As a small animal veterinarian, I usually inform my new pet parents about common serious diseases that need immediate treatment, and the indicative clinical signs. When it comes to large breed dogs, an illness called bloat is at the top of my list of those serious diseases. Bloat could be a deadly disease otherwise treated immediately, so it's vital that you be familiar with the signs and symptoms of bloat in dogs. There are also certain breeds of dogs which are more predisposed to bloat.

Read onto find out about the reasons for bloat, clinical indications of bloat in dogs you need to be conscious of, common prevention measures and dog bloat treatment.

What Is Bloat?

Bloat is really a symptom in dogs that results from the stomach becoming severely inflated with gas. In severe cases, the stomach can twist upon itself producing a condition called gastric dilation volvulus (GDV). Gastric dilation volvulus is an extremely serious condition and may result in death if not treated immediately.

What Causes Bloat?

Canine bloat is a condition that is not completely understood by veterinarians, and we don't know the exact causes of bloat. We all do know that certain breeds of dogs tend to be more susceptible to this condition. Generally speaking, large breed dogs with barrel shaped chests-such as Great Danes, large hound breeds, Saint Bernards and Standard Poodles-are additionally identified as having bloat. But that is not saying small breed dogs do not get it. Also, males suffer with bloat additionally than females, also it generally involves middle-aged pets.

Many dogs with bloat present with a good reputation for eating or drinking a lot followed with excessive activity, for example running.

What Are the Symptoms of Bloat in Dogs?

  • Panting
  • Excessive salivation or drooling
  • Retching
  • Vomiting
  • Distended abdomen
  • Painful abdomen
  • Unable to obtain comfortable and lie down
  • Pacing

If you note these clinical signs of bloat in dogs, immediately have your pet evaluated by your veterinarian. There is nothing that you can do to alleviate bloat at home for your pet; your veterinarian is your best resource.

How Do You Diagnose Bloat?

Bloat is diagnosed from your veterinarian using abdominal radiographs (X-rays) and blood work.

How Do You Treat Bloat?

Dogs that are identified as having gastric dilation volvulus need immediate surgery. This serious condition is fatal without veterinary intervention. The more your pet experiences bloat without treatment, the worst the prognosis is perfect for recovery.

Dog bloat treatment involves abdominal surgery where the stomach is reduced back to its normal position. The stomach will be sutured towards the abdominal wall utilizing a procedure known as a gastropexy. If there has been extensive harm to the spleen, it's surgically removed. Post-operative, your dog requires hospitalization, fluid therapy and monitoring of significant signs and heart rate.

How Are you able to Prevent Canine Bloat?

Although little is famous about the cause of bloat in dogs, it is possible to prevent it. If you're concerned that your pet may be at risk for bloat, speak with your veterinarian. Performing preventative gastropexy involves attaching the stomach towards the abdominal wall therefore it cannot twist upon itself. Many pet parents have this procedure performed on their own pets when they are sinking anesthesia for spay or neuter surgery.

There are also noninvasive methods to perform this process utilizing a scope. Even though the research has not been definitive on these recommendations, I advise my pet parents to:

  • Feed small meals throughout the day, or feed slower. I like Outward Hound Fun Feeder Interactive Dog Bowl, Wag Haus Guzzle Muzzle Slow Feeder Dog Bowl and the Dogit Go Slow Anti-Gulping Dog Bowl to slow down the feeding.
  • Feed from an elevated food bowl to prevent your dog needing to lean down to eat.
  • Offer your dog water at all times in a small amount.
  • Try to reduce your pet's stress, especially around feeding time.
  • Help your dog avoid excessive activity after meals.

Bloat can be very scary, especially because it could be deadly if not caught early. I hope this article helps pet parents become aware of this disease and also the common ways to help dogs with bloat. Of course, the health and wellness of pets is my main concern. For those who have any questions or concerns, visit or call the vet; they're your best resource to guarantee the health and well-being of the pets.