Bloat in Dogs – Know the Symptoms and The Breeds At Highest Risk Before It Fatally Strikes
Did you know bloat in dogs is one of the biggest killers of dogs? It is a symptom most pet owners are not even aware of until it is too late. You need to know the symptoms, so if the condition strikes you can take rapid action. Time is your enemy, since this health affliction can kill in only a few hours.
Some breeds of dogs are much more susceptible to bloat. Large dogs seem to have the highest incidence of problems. Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Weimaraners top the list of the most vulnerable dogs. Interestingly the large and powerful Rottweiler is low on the list of breeds having bloat.
The symptoms of bloat in dogs can sometimes be very obvious. One of the signs is, exactly as the name sounds, a distended or bloated stomach. Bloat is actually caused by the stomach filling with air, much like a balloon. The air becomes trapped and starts pinching off arteries, compressing other organs, and can actually cause the stomach to flip twisting shut the blood supply killing the stomach. Other symptoms include an unproductive vomit response, retching, and fast short shallow breathing. The breathing problems are caused by the pressure being exerted on the lungs and diaphragm, making it very difficult to breathe.
As you can see by the dangers posed by bloat it is extremely serious. Bloat can cause death in dogs very rapidly and is only treatable by your veterinarian. If you have any suspicions your dog has bloat take action immediately. Do not hesitate, just load them in the car and go. Even with treatment almost 30 percent of all dogs do not survive. Many times this is due to the slow response, and lack of knowledge on the part of dog owners. What appears to be a form of dog flu suddenly becomes a major problem the owner had not anticipated. If you see the non-productive retching or the distended stomach do not start guessing at a diagnosis, take action.
One way you can reduce the risk of bloat in dogs is to feed you dog less, and feed them twice per day, instead of once. Make sure your pet does not become overly active immediately following eating. These two items have been shown to cause a higher incidence of bloat. The risk of bloat becomes higher as your dog gets older, with the incidence doubling with dogs over seven years old.
Just because you happen to have a smaller dog, or one not listed at high risk does not eliminate the possibility, it just reduces it. As a dog owner it is important to know about bloat in dogs, then you are ready to take action if the condition appears. With prompt action the chances of your dog surviving and remaining healthy are much higher. Now you know the basics, and are prepared. If you want to know the risks for your particular breed, it is a great question to ask your veterinarian on your next regular visit.