Bloat in Dogs – Is it serious for your Pekingese?


Bloat in dogs is a life-threatening state that would require immediate expert intervention. This condition is also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), twisted stomach, and gastric torsion. Bloat is an acute illness which causes rapid clinical signs and death in the next few hours. Even if you bring him to the vet ASAP, still a ratio of 25%-40% die from this medical emergency.

Bloat in Dogs – Is it serious for your Pekingese?

When this condition happens, your pet’s stomach would either be filled with fluid, food or air. Then the enlarged stomach would apply pressure on the other organs in the body and causes difficulty of breathing and eventually would lessen or cut down your pet’s blood supply on his vital organs.

Bloat can occur at any age of your dog’s life, but usually seen during middle-age or older. Experts consider it as hereditary. Big dogs that have deep chests are more predisposed. Bloat suddenly develops in a normally active and healthy dog. Your pet may have had eaten a large meal, a strenuous exercise before or after eating or have drank a large amount of water after his meal.

Bloat in Dogs

Signs of Bloat:

  • Pacing and restlessness
  • Salivation
  • Retching
  • Unproductive attempts to vomit
  • Distended abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Collapse
  • Cold body temperature
  • General weakness

Bloat Prevention

  • Avoid feeding your pet from a raised food bowl
  • Avoid giving your pet a dog food that has fat on the first four ingredients listed on the lable.
  • Divide his meals into 3 equal parts throughout the day.
  • Do not give him food that has citric acid.
  • Limit access to water one hour before and after meals.
  • Do not allow your pet to drink large amounts of water all at once.
  • Avoid exercise when he is full.

How to Treat It

If you suspect on the lightest that your pet is having a bloat issue, then bring him immediately to the vet since time is of the essesnce here.

Bloat without volvulus or torsion is simply relieved by passing a long rubber tube through your pet’s mouth into his stomach. This is also the fastest method to diagnose bloat. As the tube enters his system, there would be a sudden rush of fluid and air from the tube, thus bringing relief to your pet. His stomach is then washed out and your pet wouldn’t be allowed to eat nor drink on the next 36 hours and will be supported by means of intravenous fluids.

Diagnosing this illness is best confirmed through xrays of the abdomen. A simple bloat would show a large volume of gas inside his tummy. However having a volvulus would reflect a “double bubble” result on his x-rays.

In case your pet would have a volvulus, then an emergency surgery is required. The goal here is to simply re-position the spleen and stomach or remove a part of the stomach and spleen as it is already necrotic.

Bloat in dogs is one of the many illnesses where expert advice would vary with time. True, it was stated that raising your pet’s feeding bowl is not advisable but who knows what they would tell us in the future according to their research, right? There are so many factors involved here that play along with the condition and there might be even more that we are not aware of yet. For now, let us just follow what the vets and other experts tell us to do to prevent such a life-threatening condition from happening to our pets.

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