Stomach Bloat in Dogs

Stomach bloat in dogs is a condition that warrants immediate medical help. Since the symptoms mimic other gastrointestinal problems, pet owners often overlook the condition. However, any delay in getting professional medical help could lead to death. As a pet owner, it’s important to know what stomach bloat is and watch for any symptoms of the condition.

Stomach Bloat in Dogs

Stomach bloat, also called Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, is a condition that develops when there’s excess accumulation of air in the abdominal cavity. Stomach bloat often occurs along with Volvulus. This means that the dog’s stomach twists in such a way that it traps food, air and other fluids.

Preventing Death

If there is excess accumulation of air in the pet’s stomach, the veins in the abdominal cavity get obstructed and the dog suffers from internal organ damage or failure. Most pets succumb to the condition a few minutes or hours after its onset. To prevent this from happening it’s always best to keep gas relief medicines handy to prolong the pet’s life until you get him to the vet. Look for gas relief medicines that have the active ingredient Simethicone.

Causes of Stomach Bloat

One of the most common reasons why dogs develop stomach bloat is stress. Pets that are exposed to a new environment or dogs that perform strenuous activities that cause them to gulp a lot of air suffer from the condition. Pets that gulp their food down quickly are also at risk of developing stomach bloat.

Apart from this, dogs that engage in playful activities like running and jumping after consuming food and pets suffering from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency are likely to suffer from bloat. Since the causes of stomach bloat are well established, you should take preventive measures to reduce your pet’s risk of developing this life threatening condition.

Symptoms of Stomach Bloat Include:

  • Restlessness
  • Anxiousness
  • Pet attempts to vomit
  • Pale gums
  • Coughing
  • Pet vomits mucus
  • Dog whines in pain
  • Pet stands with his legs far apart
  • Panting
  • Pet tries to crouch and hide
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Sudden collapse

Treatment for Dog Stomach Bloat

Once the diagnosis is confirmed through x-rays and ultrasounds, the vet will have to perform surgery if the stomach is twisted. This surgical intervention will allow the vet to reposition the dog’s stomach and treat any internal damage. If the stomach isn’t twisted, the vet will use a less invasive procedure to extract air that’s trapped in the pet’s stomach.

If surgery is required, the dog will require hospitalization and anesthesia. Antibiotics and other medicines may also be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection post-surgery.

Prevention of Stomach Bloat in Dogs

In order to prevent stomach bloat, you should avoid exposing the dog to stressful situations or exercising him after his meals. You should also administer mild gas relief medicines to treat flatulence and reduce gas buildup in the pet’s body.

It’s best to feed the pet 3 meals a day and avoid feeding him diets that are rich in fats preservatives.