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Bonnie Dogs Blog - Dog Caring, Measuring and Grooming
27th Jan 2015
Gastric Volvulus also known as Bloat is a life threatening condition that can occur in a dogs life. Bloat occurs when the dogs stomach fills with food, fluid or air and the enlarged stomach puts too much pressure on the dogs vital organs causing them trouble to breath and discomfort, blood supply to the dogs organs can also be reduced to the pressure.
Bloat is also a way of describing stomach torsion or a twisted stomach. Whether your dogs stomach enlarged or twisted your dog requires emergency Veterinary treatment as they are all serious conditions.
What are the Symptoms of Bloat?
Symptoms of bloat can include:
- Distended Abdomen
- Enlarged Stomach
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Attempting to vomit
- Pale gums
- Body is cold ( Body temperature cold)
If you put slight pressure onto the dogs tummy they may whimper showing that they are in discomfort.
What causes Bloat?
The cause of bloat is unknown, however, there are some factors that people believe that can have an impact on the condition. For example, eating meals too quickly, eating larger meals, stress, trauma, exercising too soon after meals, over drinking and hormonal secretion.
What shall I do if I think my dog has bloat?
If you feel that your dog may have bloat contact your dogs Vet immediately as they will be able to give you advice on what your dog is experiencing. Bloat is very serious and needs to be treated as an emergency. Depending on the type of bloat your dog may require X-Rays.
How is Bloat treated?
The Vet will be able to determine the bloat your dog is suffering depending on their symptoms and lifestyle. If your dog is suffering from Bloat due to the stomach being enlarged by air a tube will be inserted down your dogs throat and into their stomach to release the air that is causing the pressure. Your Vet will then give you a plan on getting your dog back to a normal routine, this will include a plan on their diet too.
If your Vet feels that your dog may be suffering due to the stomach twisting then an X-ray can confirm this. Your dog will then require surgery to correct this, this may be done by repositioning the dogs stomach so that the risk of it occurring again is reduced.
How can you prevent Bloat from occurring?
There are certain things that you can do to try and help prevent bloat from occurring.
Make sure that the dogs meals are spread equally apart, for example a meal in the morning and a meal in the evening.
Feed your dog a hypo-allergenic food that does not contain citric acid.
Feeding your dog on the floor is better for their digestive system, if you feed them from a bowl that is raised in can make them scoff the food down faster, whereas if it is on the floor they have to pick the food up and chew it more to swallow it.
If your dog does tend to eat their food quickly, try them with a slow down bowl which has raised parts inside the bowl making it harder for your dog to eat it so quickly.
Avoid walking your dog after meals. Wait at least an hour after a meal before a walk to ensure their food has properly been digested.
Letting dogs drink plenty of water in one go can be quite dangerous. Always make sure your dog has fresh water available and leave a suitable amount in the bowl.
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