If you've ever felt bloated before, you know the discomfort of abnormal gas in your abdomen. However, for dogs, it isn't just mild discomfort. Stomach bloat in dogs can lead to dangerous consequences including death. If you want to know more about stomach bloat, so you can protect your furry friend, check out these four facts you must know.
Some Breeds Are More Prone to Bloat
There is still no one cause of stomach bloat in dogs because it is still not well understood. However, there are some breeds that tend to develop the condition more often, particularly larger breeds, such as:
- Standard poodles
- German shepherds
Dog breeds with deep chests also have an increased change, but every dog can develop stomach bloat. Another risk factor is overeating. Dogs who get bloat usually have a history of overeating and then getting extremely active.
There Are Many Glaring Symptoms
Luckily, the symptoms of bloat are extremely easy to spot, so you can identify them and get your pet help from a pet hospital fast because the symptoms will worsen quickly. The biggest sign your dog has stomach bloat is a hard, swollen stomach. The dog's entire abdomen will look swollen as if the pup suddenly gained a bunch of weight. However, when you push on the stomach, it is hard instead of soft. Other signs include:
- Inability to vomit
- Grunting or any other signs of discomfort
Treatment Is Needed immediately
If you don't seek treatment immediately, your pup could be in major pain and have huge complications. With the stomach filled with gas, there is little room left for organs, so they get pushed aside from the pressure. This includes all organs, arteries, veins, etc. in the stomach area. This can lead to inability to breath or a lack of blood flow to various parts of the body. In some cases, your dog may even go into shock or collapse.
There is also the chance your dog's stomach may become twisted due to the build-up of gas. You've likely heard someone say, "my stomach flipped," to describe an emotional sickening or anxious feeling in your gut. However, for dogs, this can literally happen when they have bloat. As the abdomen fills with gas, the stomach can actually twist, causing severe pain and leading to death if left untreated.
Surgery May Be Necessary
In most cases, surgery isn't required to treat your dog. The vet will start by trying to remove the gas with a tube, so it finally has an exit, but if that fails to work, an incision must be made. This can be done with a local anesthetic, depending on the attitude of the dog (more aggressive dogs may need to be put completely to sleep for the procedure). This incision gives the gas an immediate release, getting your dog out of the danger zone fast.
Surgery is required, however, if your dog's stomach does flip or twist because it is the only way the vet can successfully reposition the stomach. Unfortunately, for many dogs, surgery still doesn't help, especially if the stomach has been flipped for a long time. This is because stomach tissue may have died due to lack of blood flow. In other cases, other organs may have been damaged too, such as the spleen, requiring additional surgeries to treat or remove the organ.
Stomach bloat can be dangerous to your dog, so if you notice the symptoms, get your pet to a vet hospital immediately. Early treatment is the best way to save your furry family member. For more information regarding stomach bloat or other common dog issues, contact a vet in your area today.