Dog Bloat: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Bloat in dogs is a frequent problem that can be harmful, even fatal. It must be treated as soon as possible in dogs who have it. Recognize the signs so you may help your dog when he or she affect quality.

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What Is Dog Bloat?

Bloat happens when a dog’s stomach becomes too full of gas, food, or liquids, causing it to expand. Other organs are pressed on the stomach. It can lead to a variety of serious issues, including:

  • Decreased blood flow to their heart and stomach lining
  • A tear in the wall of their stomach
  • A harder time breathing

In some situations, the dog’s stomach rotates or twists, a condition known as gastric dilatation volvulus by veterinarians (GSV). It prevents blood from returning to the heart and other parts of the body by keeping it in the stomach. This may cause your dog to become scared.

Bloat caused by GSV usually appears soon. Your dog may initially display signs of stomach discomfort. They could:

  • Act restless
  • Drool
  • Have a swollen stomach
  • Look anxious
  • Look at their stomach
  • Pace
  • Try to vomit, but nothing comes up
  • Stretch with their front half down and rear end up

As the condition gets worse, they may:

  • Collapse
  • Have pale gums
  • Have a rapid heartbeat
  • Be short of breath
  • Feel weak


If you think your pet has bloat, take them to a vet as soon as possible. If dogs do not receive treatment in a timely manner, the illness can be deadly.

  • Eating from a raised food bowl
  • Having one large meal a day
  • Eating quickly
  • A lot of running or playing after they eat
  • Other dogs they are related to have had bloat
  • Eating or drinking too much
  • Stress

Bloat can affect any dog, although it’s more common in large breeds with deep chests, such as Akitas, Boxers, Basset Hounds, and German Shepherds. Great Danes, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Weimaraners, and St. Bernards, for example, are at a higher risk than others.


To relieve the pressure that has built up, the vet may insert a tube into your dog’s throat and down to their stomach. A twisted stomach might sometimes prevent the tube from flowing through. If this is the case, the veterinarian may insert a big, hollow needle into the patient’s stomach to relieve the pressure.

If your dog is in shock, the veterinarian will begin giving fluids through an IV as soon as possible, along with antibiotics.

X-rays will be taken by the veterinarian to see if their stomach is twisted. If this is the case, your dog will require emergency surgery to untwist it and return it to its proper position. The stomach will also be repaired to prevent GSV in the future. They’ll also look to see if the illness has damaged other parts of their body.

Bloat can be scary, but there are ways you can keep it from happening to your dog:

  • Don’t use a raised bowl unless your vet says your dog needs one.
  • Don’t let them run or play a lot right before or after meals.
  • Feed them a few small meals throughout the day instead of one or two large ones.
  • Make sure they drink a normal amount of water.
  • For predisposed breeds, your vet will sometimes tack the stomach when your dog gets spayed or neutered

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