Fostering a healthy dog is one of the challenging tasks as it requires a lot of honest efforts blended with patience. Dogs, being sensitive living beings, become prone to certain health conditions if proper care is not taken while nurturing these furry companions.
Dog bloat, also known as GDV or Gastric Dilatation Volvulus is a health condition where the stomach of the dog gets enlarged or swelled. This mainly happens when the abdomen gets filled with fluid and gas, thereby resulting in twisting of the stomach as well. There are various causes behind this health condition such as liver dysfunction, pregnancy, heart disorder, and pyometra or uterine infection.
Bloating in dogs is a serious health disorder that causes severe discomfort in them. Hence, it needs to be treated at the earliest so that your pet can recover well. A lot of pet owners misinterpret bloating with obesity as well. In this blog, we would shed light on bloat in dogs along with the signs, symptoms, and treatment for the same.
The seriousness of Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV)
GDV or dog bloat leads to the abnormally rapid expansion and twisting of the stomach, due to which the blood supply to the gut gets interrupted. Hence, the accumulated gas and fluid in the stomach starts to ferment. It builds up the pressure which results in cutting off the blood supply to the stomach. It affects the blood circulation by blocking the veins that supply blood to the heart. This can also give rise to severe other health ailments that can be very detrimental for the dog.
Reasons for Dog Bloat or GDV
Dog bloat can take place due to the plentiful of reasons that are associated especially with the intestinal health of your dog. From eating habits to age factor or from hereditary disease to unhealthy diet, the following are the factors that can trigger the GDV or bloat in dogs:
- Ancestors of the dog having a history of GDV
- Drinking or eating at a very fast pace
- Having only one meal throughout the day
- Eating in an elevated bowl
- Consuming dry foods that have been moistened
- Dogs with anxiety and hostile behavior
- Taking meal right after an exhausting workout session
- Large-chested and aged dogs are more prone to GDV
Signs and Symptoms of the Dog Bloat
When the dogs are aged between 7-12 years, there are more chances of developing bloat in them. However, the following are the early signs of dog bloat:
- The dog is drooling more than the usual
- The stomach has become tight and swollen as well
- The furry pal is exhausted but impatient
- Groaning of the dog on touching or pressing the stomach
- Paleness in the gums and tongue of the dog
- The dog is feeling highly nauseated but is not able to vomit properly
Apart from the ones that are stated above, there are various other symptoms that a dog encounters at the time of GDV. The most common ones amongst them are panting, anxiousness, pacing, fastening of heart, and pulse rate. Also, in severe cases, the dog might collapse. In such conditions, it is best preferable to seek an immediate medical intervention from a good veterinary doctor.
Treatment of GDV or Dog Bloat
When a dog suffers from bloating or GDV, it is very important to get him treated before his health condition gets worsened. You must not treat your dog at home or give any medicines by oral means as it can be seriously detrimental for him. The most reliable solution is to take your furry pal to the vet so that your pet can get a timely treatment to recover. The following are the surgical and preventive treatments that a dog generally undergoes in case of bloating or GDV:
Gas X: This medication is effective in reducing the amount of gas from the stomach, only in case of simple bloat and not GDV. Unlike the simple bloat, the stomach gets twisted in GDV and would require surgical intervention to get it treated. However, taking an x-ray of your dog’s abdomen would tell you the difference between the simple bloat and GDV.
Gastropexy: This is a preventive surgery known as Gastropexy performed by the vet at the time of neuter. It is mainly performed on healthy dogs before they develop bloating. Also, this surgery is done on a precautionary basis and is not an emergency procedure to treat GDV or bloating.
In the case of severe bloat or GDV, there are two types of Gastropexy, namely Prophylactic and Laparoscopically Gastropexy. The latter is less invasive than the former one. This surgery involves tacking down the stomach towards the inside direction of the abdomen to prevent the twisting. However, if your pet dog has been already neutered, then he can get treated Laparoscopically for a comfortable and speedy recovery.
Non-surgical measures for prevention: Getting your dog treated with Gastropexy does not eliminate the chances of future bloat. However, there are certain precautions that you can take to prevent bloat or GDV in dogs. For this, the following measures would help you out:
- Do not let your furry pal eat in an elevated bowl
- Make sure to give at least two to three meals a day to your pet
- Restrict your pet from drinking or eating at a rapid pace
- Do not give food or water to your dog immediately after his workout session
- Feeding kibbles to your pet that are small in size and easily digestible as well
Bloating in dogs is a serious issue that should not be overlooked at any cost as an untimely treatment would not be very effective and helpful for the same. However, GDV or bloating can be prohibited either by a preventive Gastropexy surgery or by taking some precautionary measures at home.
You can easily keep your dog bloat-free, healthy, and happy by feeding him with the right diet and inculcating proper eating habits in him.