Dog Bloat Is Treated
Immediately seek veterinarian attention. If your vet isn’t available, find another vet or go to an animal ER. Call ahead so they can prepare for your arrival and help save time once you arrive.
If your dog has a more mild case of bloat, meaning the stomach isn’t twisted or GDV, the veterinarian will most likely pass a plastic tube into the stomach through the mouth to allow the gas to escape.
If your dog has GDV, your dog will require surgery, and time is of the essence. They will need to operate immediately in order to save your dog. The cost can range from $2500 – $5000 if you don’t have pet insurance.
Expect that your dog will have to spend at least one night at the animal hospital as they will have IV’s that they will be fed through.
I can not stress enough, how important it is for you to contact your vet immediately if you dog is showing any dog bloat symptoms. The quicker the better for your dog to have a chance to survive.
It is not possible for home treatment of dog bloat.
Make sure that you are familiar with dog bloat symptoms so you are able to act quickly if the unfortunate situation arises for your dog.
Please leave any questions or comments below and I will get back with you. But if your dog is experiencing dog bloat symptoms, contact your vet for immediate care.
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