older dog lying on a pillow

“Bloat” or Gastric Dilatation in Dogs

Please think of this as my own personal public service announcement. It has nothing to do with what’s going on at the daycare, and no dog in our care has ever suffered from this condition, but after a serendipitous meeting with a Veterinarian at Brackenberry Beach in Beverly on Sunday, and given I believe a lot of things happen for a reason, I feel compelled to impart a little knowledge about a condition in dogs known as “bloat”. Because a dog suffering from bloat can die within 30 minutes I feel some general knowledge about the condition could be at least helpful, at best life-saving.

If you look up “bloat” online, a lot of websites will say its cause is unknown but the Vet with whom I spoke over the weekend told me that within the medical community it is generally agreed upon that bloat typically occurs when deep chested dogs, such as Pointers, Greyhounds, Vizslas, and the like, exercise too quickly after eating, thereby causing their full stomachs to flip and twist. This causes gas buildup and bloating, hence the name. Dogs suffering from this condition will begin to vomit repeatedly, then they will typically start dry heaving, followed by collapse, respiratory failure and then heart failure. As a preventative, I was told that it would be advisable to keep deep-chested dogs from exercising for about 20 minutes after eating. If you think your dog may be suffering from bloat it is imperative to get them into a Critical Care Vet as soon as possible.

The Vet with whom I spoke had recently treated a dog for bloat. The owners were wise enough to get the dog in for treatment very quickly; had they not, there likely would have been an entirely different outcome. Please share this posting with any friends who are dog owners or dog lovers, especially those who may own a larger dog with a deep chest. Thank you.

Health more. Sick less. Proactive More. Reactive less. Wag more. Bark less.

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