What Is Canine Bloat?

If you are a fan of barrel-chested breeds, deep-chested dog breeds and large dogs in general, then it is likely that you have heard the term ” canine bloat” thrown around before. Today here at the Leesville Animal Hospital blog we want to talk a little bit about just what canine bloat is.

Canine Bloat and Gastric Torsion

Canine Bloat

Image Courtesy of Flickr User Leia

What is Canine Bloat?

By virtue of their anatomy, barrel-chested breeds, deep-chested dog breeds and large dogs, in general, are all much more prone to canine bloat than other breeds. Just what is canine bloat we hear you ask? Bloat is exactly what it sounds like and is caused when too much gas or too much fluid enters the stomach and causes the stomach to bloat. In some cases, this bloating becomes so severe that the stomach begins to rotate. Partial rotation of the stomach is referred to as gastric torsion. Complete rotation of the stomach is referred to as gastric volvulus. All of these conditions are serious and require veterinary interception. Your veterinarian will be able to relieve the pressure caused by the bloating and if caught in time, prevent the stomach from rotating which can be fatal.

Preventing Canine Bloat

There are a number of theories as to how canine bloat can be avoided.Feeding smaller meals throughout the day (2 to 3 meals) as opposed to feeding one large meal is the most recommended method of avoiding bloat. It is also recommended that your dog avoid rough play or strenuous exercise one hour before eating and two hours after eating as this can contribute to gas buildup in the stomach. Avoid allowing your dog to drink large quantities of water after eating as this promotes the expansion of the kibble in your dog’s stomach. It is also helpful to feed your large breed dog from a raised feeder.

While these recommendations can help to reduce the incidence of bloat in your dog, they will not prevent all cases of bloating.

Signs of Canine Bloat

– Salivation and drooling excessively
– Restlessness
– Inability to lie down comfortably
-Fruitless attempts to vomit or defecate
– Abdominal pain and distension

Any dog that shows signs of canine bloat should be taken to the vet immediately for veterinary treatment.

Signs of Torsion

Torsion is a more severe form of illness that transpires in some cases of bloating. Signs that your dog may be experiencing torsion include:

– Pale gums
– Collapse
-Rapid breathing
– Other symptoms of shock

Any dog that shows symptoms of torsion should be taken to the vet IMMEDIATELY for surgical intervention.

What You Should Know About Canine Bloat

There are some facts that all dog owners should be aware of when it comes to canine bloat.

– 66% of dogs that experience bloating are male.
– The most common age for canine bloating is between 4 and 7 yrs.- Canine bloating rarely occurs in small breeds and is most common in Labrador retrieves, German shepherds, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Irish setters, St. Bernard and other large breeds with barrel chests or large chests.
– Dogs that bloat almost always eats a diet of dry kibble.
– Some studies show a familial connection with bloating so it is important to know your dog’s history is possible.

If you suspect that your dog is experiencing canine bloat and are a client of Leesville Animal Hospital or live in the Raleigh, NC area, call us immediately at (919)870-7000.

If your dog is experiencing symptoms after the following Leesville Animal Hospital hours:

Mon: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
Tue: 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Wed: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thu: 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Fri: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sat: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sun: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Call your local emergency vet.

Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care
409 Vick Ave
(919) 781-5145

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine Emergency Clinic
1052 William Moore Dr.

Quail Corners Animal Hospital
1613 E Millbrook Rd

Our Hours

Monday: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Wednesday: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sunday: Boarding pick up 5 – 6 p.m.

Call Us: (919) 870-7000
Visit Us: 9309 Leesville Rd,
                 Raleigh, N.C. 27613


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