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Dogs suffering from bloat

Tue, 17/08/2010 - 5:27pm

I have had a good read through several articles regarding bloat and torsion and thought it would be useful for all you large dog breed owners to know a little about it. If you require any further information then there are plenty of websites that will give you a greater understanding of the condition.

Gastric Dilation (bloat) Volvulus (torsion) is a devastating condition that can kill a dog within the hour if left untreated. It affects large, deep chested dog breeds of which I have listed at the end of the article. (apologies if i missed any breeds off)

To describe it simply, bloat is when the stomach becomes abnormally large or swollen and is usually full of food, liquid and gas. Torsion is when the stomach twists into an abnormal position. The combination of the 2 causes the esophagus to be closed off which in turn limits the dogs ability to belch or throw up. Often what usually happens is the spleen also gets entrapped therefore cutting off the blood supply.

Some common causes of the onset of bloat are :- it usually occurs in dogs that are fed 1 meal per day, if they gulp down their food, if they take in large amounts of water immediately after being fed, and also if they are given vigourous exercise soon after feeding. Some breeders and vets also think that it is partially hereditary. Some ways to avoid it (this does not completely arradicate it) is to give 3 - 4 meals per day, give small amounts of water more often, and avoid rigorous exercise for an hour or so after feeding.

I don't really want to go into the scientifics of the condition, but if you require further reading then type 'BLOAT' into your search engine and there are many documents on the subject that are very interesting and informative. The symptoms of bloat are normally abdominal swelling, retching and severe salivating. other signs would be restlessness, lethargy, and/or a rapid heart rate.

If you are ever concerned that your dog is suffering from bloat, telephone your vet immediately. they can then be prepared for your arrival. do not try to treat this at home this is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The main breeds that suffer from bloat are :- Great Danes Saint Bernards Weimernarers Irish Setters Gordon Setters Standard Poodles Basset Hounds Doberman Pinschers Rottweillers Old English Sheepdogs

I hope this covers the basics, I am by no means an expert just a concerned dog owner. Contributed by Pollaton

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