When every minute counts

By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2013
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

“Bloat” is one of those words that sends a veterinary clinic into crisis mode, because it can kill a dog unless treated immediately.

Bloat is also called gastric dilatation-volvulus [dill-ah-TA-shun VAHL-vue-luss], or G-D-V. It starts when a dog’s stomach swells with food or gas and gets much worse when the stomach twists and causes an obstruction.

A dog with G-D-V is often agitated, retching and pained with a swollen abdomen. In severe cases, dogs collapse. Big dogs with deep chests, like Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes and German Shepherds, are most at risk, but even small breeds can develop G-D-V.

Bloated dogs need emergency medical stabilization prior to surgery that will reposition and secure the stomach. With immediate treatment, the survival rate for G-D-V approaches 80 percent. That starts by knowing the signs of this deadly problem, because every minute counts.