Health & Wellness
Your pup, like many others, is famous for devouring their food just seconds after their bowl hits the ground. Their excitement over meals is understandable (afterall, those zoomies can really work up an appetite!), but quick eating can cause health issues — like bloat. Veterinarian and pet health advocate Dr. Aliya McCullough explains everything pet parents need to know about this serious condition.
Bloat (also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV) happens when a dog's (or puppy’s) stomach fills with air or fluid and then twists on itself, which cuts off the blood supply to the stomach. If left untreated, bloat can be a rapidly progressing, fatal condition in just a few hours.
This condition is most commonly seen in dogs older than 5 and large breeds, like Great Danes, boxers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Gordon and Irish Setters, St. Bernards, standard poodles and Weimaraners. Lean dogs with chests larger than their waists (also known as deep-chested) can also be at risk.
The direct cause of bloat in dogs is unknown, but the following factors can put your pet at risk:
Some of the most common symptoms of bloat in dogs include:
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It’s unlikely that a dog with bloat will poop.
Similar to going to the bathroom, it’s unlikely that a dog with bloat will eat.
Bloat is a medical emergency that requires quick intervention, as it can be fatal. Visit your veterinarian or emergency clinic as soon as possible if you notice signs of bloat in your dog. Bloat in dogs won’t resolve on its own, so it’s important to get help quickly.
It’s always great to have a pet emergency preparedness plan in place, so you can act fast if a surprise health incident occurs.
Pet parents may be able to decrease the risk of bloat in dogs by following these easy tips:
Some dogs experience bloat due to vigorously exercising after a meal. Talk to your vet about how safe it is to exercise your dog after eating, and take it slow even if your vet gives your dog the green light to get active.
Hopefully, bloating isn’t something your pup will ever have to experience, but if it does occur, you’ll know what to look out for and how to act fast.
Photo by Jana Ohajdova on Unsplash