Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat is a fatal condition that can affect any dog but dogs with deep, narrow chest cavities are at the greatest risk. Bloat is caused when the stomach flips over and traps food and gas.
Dogs that are the highest risk of GDV include the large and giant breeds such as Great Danes, St. Bernards, Bloodhounds, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherd Dogs or any dog of similar size and structure, even mixed breeds.
If the dog gets bloat and isn’t taken to the veterinarian right away, they usually die from it. Bloat is a very painful condition for the dog.
There are a few things a dog owner can do to help prevent bloat:
1) Do not feed the dog from elevated bowls. This is important to note because in the past it was thought that feeding from elevated bowls helped prevent bloat, but research has shown that this is not true.
2) Always provide water at all times.
3) Do not feed one large meal a day but rather several small meals.
4) Be sure the dog is not stressed at mealtime.
At one time it was felt that playing after eating caused bloat but current research does not support this. However, it is better to err on the side of caution rather than take a chance. Letting a dog with a full stomach roll around is not the best idea.
The symptoms for bloat are as follows:
1) Restlessness and anxiety
2) Distended or swollen stomach
3) Trying to vomit or belch
4) Excessive drooling or salivation
5) Rapid heartbeat
7) Shortness of breath
8) Pale gums
At the first sign of restlessness and anxiety, the dog should be rushed to the veterinarian since the earlier the dog gets treatment the more likely the dog will survive. Even if you are in doubt, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Because weak ligaments can be a genetic contributor to bloat, breeders can help by not breeding dogs or their relatives that have suffered from bloat.
If a person is considering purchasing a breed of dog that has a high risk of getting bloat, it is important to ask the breeder if they have had instances of bloat in their lines, specifically in the direct linage of the dog being considered.
If a dog survives bloat or is a high risk of getting bloat, a veterinarian may suggest that the owner have a “gastropexy” done to their dog. This is where they attach the stomach to the right abdominal wall.
For more information: https://www.vetdepot.com/bloat-is-your-dog-at-risk.html?utm_source=contactology&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PIR1