When humans become gassy or bloated from eating too much, it can
be annoying, but it isn’t a serious issue. However, in dogs, bloat (AKA
gastric dilation) is quite serious and can cause death.
Twisted StomachBloat happens when gasses build up in the abdomen, making it
very swollen. Some gassiness will dissipate by itself, but when bloat hits
all of a sudden, the stomach can swell dramatically, twisting the stomach
cavity, which can lead to a possible cutting off of blood supply. Cats
rarely experience bloat; it occurs most often in big, deep-chested dogs such
as German Shepherds, Labradors, Rottweiler, Akitas, Bloodhounds, Boxers and
others. Bloat occurs in all large breeds.
Weimaraners, Gordon Setter, Borzoi, Mastiffs, Bullmastiffs and Boxers are especially
sensitive and susceptible to developing Gastric Dilation.
exactly is Bloat/ Gastric Dilation and what are the Signs?
Bloat can be fatal and can come on quite quickly. It causes coma, shock and
even death can occur within hours. Your vet can diagnose Canine Bloat with
an x-ray. The diagnosis is given when stomach enlargement due to excessive
gas and/or dilation is present.
Following dilation, volvulus
(torsion) may occur. This is especially dangerous as it closes the esophagus
and pylorus, which prevents the dog from getting rid of gas by belching. It
also stops food from advancing into the intestines and stops the dog from
vomiting. Torsion also stops a major vein that carries blood to the heart,
which can lead to a shock and/or death.
Signs and Symptoms of Canine Bloat:
White or grey colored gums
Stomach makes gurgling
Dog tries to vomit and nothing comes up
Refusal to eat with one
of the listed signs above
Bloat is very serious, but bloat prevention
is quite simple to achieve. Here are some veterinarian recommendations:
Yogurt is as good for dogs as it is for humans! Dog’s
digestive tracts contain good bacteria that help them to digest food
properly. When your dog is lacking these good bacteria, gas and air
accumulates and leads to bloat. To improve your dog’s digestion and prevent
gas from accumulating, give him plain yogurt (no artificial sweeteners).
Give dogs over 15 pounds 1 teaspoon of yogurt a day and one-quarter to
one-half teaspoon for small dogs.
way to improve digestion is to give him or her digestive enzymes on a daily
MSE Daily Boost works wonderfully, and
MSE Microbial Paste should
also be included in your doggie arsenal, especially if you have a large
breed! You can read more about the importance of digestive
Split up Meals
Some dogs scarf down
their food quite quickly, while others take their time. Dogs that eat very
quickly are more likely to develop bloat. Try feeding your dog smaller meals
throughout the day.
Give your dog his own space to eat
without being disturbed by other animals. This will help him to eat slower
and decrease the chances of developing gas, which can lead to bloat.
Switch to All Natural Food
Holistic Vets recommend dogs be fed all
natural food that does not contain fillers, and for good reason. These foods
do not contain ingredients that cause the stomach to well and cause bloat.
Life’s Abundance, which is an all-natural, high quality pet
food created by holistic vet,
Dr. Jane Bicks. Life’s Abundance does not
contain toxic preservatives, wheat, corn, dairy or fillers. It is safe for
all dogs, puppies to seniors.
Cook at Home
Yes, cooking for
your dog is acceptable. Some research states that dogs given homemade food
are not as likely to develop canine bloat. You can find information on the
Web to learn more about
Give your Dog Chamomile
Used in humans with digestive problems,
chamomile will also calm your
dog’s tummy. Prepare chamomile tea like normal, and let it cool until it
reaches room temperature. Give dogs less than fifteen pounds one half
teaspoon a day, and larger dogs 1 tablespoon per day. Mix the tea in with
their food or administer with a syringe before meals.
Soothe your dog
with Slippery Elm
Incessant intestinal issues can be helped with
Digestive Support. This helps to keep the digestive system moving smoothly
and helps dogs that refuse to eat. Digestive Support soothes gastric
systems, maintains healthy energy levels, improves absorption of nutrients
and improves overall wellness.
Food can ferment in
slow intestinal tracts, which can cause gas to accumulate. Walking your dog
before he eats may help to get his digestive system moving. Be sure you wait
2 hours after eating for a brisk walk, as strenuous exercise after eating
can cause bloat.
Nux is a homeopathic remedy that helps
reverse gas build up right away. Follow instructions to give the proper
amount of pellets to your dog. You should always have some Nux on hand as it
reverses gas immediately!
When should I call the Vet?
bloat can happen very fast, it is important that you know the signs and act
quickly. Dogs that develop sudden bloat will have a firm, bulgy tummy and
they will also arch their backs in an uncomfortable position, lick their
lips, drool or try swallowing. If these symptoms occur, your dog needs to go
to the vet or emergency clinic right away.
What happens next?
If your dog develops any symptoms of bloat, you need to take him for
emergency services immediately. Surgery will be performed if gastric
dilation (torsion) occurs, along with treatments to stabilize your dog and
relieve gas pressure. Surgery will prevent bloating from happening in the
Unfortunately, 29%-33% of dogs with bloat die. Being aware of
the symptoms of bloat is imperative to the health of your dog. Practicing
good eating habits, proper exercise, giving your dog
probiotics and feeding
them an all-natural diet will decrease the chance of him developing canine
Bloat is ALWAYS an emergency, however, so you will still need
to get your pet to the vet as quickly as possible for treatment. History has
shown me that had I gone directly to the animal emergency hospital rather
than to my vet first when
Sammi (Boxer girl) bloated in 1999, she and I may
have had more time together, rather than saying Good Bye.