I know what some of you are thinking — dogs? bloat? What is this chick on? But if you’re a crazy animal lover like myself, bloat is a real and terribly scary thing. Here’s what to do when your dog gets bloat.
Bloat In Dogs: What You Need To Know
First of all, what is bloat? Bloat, also known as GDV, means a twisted stomach. Not all dogs that experience stomach bloating end up with volvulus, which is torsion (twisting) of the stomach. A dog’s stomach can fill up with gas and air and stay in position.
Okay, so now that we have that out of the way, I can let you all in on a little secret…
Bloat is what scares me the most about owning two dogs who are obsessed with eating inhaling food. It has something I have always worried about and probably will from now until eternity.
Many times, inhaling food is a major cause of bloat. So, being the crazy dog mom I am, I’ve invested a lot of time and money in preventing this. Raised bowls, slow eaters, portioned food, supervised eating, specialty diets….you see where this is going.
So, imagine my shock and horror when I came home from dinner one night last month and my sweet baby Bill was so bloated he could barely walk. I knew immediately that something was wrong. He didn’t have a cute, chunky puppy belly. He had an uncomfortable looking swollen torso that made him look more like an Oompa Loompa than a dog.
Dane and I were terrified and raced off to our vet immediately. The entire time Bill whimpered in my arms, clearly uncomfortable.
|It’s important to note here that if your dog does, in fact, have bloat with torsion, you have an extremely limited window of opportunity to save them. If too much time elapses, the animal will die.|
We are lucky to take our dogs to a 24-hour emergency veterinarian, so as soon as we walked in, they took Bill from our arms and whisked him back for some testing. Soon enough, they were requesting to take x-rays and hook him up to an IV. Yes, sure, of course, whatever it takes.
When the vet ushered us back to a room, Bill’s x-rays were up on the screen and I immediately felt sick to my stomach.
|The top portion of the x-ray that sort of resembles a circle should be the size of a clementine. This is Bill’s stomach. Our vet told us it was, in fact, the size of a cantaloupe.|
Yowza. Thankfully, we had him to the vet in time. No torsion. No immediate health threat. BUT! How did this happen? What is the cause?
Our vet gave us these simple explanations:
1. Labs eat fast. Too fast. Even with slow eaters and regimented diets and portioned allowances, unless you are feeding them one piece of kibble at a time, they are only chewing 1 in every 5 pieces. WHOA!
2. Slow eaters are great. But sometimes dogs are so excited to get the food out that they are actually inhaling air in the midst of their excitement. (We think this is what happened with Bill)
3. No exercising after eating. Remember when your mom told you that you couldn’t swim right after you ate? The same rule applies here. Sudden movements, twists and turns can create unwanted torsion within the body.
Through all of this, Bill managed to only have to spend one night at the hospital, but some pets and owners aren’t quite as lucky 🙁 I hope that by sharing our story, we can help someone that has been in this situation or is experiencing anything similar!
Have you ever dealt with bloat in your dog?
If you liked this post, you might enjoy: