Stomach bloat in dogs, although very common, can be dangerous and even fatal. As a pet parent, you should know the signs to look out for, so you can have your fur buddy treated immediately.

What is Stomach Bloat In Dogs?

Bloat, as is in its definition, is swell, overfill or being puffed up. In this case, first ruling out pregnancy, your dog’s abdomen is distended and seem to be bigger than usual. 

Have they just had too much for lunch, or is it something more serious?

Considered “the mother of all emergencies”, stomach bloat in dogs is medically known as Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV). It is the condition when gas, food, fluid or other substances force the stomach to stretch, spin around itself or get twisted. When this happens, the bloated stomach puts pressure on other organs and blocks off the blood supply. The stomach substance can not escape. It can cause a tear in the stomach wall.

Signs of Gastric Dilation Volvulus

GDV is extremely painful for your fur babies, so you will see a change in their behaviour when they have the condition. They will seem to have an overall look of distress.

  • Distended, hard abdominal area
  • Constant pacing and restlessness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Unsuccessful retching
  • Panting and rapid breathing
  • Pale gums
  • Inability to stand
  • Collapsing

Causes of Gastric Dilation Volvulus

The actual cause is uncertain, but some things may trigger the condition.

  • Overeating
  • Having a large amount of fluids at one time
  • Eating too quickly
  • Using raised food bowls
  • Strenuous exercising after eating
  • Increased age
  • Stress 
  • Genes 
  • Certain breeds also have a predisposition to GDV. Here are some of them:
    • Akita
    • Boxer
    • Chow Chow
    • Collie
    • Dachshunds
    • German Shepherd
    • Greyhound
    • Mastiff

Treatment for Stomach Bloat In Dogs

Please DO NOT attempt to treat them yourself; there are no home remedies. It should be handled IMMEDIATELY by a vet to alleviate discomfort and increase the dog’s chance of survival. Unfortunately, this condition can be fatal within an hour if left untreated.

The severity determines the treatment for stomach bloat in dogs. It can involve:

  • Pet stabilisation 
  • Stomach decompression
  • Gastropexy – surgery to untwist the stomach

Take your dog to your vet right away if you suspect they are suffering from GDV. Remember that with this serious condition, time is truly of the essence.

Related Article:

10 Symptoms In Pets that You Shouldn’t Ignore

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