A lot of people do not know about bloating in dogs—and few of us are fortunate to get the necessary information to help us when our dogs are suffering from this ailment. Vets tell us that gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), or bloat, as it is commonly called, is a life-threatening condition that primarily occurs in large, deep-chested breeds of dogs.
Some pet owners may be relieved somewhat if they should have a smaller breed of animal, such as a cocker spaniel, and think they should not be too concerned. This is not the case.
Examples of these large breeds include Dobermans, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Greyhounds, and any type of Setter. However, bloat can occur in any breed of dog. Just remember to pay close attention to your dog’s chest area. Bloat occurs when air, fluid or foam accumulates abnormally in the stomach, causing it to expand.
This may or may not be accompanied by a twisting of the stomach. If the stomach twists on itself it is a case of GDV, according to vet professionals. Dilatation of the stomach by itself is not a life-threatening condition, but when GDV occurs it is an emergency situation and the prognosis for your dog is extremely guarded. Only about 50% of dogs diagnosed with GDV survive.
No one knows exactly what causes bloat, but there are some theories on how to prevent it. It is recommended that you feed your dog multiple small meals throughout the day rather than one large meal, as well as not letting him eat or drink too much within one hour of exercise. Even some smaller breeds of dogs become more vulnerable as some of them like to eat large meals.
Bloat occurs at a fast rate. Signs of bloat include an obviously expanded stomach, repeated unsuccessful attempts to vomit, drooling, and general abdominal discomfort. This is usually evidenced by pacing and general restlessness. The abdomen will feel like a drum. If this occurs in your dog, rush him to a veterinarian immediately! This is a potentially life-threatening situation that can only be resolved by immediate veterinary intervention.
All pet owners should check with their vets for further information on their pets' general health; other important helpful points, in addition to those stated above, can be obtained from vet professionals who are used to seeing various kinds of pets and therefore, can provide assistance to pet owners.