WHAT IS BLOAT IN DOGS?
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV), normally referred to as Dog Bloat, is more common than you may think. Bloat is a dangerous medical condition that requires immediate medical attention from a veterinarian. Dog bloat from GDV can be deadly.
Dog bloat from GDV occurs when the dog’s stomach flips, or twists. This rotating motion causes blood to be trapped in the pet’s stomach. This entrapment of blood prevents proper blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body.
CAUSES OF BLOAT FROM GDV
The reality is, it is not quite clear what causes bloat in dogs. However, there are certain factors that may put your pet at risk for bloat:
- Eating fast
- Running and/or playing after eating
- Eating from raised food bowls
- Drinking too much, or too fast
- Eating once a day
- Prior bloat
WHAT BREED OF DOGS ARE MORE PRONE TO BLOAT FROM GDV
Believe it or not, any dog can suffer from bloat. However, there are certain breeds where dog bloat from GDV is more common:
- Deep, barrel chested dogs
- Large breeds like German Shepherds, Retrievers, Boxers, Akitas, and Goldendoodles
- Great Danes, Setters, Weimaraners and St. Bernards tend to be at higher risk
SYMPTOMS OF BLOAT
The signs and symptoms of bloat from GDV tend to appear quickly. It is important that you know and understand the following signs.
- Bloated stomach
- Gagging, or trying to vomit
- Excessive drooling
- Continuous stretching
As the condition continues to worsen, you may notice the following:
- Pale gums
- Passing out, or collapsing
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heartbeat
If you believe your dog is suffering from bloat, seek immediate medical attention. If left untreated, bloat from GDV will more than likely, cause death in your fur baby.
Upon arrival, the veterinarian will evaluate your pet for bloat. He or she may be able to release the pressure without surgery if the bloat is NOT caused by GDV. However, if your pet’s stomach is twisted, your fur baby will require emergency surgery to untwist the stomach and evaluate any damage to other parts of the body.
Typically, your veterinarian will also “fix” your pet’s stomach during surgery. Basically, the stomach will be tacked to help prevent future bloat from GDV. However, keep in mind, tacking the stomach is NOT a full guarantee, or prevention of future bloat.
If in the future, your pet exhibits any of the symptoms of bloat after being tacked, seek immediate medical attention.
In the case of bloat and bloat from GDV, preventive measures may not be a full guarantee. However, doing just a few things may help:
- Do not use raised food bowls
- Feed smaller meals more often throughout the day
- Prevent the pup from running/playing after consuming meals
- Do not allow your fur baby to consume large amounts of water at one sitting
- Have a conversation with your veterinarian about the risk level of bloat from GDV for your pet. Consider tacking your pet’s stomach during spay/neuter.