The second biggest killer of dogs, be sure you know the signs.



Bloat or Gastric Torsion or Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) is the second biggest killer of dogs after cancer. 




It is most common in large, deep chested breeds in their prime but it can occur in any dog of any age. The stomach becomes filled with gas and because of this it can twist.


The onset is sudden but the signs are unmistakable.


Things to watch for:-

          Restlessness & inability to settle

          Pacing in a stiff legged gait

          Hanging head

          Retching & unproductive attempts to vomit

          Whining or groaning

          Salivation (dribbling)

Enlargement of the abdomen which when tapped will sound hollow like a drum

Pale gums

Pale tongue

Rapid heart rate

Weak pulse

Laboured breathing

Weakness & collapse


If your see any of these signs you MUST contact your vet IMMEDIATELY. Do not hesitate.

If your dog is passing wind from either end then it is unlikely to be bloat so smelly or burpy dogs is a good sign.

Ways to prevent bloat:-


          Feed two meals a day

          Do NOT exercise at least one hour either before or after           feeding

          Keep your dog calm after it has eaten

          Know the signs - It doesn't always occur after feeding

          Know your vets out of hours contact details


There is debate about raised feeding bowls which I will leave you to decide upon but I would recommend that if your dog is a fast eater that you invest in a 'slow' bowl which is a food bowl with raised areas specifically designed to slow your dog down whilst it eats thus inhibiting the air intake.


I cannot stress enough the seriousness of this condition, if untreated your dog will die in extreme pain. 


It usually requires immediate surgery so if you are sure that your dog has bloat but your vet wants to wait and see, take them elsewhere.