When you hear the word “bloat”, you probably think of having gas in the stomach. The stomach can get bloated when we take various “gassy” foods. While bloating may not be a serious condition in humans, in dogs it can be life-threatening.
Bloating refers to the gas produced in the abdomen when a person swallows gas. Large dogs can suffer from canine bloat, which is a serious condition. However, the severity of canine bloat varies.
A severe form of canine bloat is known as torsion. The dog’s blood supply to the heart can be cut off when torsion occurs. Moreover, toxins will start building in the stomach and affect it.
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Dogs that suffer from torsion are usually in life-threatening periods and require surgery within several hours. Statistics show that about 30 percent of dogs that undergo surgery due to torsion end up dying.
What Breeds Are At Greater Risk For a Bloat?
Deep chested dogs such as the Great Dane, German Shepard and Rottweiler are the ones that are most likely to get a bloat. However, bloat does not only affect these dogs. Bloat can also affect Standard Poodles, Basset Hounds, Blood Hounds and Akitas.
What Are The Major Contributing Factors To Bloat?
Not all dogs get bloat due to the same causes. However, there are some major contributing factors that are believed to cause bloat.
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One of the most common causes of bloat comes from the dog eating so fast that they swallow air and fluids. Dogs that usually eat fast and that are only fed once a day are likely to suffer bloat. However, eating fast is not the only cause of bloating in dogs. Other factors known to contribute to bloating include stress levels, age, and exercising habits of the dog.
Bloating is likely to result if you usually exercising your dog vigorously about an hour before or after he feeds. Bloating is common with dogs that are over four years old. Some dogs have also been found to be more susceptible to bloating due to genetics.
How to Recognize Bloat
The key to saving your pet from bloat is to recognize the symptoms early on. Abdominal swelling after meals is one of the common signs of bloating. Heavy salivating, gagging, whining and dry vomiting are the other signs of bloat. Sometimes, the dog’s heartbeat may also be faster than normal. In the case of volvulus, or torsion, your dog may have a week pulse and or discoloration of the gums (color of the gums can change to a pale color due to the severity of bloat).