Bloat in dogs are essentially stomach disorders namely gastric dilatation (GD) which involves the stomach filling up with gas, and gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) which results in the bloated stomach twisting upon itself, blocking its entrance and exit. Both conditions are serious and can lead to the obstruction of blood flow. However, while pumping the stomach alleviates gastric dilatation, a case of GDV is life-threatening and requires immediate surgery to untwist the stomach.

Bloat becomes progressively more serious. One of the first symptoms of bloating in dogs include restlessness or pacing behavior. As it gets worse, your dog may start to whine, dry heave and drool in an unrestrained manner, pant, and experience shallow breathing. Eventually, they may also collapse. If you notice such signs in your dog, you must take them to the veterinarian immediately as timely medical care can help save your pet’s life. While there are many supposed but unconfirmed reasons as to why dogs bloat, research has revealed that a dog’s breed often makes them susceptible to the condition. Large male dogs with deep chests are more likely to bloat than dogs of other breeds. Age is also a factor that may cause your dog to bloat.

If your dog is at risk of developing GDV, you can consult your veterinarian about prophylactic gastropexy. It is a preventative surgery performed on dogs when they are young, typically around the time that they are spayed or neutered. Other ways of preventing your dog from bloating involve using elevated food bowls, feeding them multiple meals consisting of smaller food portions, reducing carbohydrate intake, exercising them only an hour after meals and not before that, and feeding them a combination of wet and dry food. You must also ensure that your pet has enough fresh water available.