Bloat and GDV
All dogs are at risk of bloat. Large chested breeds like our beloved sighthounds are more prone to bloat.
When bloat occurs, the dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid and/or food. The enlarged stomach puts pressure on other organs, can cause difficulty breathing, and eventually may decrease blood supply to a dog’s vital organs.
People often use the word “bloat” to refer to a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), gastric torsion and twisted stomach. This condition can cause death in a matter of hours. Even with immediate treatment around 30% of dogs die from it.
- Distended abdomen
- Retching without producing anything
- Excessive salivation
- Shortness of breath
- Cold body temperature
- Pale gums
- Rapid heartbeat
- Repeated attempts at toileting
Causes of Bloat
- Rapid eating
- Eating one large meal daily rather then two or more smaller meals.
- Over eating or over drinking
- Heavy exercise after eating
- Stress or trauma
- Other underlying issues with the gut and sometimes hormones.
The cause of GDV is currently unknown.
- Feed your dog several small meals spread across the day
- Maintain your dog’s appropriate weight.
- Limit exercise before and after meals.
- Feed your dog with a raised feeding bowl.
If you suspect that your dog has bloat or GDV please call your vet immediately.