When you hear the word “bloat” in reference to dogs, it usually means that the dog’s stomach has become distended and twisted.
The stomach might also fill with gas or fluid. This condition is called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).
It’s a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate surgery, but if your dog does survive, he’s likely to need care for weeks afterward.
What causes bloat in dogs?
Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with too much air or gas.
It can also happen if the stomach twists on itself, causing it to become blocked by the twist in its digestive tract.
The gas builds up inside the dog’s abdomen, causing it to swell out of proportion and to press against other organs such as the lungs and intestines.
If this pressure isn’t relieved quickly enough by surgery, it can kill your pooch within just a few hours.
There are several causes of bloat:
- Dogs who eat rapidly or drink large amounts of water after eating may be more likely to develop bloat than dogs who are slower eaters or drink smaller amounts of water after eating
- Some breeds are predisposed to bloat — they’re more likely to get this condition than other breeds. These breeds include:
- Great Dane; Boxer; Irish Setter; St. Bernard; Weimaraner; American Cocker Spaniel; English Springer Spaniel; Irish Wolfhound; German Shepherd Dog.
How do I know if my dog is bloated?
The most common sign of bloat is abdominal distension — or an obvious increase in the size of your dog’s abdomen.
This can happen suddenly or gradually over a period of time. It may feel like there is an unusual amount of empty space inside his stomach or like he has eaten too much food at one time.
However, it’s important to note that excessive eating does not cause bloat in dogs; rather it is caused by improper digestion of food in the stomach and intestines due to stress or excitement (such as during exercise).
Will a dog go to sleep if they have bloat?
A dog with bloat may not sleep at all. That’s because the condition is caused by a build-up of gas in the stomach, which causes the stomach to twist and can be fatal.
The dog might sleep more than usual, however, when they’re recovering from surgery to remove the excess gas.
In addition, if your dog has been diagnosed with gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) you should expect him to sleep a lot more than usual.
A dog with GDV will experience severe pain, so he’ll probably try to find a comfortable position to lie down in. You may also see him pawing at his stomach and breathing heavily.
If you’ve got a dog that suffers from bloat, it is vitally important to keep an eye on them.
Bloat can be fatal for dogs, but it’s often reversible if caught early enough.
If you’ve got a dog with this problem in your life, we hope these tips help you to recognize the signs of bloat and fix the problem before it develops into something much more dangerous.