Many of us have been dog owners all our lives. From the family pet when we were children, to our first “adult” pet, to the ones who may have followed. Oftentimes those pets are dogs.
While Mom and/or Dad may have chosen the first family dog and while that dog’s care ultimately resided with them, with our own pups as we become the adult, we now have the responsibility to keep that dog healthy and happy.
So we learn how much exercise our dog needs, how often they need to go outside for bathroom breaks and what food is best for them. We discover what they love to play with, what scratches they prefer, and how to keep their coats clean and brushed.
It’s an easy groove to fall into, thinking that we’re meeting all our dogs’ needs, until something goes wrong. For many breeds of dogs, a stomach crisis called “bloat” – the medical condition known as gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) – is a danger that is often not known about until it really is too late.
Gastric dilation is where the stomach of the animal expands from gas and food to the point where blood vessels in the stomach are pinched off and the animals breathing is affected.
Volvulus is when the expansion of the stomach causes the stomach to flip over and compress the nerves such that blood flow is stopped to the organ and – if not treated as an emergency with surgery – the animal will not survive.
This condition is commonly known as “bloat.”
Signs of Bloat include:
- An overall look of being in distress, i.e., there’s just something “wrong”
- Restlessness and pacing, with panting and rapid breathing
- Drooling excessively and attempts to vomit with no real success
- A swollen stomach (abdomen) that is painful to the touch
- The animal collapsing or not being able to stand
It is important to note that these signs/symptoms can come on very quickly and with no warning.
By knowing the symptoms of this life-threatening condition, you are one step closer to getting your pet the care it needs to survive.
The attached video is an excellent example of the symptoms of a dog with bloat (dog was treated successfully!):