Bloat is a condition that happens to many dogs, and as a responsible pet owner, it is one that you need to look into and be aware of. When your dog has bloat, it means that his intestinal tract is full of gas or fluid or foam. For the most part, animals will vent through the valve at the bottom of their stomach, but if this valve is blocked or if there is food in the way, the build-up of gas can be quite dangerous to your animal. Bloat is a condition that can happen very quickly and in some cases, when it is severe, it can be fatal within half an hour. What are the signs of bloat, and what should you do?
When you want to make sure that you can recognize bloat in your animal, you will find that the most common symptom for you to look for is going to be a swollen belly. Is your dog trying to belch or is he even trying to throw up? Does he throw up and still look very uncomfortable? In some cases, your dog might wander around restlessly or even look nauseated. They will refuse food and they might also look a though they are short of breath. In some cases, your dog might shy away from being touched or they might simply look very listless. In severe cases, they might have an abnormal heart rate or they might even go into shock.
If you suspect that your dog has bloat, you need to take him to the veterinarian immediately. In most cases of bloat, your veterinarian will simply treat your dog for shock and stabilize him. A physical exam and X-rays will help your veterinarian determine the cause of the problem, and you will find that in many cases, it can simply be cured through inserting a tube through your dog’s esophagus or by inserting a needle through the abdomen.
In cases where the intestine has become twisted, the veterinarian might need to untwist or reposition the stomach so that material can move through it. Your veterinarian will also likely examine your dog to make sure that he or she does not have any damage from the bloat itself. The spleen will also likely be checked to make sure that it has no damage from the stomach twisting either.
As you might imagine, having your pet develop bloat can be a very alarming and upsetting thing. One way to prevent bloat from happening is to make sure that your pet eats small, regularly spaced meals so that he will not stretch his stomach, and you will also find that pre-soaking the food in water for half hour can help prevent him from ingesting too much air. Also try to make sure that your dog does not exercise too much after he eats because the weight will make the stomach swing like a pendulum; this can give it that deadly twist.
Understanding bloat in animals can be an important part of keeping your dog safe, so remember this condition and what it can do!