Everything Dog Owners Need to Know About Bloat

If you’re a dog owner in West Des Moines, IA, gaining a basic understanding of a dog’s general health concerns can make the difference in leading a healthy life with your pet. An important issue to be aware of is stomach torsion, or bloat. This can be a serious—and even deadly—problem if it’s not taken care of right away. Read on to learn about bloat in dogs and the signs you need to look for.

How does bloat in dogs occur?

Learning a bit about a dog’s bodily functions helps you gain a basic understanding of what causes stomach torsion. The truth is that animal scientists don’t have a clear idea of why bloat occurs in dogs, but there’s a general consensus that a dog’s organs can shift in dogs with larger abdomens. The shift is thought to be triggered by anxiety or diet.

What breeds are most susceptible to bloat?

There are some breeds that are more prone to experiencing bloat than others. It can be a big problem for large dogs with deep chests and small waists. If you own a Great Dane, Weimaraner, St. Bernard, Irish Setter or Standard Poodle, you should always be on the lookout for signs of bloat.

What are the signs of bloat?

There are two major signs to look out for when it comes to doggie bloat. You might notice your dog’s belly is distended. Look for changes in the shape of your dog’s abdomen—it will take an unnatural form that you’ll likely notice right away. Another sign is unproductive belching or vomiting, similar to a dry heave. Your dog is trying to get rid of discomfort any way she can but won’t be able to due to blockage. You also might notice rapid, panicked breathing and pale gums. If you spot any of these symptoms, get your furry friend to a vet right away.

How is bloat treated?

If your dog shows severe symptoms of bloat, a vet will first X-ray your pup to see if surgery is needed. Treatment varies depending on severity. Your vet might insert a stomach tube to try to decompress the bloated stomach, or they may puncture the abdominal wall and use a catheter to release the gas and immediately relieve your dog’s symptoms.

How can you prevent bloat?

While bloat can’t be completely prevented, there are several proactive steps you can take to reduce the chances that your furry friend experiences bloat:

  • Feed your dog small meals of only whole foods, several times each day. It helps keep the stomach wall strong and prevents gas buildup or torsion.
  • Wait at least one hour after meals before you play or exercise with your dog.
  • Limit your dog’s water intake after meals. It can make some foods, especially dry food, expand and inhibit digestion.

Gaining an understanding of what causes stomach torsion, as well as how to prevent it, helps you keep your furry friend in West Des Moines, IA happy and healthy. While there’s no foolproof method to prevent bloat, you need to know what to do if it occurs. Contact Canine Country Club today to gain an improved understanding of how to keep your dog as healthy as possible.

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