What is dog bloating?
Dog bloating, also known as gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), when and if it happens is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that affects dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes.
The situation occurs when the stomach fills up with gas, fluid, or food, and then twists on itself, trapping the contents while blocking the blood flow to vital organs. If it’s not attended to urgently and promptly, GDV can cause tissue death, shock, and death within a matter of hours.
The symptoms of GDV can be difficult to recognize, but some common signs include abdominal swelling, restlessness, panting, drooling, retching, and a rapid heart rate.
How to handle it
In case you notice that your dog may be experiencing GDV, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. There are several factors that can increase a dog’s risk of developing GDV, including eating too quickly, eating one large meal per day, being a deep-chested breed such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, and Weimaraners, and having a family history of the condition.
Fortunately, there are preventive measures that dog owners can take in order to help prevent GDV from occurring. These include feeding smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, discouraging rapid eating through the use of puzzle feeders or slow-feed bowls, avoiding exercise for at least an hour before and after meals, and providing a quiet, stress-free environment during meal times.
Additionally, some veterinarians may recommend prophylactic gastropexy surgery, which involves surgically tacking the stomach to the abdominal wall to prevent twisting. In summary, dog bloating is a serious condition that can have life-threatening consequences for your pet if not treated promptly. If you notice any symptoms of GDV in your dog, seek veterinary care immediately.
In order to help prevent GDV, feed smaller bits or use a slow feeder bowl in order to discourage rapid eating, avoid exercise around meal times, provide a stress-free environment, and consider prophylactic gastropexy surgery for high-risk breeds.