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Dog Pet Health: What Is Bloat and What Are Its Symptoms?

Image: Dog Pet Health: What Is Bloat and What Are Its Symptoms?
Tired dog lying on a green grass lawn. (Tommy Schultz/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 19 Jan 2015 03:12 PM

Bloat is a dangerous condition that can develop in otherwise healthy dogs, and recognizing its symptoms and taking prompt action can save your pet’s life.

Bloat can occur quickly — even in healthy, active dogs — often after they eat a lot, exercise strenuously before or after they eat, or when they drink large quantities of water after eating, according to Web MD.

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It is a dangerous condition resulting in death in 50 percent of the cases, said Web MD. Dog owners can make a difference by recognizing symptoms quickly and getting treatment for their dogs.

Bloat is actually the occurrence of two conditions: gastric dilatation and volvulus. In the dilatation process, the dog’s stomach will be bloated with gas and fluid. Volvulus means that the stomach “rotates on its long axis,” Web MD said, and the spleen, which is attached to the stomach wall, rotates with it.

As volvulus occurs, the dog’s anatomy is twisted in such a way that the dog can’t belch or vomit, trapping gas and fluid in the stomach.

PetMD says the symptoms of bloat in dogs include abdominal pain, distention, excessive drooling, and vomiting “to the point of unproductive dry heaving.” The dog may also have labored breathing, a fast heartbeat, and weak pulse.

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“GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Sydrome) is an emergency condition requiring patients to be hospitalized and aggressively treated,” Pet MD said. “If secondary cardiovascular problems are apparent, they will need to be immediately treated.”

Once the heart is stabilized, if necessary, Pet MD said a tube is inserted through the dog’s mouth into the stomach to perform gastric decompression. In some cases, it’s necessary to do surgery to correct the positions of the organs.

Although bloat can occur in any dog, it more often happens to middle-aged to older dogs, and often to large-breed dogs. Deep-chested breeds such as Great Danes, German shepherds, and Labradors tend to have a higher incidence of bloat, although middle-sized dogs can be affected. “Small dogs are rarely affected, with the exception of Dachshunds, who are also deep-chested,” the website said.

VeterinaryPartner.com calls bloat “the mother of all emergencies.”

“There are many injuries and physical disorders that represent life-threatening emergencies,” the website said. “There is only one condition so drastic that it overshadows them all in terms of rapidity of consequences and effort in emergency treatment. This is the gastric dilatation and volvulus — the bloat.”

If you have any concerns that your dog may have bloat, you should take your pet to the vet immediately.

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Bloat is a dangerous condition that can develop in otherwise healthy dogs, and recognizing its symptoms and taking prompt action can save your pet's life.
dog, pet, health, bloat, symptoms
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2015-12-19
Monday, 19 Jan 2015 03:12 PM
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