After spending a week on work experience at a kennels one of the things I found was the importance of a dog’s diet as it could lead to complications with the animals health. Bloat was one of the problems I was taught was common in dogs if the diet was not kept consistent. I did some research into ‘bloat’ in dogs or medically known as Gastric Torsion.
I found that this syndrome is caused by the stomach filling with gas and causing it to twist. This can be caused by anxiety as commonly seen in kennelled dogs which I assume is why it was brought to my attention, as the dogs become stressed in a new and unfamiliar environment.
If changed onto very fermentable food, the dog may have gas build up in the stomach. Excessive eating and then vigorous exercise afterwards may also be a factor to consider which is why it was important I knew the correct amount of food needed to for each breed and size of dog; especially as it is most commonly seen in large, deep-chested breeds.
The following symptoms may indicate a case of bloat:
- Anxiety – Pacing around or trying to vomit, without success
- Too much air intake
- Dribble or saliva from dog’s mouth
- Gut bloating – a distended (swollen) stomach seen
Like in humans if we can’t breathe we begin to panic, the expanded and twisted stomach pushes the diaphragm and restricts breathing making the situation much worse. While the stomach is twisted, changes occur in blood levels of oxygen leading to the death of cells in other organs as well as in the stomach. It must see a vet immediately as this syndrome is fatal.
Have any of you had a dog with a case of bloat/seen it in a practice?