When you hear the term “bloated”, you may not give it much credence. It sounds quite benign, probably just a little gas or full feeling from eating. However when it comes to dogs, that is the farthest thing from the truth. Bloat is the second largest killer of dogs, second only to cancer.
Bloat occurs when air fills in the dog’s stomach, putting pressure on surrounding organs and compresses the large veins in the abdomen. This pressure prevents blood from returning to the heart and the stomach can flip. Once the stomach flips, irreversible tissue damage and death begins.
Bloat is an equal opportunity killer, it can happen to any dog. Yes, there are certain predispositions which may make your dog more susceptible, but no dog is immune.
Keep an eye out for these warning signs:
- Lethargic demeanor, wobbling, or trouble standing
- Swollen stomach
- Trying to throw up but nothing comes out
- Pacing and restlessness due to discomfort
- Shallow, short breathing
- Excessive salivation
Watch this very informative video. Thankfully this dog was saved, but you can only save your dog if you quickly notice the signs and immediately get them to a Veterinarian.
Important Concepts to Know:
– Bloat is more likely to occur after eating.
– Dry dog food can increase the chance of bloat, as it expands in the stomach.
– Avoid exercise/intense play (running, jumping, high excitability, etc.) within one hour of eating. Activity just before or immediately after eating can substantially increase the chance of bloat.
– At the first signs of bloat, immediately take your to the Vet. Do NOT wait to see what happens. Dogs only have a couple hours to live once bloat develops – Time Is of the Essence.
– Be cautious of dogs drinking a lot of water right after eating.
– Feeding two or three smaller meals per day is better than one large meal.
– Older dogs and nervous/anxious dogs may be more susceptible.
– When in doubt, take your dog to the nearest Vet. Educate yourself on the location of your nearest 24 Hour Veterinarian clinic.
I am not a Veterinarian, so this article should not be taken as medical advice. I am just a trainer and dog lover who wants to help keep dogs safe and in their homes. Bloat is the second leading cause of death in dogs, so educate yourself with the facts in order to keep your pet safe and healthy. Consult with your Veterinarian on what you should look for and do specifically with your dog.
Steve Reid is a professional dog trainer who specializes in puppy and adult dog training. To learn more about Steve and S.R. Dog Training, visit www.srdogtraining.com. Also become a fan of Steve on Facebook at: www.Facebook.com/SRDogTraining.