Bloat is a common issue that many dogs experience throughout the course of their lives, but in many instances, owners are completely unaware of the causes and the symptoms. While bloat is just another term for foods, fluids and air that is trapped within the stomach, this can cause a dog to experience undue pressure on their internal organs and lead to breathing difficulties.
Bloat is a term that is used to describe gastric dilation volvolvus (also known as GDV). At least 40 percent of GDV cases lead to death, as the bloating causes the stomach to twist inside of the abdomen. So how can dog owners reduce the risk of GDV in their pets? By following these helpful suggestions:
1. Don’t Overfeed Your Dog
Giving your dog one large meal significantly increases the risk of GDV and owners should avoid this at all costs. Splitting the dog’s food rations into two separate meals (one for the morning and one for the evening) will reduce the risk of bloat.
2. Allow Them To Digest
Strenuous exercise should not take place directly after a meal. Give your dog at least one hour to let their food settle.
3. Don’t Raise Their Bowl
Unless you are directed to do so by a veterinarian, do not raise their food bowl, as this increases GDV risk.
4. No Excess Consumption
Monitor the dog’s eating and drinking habits and cut back on excess consumption. Gulping leads to increased air intake, which can be a catalyst for bloat.
5. Low Grain Diet
Diets that are high in grains and carbohydrates produce excess gas and are highly ferment-able.
6. Keep Stress Low
A stressed out dog is much more likely to experience bloating, so be sure to keep things mellow for your canine companion.
7. Surgery Is An Option
Certain breeds of dog are at high risk for developing bloating related disorders and surgery may be the best possible choice. If your dog has already experienced GDV in the past, surgery may be the best option, since recurrence rates are high.
What Are The Symptoms?
Knowing about the symptoms is incredibly important. Owners should be on the lookout for distended stomachs, newly lethargic behavior, restlessness, weakness, increased salivating, pale gums, inability to vomit, shortness of breath and sudden collapsing.
Owners are better off being safe than sorry, so be sure to share this post with the dog owners in your life, as it just might save someone’s best friend!