Bloat: a deadly dog disorder

 
By Susan Aiello • Published: September 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves
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Ever feel like you might burst after a big meal? This feeling is much more serious for large, deep-chested dogs.

A condition known as bloat often develops after gulping a large meal or bowl of water. Swallowed air causes the stomach to distend and sometimes flip over, trapping everything inside. The bloated abdomen interferes with breathing, and the twisted stomach can lose blood supply, leading to shock and death.

Seek emergency treatment right away if your dog develops a bloated belly, abdominal stiffness, dry heaves, or rapid, labored breathing. The abdomen needs to be decompressed, possibly with immediate surgery, along with treatment for shock.

Although we often don’t know the specific cause of bloat, there are steps you can take to help prevent it. For example, feed several small meals a day, keep mealtimes calm and avoid strenuous exercise after eating.