When most of us think about the word “bloat” we think about the digestive disorder where or abdomen becomes filled up with gas. When you eat various foods that are known to be “gassy”, you may suffer a bloated stomach. Bloating may not be a serious condition among humans but in dogs, it is serious and can even lead to death.
By definition, bloat is abdominal distention caused by swallowed air or gas production. Among dogs, especially the large ones, canine bloat is a serious condition that can affect them. The severity of the condition varies from dog to dog.
When a canine bloat is severe, it is known as torsion. When it occurs, the dog’s blood supply to the heart becomes cut off. 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. According to latest statistics, about one-third of dogs that undergo surgery to cure torsion end up dying.
What Breeds Are At Greater Risk For a Bloat?
Bloat is most common in large deep-chested dogs such as the Great Dane, German Shepherd and Rottweiler. However the dogs in the example are not the only ones susceptible to bloat. Other deep-chested dogs such as Akitas, Bloodhounds, Dobermans, Standard Poodles, Bassett Hounds are also at higher risk for bloat.
Main Causes of Bloat
The cause for bloat does not always happen in the same way for each dog. However, there are some major contributing factors that are believed to cause bloat.
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When dogs eat fast, they are likely to swallow air and fluids, which can lead to bloating. 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. Coming to age, dogs that are over four years old are more likely to suffer from bloating. Some dogs have also been found to be more susceptible to bloating due to genetics.
Symptoms of Bloating
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. Other symptoms of the condition include dry vomiting, heavy salivating, whining and gagging. Your dog may also show signs of pacing, have an excessive heart rate. 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).