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Old 07-19-2009, 04:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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BLOAT (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus)

Bloat is a very serious health risk for many dogs, yet many dog owners know very little about it. According to the links below, it is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer. It is frequently reported that deep-chested dogs, such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Dobermans are particularly at risk. This page provides links to information on bloat and summarizes some of the key points we found in the sites we researched. Although we have summarized information we found about possible symptoms, causes, methods of prevention, and breeds at risk, we cannot attest to the accuracy. Please consult with your veterinarian for medical information.

If you believe your dog is experiencing bloat, please get your dog to a veterinarian immediately! Bloat can kill in less than an hour, so time is of the essence. Notify your vet to alert them you're on your way with a suspected bloat case. Better to be safe than sorry!

The technical name for bloat is "Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus" ("GDV"). Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air (although food and fluid can also be present). It usually happens when there's an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid, and/or foam in the stomach ("gastric dilatation"). Stress can be a significant contributing factor also. Bloat can occur with or without "volvulus" (twisting). As the stomach swells, it may rotate 90 to 360, twisting between its fixed attachments at the esophagus (food tube) and at the duodenum (the upper intestine). The twisting stomach traps air, food, and water in the stomach. The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs. The combined effect can quickly kill a dog.

Be prepared! Know in advance what you would do if your dog bloated.
  • If your regular vet doesn't have 24-hour emergency service, know which nearby vet you would use. Keep the phone number handy.
  • Always keep a product with simethicone on hand (e.g., Mylanta Gas (not regular Mylanta), Gas-X, etc.) in case your dog has gas. If you can reduce or slow the gas, you've probably bought yourself a little more time to get to a vet if your dog is bloating.
This information is not intended to replace advice or guidance from veterinarians or other pet care professionals. It is simply being shared as an aid to assist you with your own research on this very serious problem.

Symptoms

Typical symptoms often include some (but not necessarily all) of the following, according to the links below. Unfortunately, from the onset of the first symptoms you have very little time (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours) to get immediate medical attention for your dog. Know your dog and know when it's not acting right.

  • Attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful); may occur every 5-20 minutes
    This seems to be one of the most common symptoms & has been referred to as the "hallmark symptom"
  • Doesn't act like usual self
    Perhaps the earliest warning sign & may be the only sign that almost always occurs
  • Significant anxiety and restlessness
    One of the earliest warning signs and seems fairly typical
  • "Hunched up" or "roached up" appearance
    This seems to occur fairly frequently
  • Bloated abdomen that may feel tight (like a drum)
    Despite the term "bloat," many times this symptom never occurs or is not apparent
  • Pale or off-color gums
    Dark red in early stages, white or blue in later stages
  • Lack of normal gurgling and digestive sounds in the tummy
    Many dog owners report this after putting their ear to their dog's tummy
  • Coughing
  • Unproductive gagging
  • Heavy salivating or drooling
  • Foamy mucous around the lips, or vomiting foamy mucous
  • Unproductive attempts to defecate
  • Whining
  • Pacing
  • Licking the air
  • Seeking a hiding place
  • Looking at their side or other evidence of abdominal pain or discomfort
  • May refuse to lie down or even sit down
  • May stand spread-legged
  • May attempt to eat small stones and twigs
  • Drinking excessively
  • Heavy or rapid panting
  • Shallow breathing
  • Cold mouth membranes
  • Apparent weakness; unable to stand or has a spread-legged stance
    Especially in advanced stage
  • Accelerated heartbeat
    Heart rate increases as bloating progresses
  • Weak pulse
  • Collapse
Causes

According to the links below, it is thought that the following may be the primary contributors to bloat. To calculate a dog's lifetime risk of bloat according to Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine, click here.

Stress

  • Dog shows, mating, whelping, boarding, change in routine, new dog in household, etc.
    Although purely anecdotal, we've heard of too many cases where a dog bloated after a 3rd dog was brought into the household (perhaps due to stress regarding pack order).
  • Activities that result in gulping air
Eating habits, especially...
  • Elevated food bowls
  • Rapid eating
  • Eating dry foods that contain citric acid as a preservative (the risk is even worse if the owner moistens the food)
  • Eating dry foods that contain fat among the first four ingredients
  • Insufficient Trypsin (a pancreatic enzyme present in meat)
  • Dilution of gastric juices necessary for complete digestion by drinking too much water before or after eating
  • Eating gas-producing foods (especially soybean products, brewer's yeast, and alfalfa)
Exercise before and especially after eating
Heredity (especially having a first-degree relative who has bloated)
Build & Physical Characteristics

  • Having a deep and narrow chest compared to other dogs of the same breed
  • Older dogs
  • Males
  • Being underweight
Disposition
  • Fearful or anxious temperament
  • Prone to stress
  • History of aggression toward other dogs or people
Prevention
Some of the advice in the links below for reducing the chances of bloat are:
  • Avoid highly stressful situations. If you can't avoid them, try to minimize the stress as much as possible. Be extra watchful.
    Can be brought on by dog shows, mating, whelping, boarding, new dog in household, change in routine, etc.
  • Do not use an elevated food bowl
  • Do not exercise for several hours (e.g., 2 or 3) before and especially after eating
    Particularly don't permit your dog to roll over, which could cause the stomach to twist
  • Do not permit rapid eating
    Feed 2 or 3 meals daily, instead of just one
  • Do not give water one hour before or after a meal
    It dilutes the gastric juices necessary for proper digestion, which leads to gas production.
  • Always keep a product with simethicone (e.g., Mylanta Gas (not regular Mylanta), Phazyme, Gas-X, etc.) on hand to treat gas symptoms.
    Some recommend giving your dog simethicone immediately if your dog burps more than once or shows other signs of gas.
    Some report relief of gas symptoms with teaspoon of nutmeg or the homeopathic remedy Nux moschata 30
  • Allow access to fresh water at all times, except before and after meals
  • Make meals a peaceful, stress-free time
  • When switching dog food, do so gradually (allow several weeks)
  • Do not feed dry food exclusively
  • Feed a high-protein (>30%) diet, particularly of raw meat
  • If feeding dry food, avoid foods that contain fat as one of the first four ingredients
  • If feeding dry foods, avoid foods that contain citric acid
    If you must use a dry food containing citric acid, do not pre-moisten the food
  • If feeding dry food, select one that includes rendered meat meal with bone product among the first four ingredients
  • Reduce carbohydrates as much as possible (e.g., typical in many commercial dog biscuits)
  • Feed a high-quality diet
    Whole, unprocessed foods are especially beneficial
  • Feed adequate amount of fiber (for commercial dog food, at least 3.00% crude fiber)
  • Add an enzyme product to food (e.g., Prozyme)
  • Include herbs specially mixed for pets that reduce gas (e.g., N.R. Special Blend)
    Avoid brewer's yeast, alfalfa, and soybean products
  • Promote an acidic environment in the intestine
    Some recommend 1-2 Tablespoons of Aloe Vera Gel or 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar given right after each meal
  • Promote "friendly" bacteria in the intestine, e.g. from yogurt or supplemental acidophilus
    Avoids fermentation of carbohydrates, which can cause gas quickly. This is especially a concern when antibiotics are given since they tend to reduce levels of "friendly" bacteria.
And perhaps most importantly, know your dog well so you'll know when your dog just isn't acting normally.

Breeds At Greatest Risk
Breeds most at risk:

  • Afghan Hound
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Basset Hound
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Borzoi
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Boxer
  • Bullmastiff
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Collie
  • Dachshund
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Golden Retriever
  • Gordon Setter
  • Great Dane
  • German Shepherd
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Irish Setter
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • King Shepherd
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Newfoundland
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Pekinese
  • Rottweiler
  • Samoyed
  • Shiloh Shepherd
  • St. Bernard
  • Standard Poodle
  • Weimaraner
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Old 07-19-2009, 04:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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good post dude!
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Thanks! it is about time we do a post about it.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks... They didnt mention dogs like the AmStaff, but for that reason i never feed right before exercise, and i dont even like to give raw hide...
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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good post i didn't even know bout this
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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bloat is just the stomach distended.
torsion is when it twists and turns on its self.

good post OZ
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I did not know that you shouldnt allow your dog to have water one hour before and after a meal.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I did not know that you shouldnt allow your dog to have water one hour before and after a meal.

everything varies dog to dog. what really makes the scenario ugly is if you have a dog that wolfs it all down, water or food. if you dog wolfs his food down, i wouldnt let him play until an hour went by. if he eats modestly, then 30-45 should do the trick,etc
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I figured it was more towards the dogs that are more prone to getting bloat, but it is still a fact that I did not know.
I walk her for two miles and play with her until she is tired. Then after about an hour or so, I feed her in the evening. She doesnt eat all her food in seconds but she doesnt waste any time either. She doesnt drink all her water though after eating. Just a few licks. But I am going to be a little more cautious about it.

By the way StaffyDaddy as always
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
 

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Unhappy My pitbull died of Bloat ...

or so the stupid vets think. But instead of drawing blood first, they did X-Rays of his stomach, it showed that he had fluid in his stomach, they gave us this white powder for parasites, they said it was either parasites or he could have had a heart problem...

My aunt first noticed his fat belly when she asked me if that dog was pregnant, I told her that Rebel was male, that made me think at first I just thought he was a puggy boy, but his stomach continued to get bigger and I got worried, so I called the local vet hospital down here, they let my dog suffer and die...

He passed away on April 1st, 2011... April Fools Day ... He was bought for my son, they were the same age and he was stunningly beautiful and such a sweet boy ... I miss him so much, he was my baby too...
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