The word "bloat" might make you think of eating an overly salty meal on the weekend, but when it's used regarding canines, it describes an extremely serious matter, one that often has deadly consequences. The medical condition is also frequently referred to by the name gastric dilatation volvulus.
If your pooch's stomach fills up with food, air, gas or liquid, then he might be dealing with a case of bloat. When a dog's belly increases in size like this, it can place immoderate tension on different organs in the body, which is where the danger lies. This strain can force the stomach to take on a curved form, which can stop the delivery of blood to the organs. The abnormally large belly can also cause the diaphragm to experience strain, triggering respiratory troubles. Bloat operates swiftly in dogs, and can sometimes bring upon fatalities within mere hours. If you think that your dog might have bloat, your job is to get urgent veterinary help for him immediately. The specific trigger for bloat in canines is isn't confirmed, although it thought to be anything from eating too fast to eating too much.
If your poor pooch is in the midst of intense bloating pain, it may or may not be noticeable to you. Note that it's extremely common for dogs to pretend that nothing is wrong when they're in pain. This natural behavior is a survival adaption. Wild dogs don't want to ever risk looking weak to predators, therefore they maintain an outward impression of good health even when they're in discomfort. Although your doggie doesn't live in the wild, he's still a dog and still probably has those instinctive canine feelings.
Although your dog might try hard to keep his pain a secret, it sometimes can get a little overwhelming, and understandably so. Strong abdominal aching often is a symptom of bloat in dogs. If you look over at your dog and he's adopting a conspicuous crouched over stance, then that could be his way of expressing to you that he's in pain and needs help, pronto. Your dog might even display his pain by extending his front limbs while resting on his rear end and upper thighs.
Crouching over in pain isn't the only common sign of bloat in dogs. Other warning signs of the emergency ailment are inordinate drooling, bulging belly, feebleness, abrupt falling over, whimpering, unusually light gums, fast heartbeat, antsy behavior and hacking and gagging to no avail. Take your pet to the veterinarian immediately if you see any of those symptoms.
- Animal Hospital: Emergency Bloating
- Brightwood Animal Hospital: Canine Gastric Dilation Volvulus (Bloat)
- ASPCA: Bloat
- American Animal Hospital Association Healthy Pet: Canine Bloat Myth Busted
- Town & Country Veterinary Clinic: Canine Bloat
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Pain Management for Dogs
- American Animal Hospital Association: How to Tell if Your Dog is in Pain
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