Bloat is a potentially deadly condition in which the stomach distends. It can twist out of shape, causing a dangerous retention of gas and cutting off circulation. Dogs suffering from bloat need immediate medical attention. According to the ASPCA, even dogs who get treatment right away have a mortality rate between 25 percent and 40 percent. It can strike any breed at any age, but some large breeds are more likely to develop this emergency condition than others.
Symptoms of bloat include a distended abdomen, lethargy, pale gums, abnormally fast heart rate, struggling to breathe and more. The condition can be caused by numerous factors, including eating too fast or exercising before or after a meal. This condition can affect any breed, but large, deep-chested breeds are especially prone to it. These breeds include Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, standard poodles, boxers and others whose chests are deeper than they are wide. If you are concerned about your dog's susceptibility to bloat, ask your veterinarian for advice on avoiding the condition. If you suspect that your dog has symptoms of bloat, contact your vet, or take your dog to an emergency veterinarian, immediately.
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