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Dog Health 101 - BLOAT- "CANINE EMERGENCY"

Bloat is a very serious health risk for many dogs, yet many dog owners have never heard of it. Bloat can occur in two forms: gastric dilatation (swelling of the stomach from gas); or, gastric dilatation with volvulus, i. e., torsion, which occurs when the stomach twists on its axis. Often, both forms of bloat occur in a single episode with the second form quickly following the first. When this happens, BLOAT is fatal in minutes.

Symptoms
  • Excessive salvation
  • Extreme restlessness/pacing
  • Unproductive attempts to vomit/defecate
  • Evidence of abdominal pain
  • Rapid breathing/panting
  • Extreme swelling of the stomach
  • Cold/pale mouth membranes
Risk Factors
  • Using a raised food bowl - 110% risk increase associated with using a raised food bowl.
  • Speed of eating - 15% risk increase for each unit increase in speed of eating. (for dogs weighing 49-100 lbs)
  • Chest depth/width ratio (1.0 to 2.4) - 170% risk increase for each unit increase in chest depth/width ratio.
  • Age in years - 20% risk increase for each year increase in age.
  • First degree relative with BLOAT - 63% risk increase associated with having a first degree relative with BLOAT.
Tips for Prevention
  • Raised food bowls:
  • There is controversy whether raised food bowls actually aids in a dog's digestion and prevents bloat. Some studies found that a raised bowl feeder actually increases the risk of bloat 110%.
  • Approximately 20-50% of bloat cases were attributed to a raised food bowl.
  • Gulping food:
    • Air ingestion causes gas that may in turn cause the dog to bloat
    • When dogs gulp food, they ingest air with the food
    • Especially in the case of dogs that weigh more than 49 lbs.
  • Feed multiple meals:
    • Studies have shown that feeding in the morning and evening greatly reduces the risks of bloat.
  • Exercise after eating:
    • Allow at least 1 1/2 hour of rest after eating.
    • The worst activity a dog can do after eating is rolling onto its back.
  • Changing food:
    • It is extremely important to introduce new food slowly; it can take several weeks for a dog to adapt.
    • New food not introduced slowly can cause extreme gas in the stomach and in some cases bloat.
IMPORTANT
  • With BLOAT, the disease progresses in minutes or, at most, hours. The only treatment is emergency medical attention. In its two advanced forms, the only treatment is surgery.


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Dog Health 101 - BLOAT- "CANINE EMERGENCY"

Bloat is a very serious health risk for many dogs, yet many dog owners have never heard of it. Bloat can occur in two forms: gastric dilatation (swelling of the stomach from gas); or, gastric dilatation with volvulus, i. e., torsion, which occurs when the stomach twists on its axis. Often, both forms of bloat occur in a single episode with the second form quickly following the first. When this happens, BLOAT is fatal in minutes.

Symptoms Risk Factors Tips for Prevention IMPORTANT