When most of us think about the word “bloat” we think about the digestive disorder where or abdomen becomes filled up with gas. When you eat various foods that are known to be “gassy”, you may suffer a bloated stomach. Bloating may not be a serious condition among humans but in dogs, it is serious and can even lead to death.
Bloating refers to the gas produced in the abdomen when a person swallows gas. Canine bloat, which is also known as Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, is most common in large breed dogs and is a very serious disorder. The severity of the condition varies from dog to dog.
A severe form of canine bloat is known as torsion. When a dog experiences torsion, the supply of blood to its heart may be cut off. Moreover, the stomach begins to die as toxins build up in it.
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Your dog will have to undergo surgery within a few hours should he suffer from torsion. According to latest statistics, about one-third of dogs that undergo surgery to cure torsion end up dying.
Which Dog Breeds are Prone to Bloating?
Deep chested dogs such as the Great Dane, German Shepard and Rottweiler are the ones that are most likely to get a bloat. However the dogs in the example are not the only ones susceptible to bloat. Other deep-chested dogs such as Akitas, Bloodhounds, Dobermans, Standard Poodles, Bassett Hounds are also at higher risk for bloat.
How Does Bloat Happen?
The cause for bloat does not always happen in the same way for each dog. However, there are specific causes that are common.
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To begin, dogs are likely to get a bloat when they are eating fast, and in the process swallow air and fluids. Bloat is more common in dogs that eat rapidly and are only fed once a day. However, eating fast is not the only cause of bloating in dogs. Some of the other contributing factors to bloat are the dogs exercise habits, age, stress levels, and genetics.
If you exercise your dog by making him do vigorous activities an hour before he east or up to two hours after eating, bloating is likely to result. Coming to age, dogs that are over four years old are more likely to suffer from bloating. Genetics has also been found to contribute to bloating in some dog breeds.
Symptoms of Bloating
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of bloating early on to save your pet. One of the signs of bloating is swelling of the dog’s abdomen after he has finished eating. Other symptoms of the condition include dry vomiting, heavy salivating, whining and gagging. Your dog may also show signs of pacing, have an excessive heart rate. In the case of volvulus, or torsion, your dog may have a week pulse and or discoloration of the gums (color of the gums can change to a pale color due to the severity of bloat).