Usually, when we are bloated, it is nothing that a little Pepto or Alka-Seltzer can’t fix. Unfortunately, for our dogs, it can be a little bit more serious. When bloating in dogs happen, their stomach fills with gas, food or fluid and makes it expand. When this happens in our dogs it puts pressure on other organs. And just like us, it’s no fun to have this feeling and can lead to some serious consequences. 

This can cause problems such as:

  • Tears in the stomach
  • Difficulty breathing
  • No blood flow to the heart or stomach lining

Sometimes a dog’s stomach will actually rotate or twist. This is what veterinarians refer to as gastric dilation volvulus. When this happens, blood in the stomach gets trapped and blocks it from returning to the heart and body, this can lead to shock.

Symptoms of dog bloat:

  • Signs of stomach aches
  • Drooling
  • Swollen stomach
  • Pacing
  • Dry heaves (vomiting, but nothing comes up)

More serious symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Collapse
  • Pale gums
  • Weakness

Therefore any of these symptoms should be a red flag. If you are worried about your dog and see any of these symptoms call your vet right away.

What Causes Dog Bloat?

It can be hard to tell what causes dog bloat, but thankfully we do know things that put our dogs at risk for it.

  • Eating only one big meal a day
  • Too much running or playing after meals
  • Eating or drinking in excess
  • Meals out of a raised food bowl
  • Eating too quickly
  • Stress

All dogs can end up with this, but it’s more common in large dog breed with deep chests, such as Akitas, Boxers, Great Danes, Setters, Weimaraners, and St. Bernards, etc.

How Can I Prevent Dog Bloat?

While it may be a scary sounding condition,  there are things we can do to prevent it from happening to our fur-babies.

  • Feed them a few small meals throughout the day
  • Make sure they drink plenty of water
  • Don’t allow them to play too much right after a meal

How Is It Treated?

After your dog has been examined, there is a good chance that your vet will put a tube down into the stomach to release pressure. Your vet will test to see if their stomach is twisted. When this occurs, the tube won’t pass from the throat to the stomach. Further more, that means the vet may end up having to use a large hollow needle in the belly to release the pressure.

Unfortunately, dog bloat isn’t as simple as our every day bloating. Just looking at their bloated little bellies is enough to make you feel for them. And that’s why it’s good to know how to prevent it and what to do in case you suspect it in your pet.

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