What in the world is canine bloat? Normally found in larger breeds this condition is a build-up of gas in the stomach of your dog who is unable to pass this gas, and causes bloating of the stomach. It can quickly become a deadly problem. Cancer is the number one cause of death for dogs, but bloating of the stomach is the second leading cause of death.
Canine bloat is the building of unreleased gas in the dog’s stomach when the stomach begins to twist from 180 to a complete 360 degree rotation at the entrance or esophagus, and at the duodenum or exit of the dog’s stomach leading to the intestines and bowels. This twisting closes off the entrance and exit points leading to gas build-up. The dog is unable to release the gas and if untreated he or she will die. The cause for this condition has yet to be determined. Current studies have concluded the condition is brought on by a dog drinking and eating in excessive amounts and then engaging in strenuous exercise. This results in the food and water becoming gaseous.
The condition is fatal in extreme cases with the dog going into shock, and then a coma, and then death. Not a very pretty thought, so what can we as responsible dog owners do to protect our wonderful pets from this awful condition? Knowing what we can do is where we start to prevent canine bloat. First, keep your dog as free of stress as possible, elevate the food or water bowls, feed your dog smaller amounts of food two to four times a day, Do not allow them to drink water quickly right after eating, take their food away if they begin to gulp their food as fast as they can, and add a quality enzyme to their food to speed digestion. Your vet can recommend what product is best suited to your breed and the dog’s condition.
Here are some symptoms to watch for, according to Pets.WebMD.com:
The classic signs of bloat are restlessness and pacing, salivation, retching, unproductive attempts to vomit, and enlargement of the abdomen. The dog may whine or groan when you press on his belly. Thumping the abdomen produces a hollow sound.
Unfortunately, not all cases of bloat present with typical signs. In early bloat the dog may not appear distended, but the abdomen usually feels slightly tight. The dog appears lethargic, obviously uncomfortable, walks in a stiff-legged fashion, hangs his head, but may not look extremely anxious or distressed.
If your otherwise healthy dog starts developing some of the above symptoms, don’t take a chance: get it to a vet immediately.
Large breeds are most susceptible but this can affect smaller breeds as well as puppies in rare instances.
Breeds most likely to suffer canine bloat include Dobermans, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Bloodhound, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setter, Irish Sheepdog, Boxer, Newfoundland, Labrador Retriever, Old English Sheepdog, Rottweiler, Akita, and Standard Poodle.
How can you lessen the chances of your dog getting dog bloat? Sadly, it is quite difficult as there can be many causes and symptoms. If you suspect your dog has canine bloat quickly get the dog to your vet for diagnosis and treatment.
Have you had a dog with this problem? Please share this article with other dog owners.