When your dog experiences bloat, this means her stomach has filled with gas, food, or fluid. The expanding stomach presses on her other organs, blocking blood flow and making it difficult for your dog to breathe. Sometimes, the stomach twists, leading to a condition called gastric dilation volvulus. This traps blood in the stomach, preventing it from returning to the heart and causing your dog to go into shock.
Any dog can develop bloat, and vets aren’t even positive what causes it. Your dog may have an increased risk if she’s a deep-chested large breed with a genetic disposition toward the condition. She also increases her risk by eating or drinking too much too quickly, or by behaving rambunctiously before or after a meal. Even stress can bring on the condition.
Dog bloat is a dangerous condition that can threaten your pup’s life. Since it comes on suddenly, you need to learn the symptoms of dog bloat so you can get prompt help when your dog needs it.
If you need emergency services, call Germantown Vet or visit our clinic immediately at 19911 Father Hurley Blvd, Germantown, Maryland 20874.
Symptoms of Dog Bloat
During early stages of dog bloat, your pup may show signs that her stomach hurts. These symptoms include:
- Restlessness and anxiousness
- Swollen abdomen
- Attempting to vomit
As bloat worsens, your dog will show unmistakable signs that she needs treatment, including:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Pale gums
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness and collapsing
What to Do If Your Dog has Bloat
If you have even the slightest suspicion that your dog has bloat, rush her to Germantown Vet Clinic right away. It’s better to be wrong than to wait too long to get your pup the treatment she needs.
- Release pressure: When you arrive at the vet, the initial goal is to release pressure from the stomach. The first method is to insert a tube down your dog’s throat and into the stomach. If twisting prevents the tube from passing through, the vet will insert a large, hollow needle directly through your dog’s abdomen and into her stomach to relieve pressure this way.
- Treat shock: If lack of blood flow has caused your pup to enter a state of shock, the vet will give her fluids through an IV, steroids or antibiotics.
- Untwist the stomach: The vet takes x-rays to see if your dog’s stomach is twisted. If so, she may need emergency surgery to return the stomach to its normal position. During surgery, the vet also checks the condition of other organs to make sure your pup is okay. To prevent bloat from threatening your dog’s life ever again, the vet will affix the stomach in the right place.
How to Prevent Dog Bloat
Bloat is a scary condition for any pet owner to witness. To help prevent it, follow these steps:
- Feed your dog from a bowl placed directly on the floor, unless your vet asserts that your dog needs a raised bowl.
- Restrict your dog’s playtime immediately before and after meals.
- Feed your dog three or four small meals throughout the day instead of one or two large meals.
- Take the water bowl away if your dog appears to be drinking too much at once.
If you have any more questions about dog bloat, please contact us online or by phone at 240-252-7467. If you think your dog may be suffering from this dangerous condition, rush her to Germantown Vet Clinic right away for treatment.