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Does Bloating Pose a Serious Health Risk for Your Dog?

When most of us think about the word “bloat” we think about the digestive disorder where or abdomen becomes filled up with gas. The stomach can get bloated when we take various “gassy” foods. While bloating may not be a serious condition in humans, in dogs it can be life-threatening.

By definition, bloat is abdominal distention caused by swallowed air or gas production. Canine bloat, which is also known as Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, is most common in large breed dogs and is a very serious disorder. However, the severity of canine bloat varies.

When a canine bloat is severe, it is known as torsion. The dog’s blood supply to the heart can be cut off when torsion occurs. Moreover, the stomach begins to die as toxins build up in it.
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Your dog will have to undergo surgery within a few hours should he suffer from torsion. According to latest statistics, about one-third of dogs that undergo surgery to cure torsion end up dying.

Which Dog Breeds are Prone to Bloating?
Deep chested dogs such as the Great Dane, German Shepard and Rottweiler are the ones that are most likely to get a bloat. However, these are not the only dogs that can get affected by bloating. Basset Hounds, Standard Poodles, Dobermans, Bloodhounds and Akitas are also susceptible to bloats.

What Are The Major Contributing Factors To Bloat?
There are various causes of bloats in different dog breeds. However, there are specific causes that are common.
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When dogs eat fast, they are likely to swallow air and fluids, which can lead to bloating. Your dog is likely to suffer a bloat if you only feed him once and if he usually eats fast. However, bloat does not only occur due to the dog eating fast. Other factors known to contribute to bloating include stress levels, age, and exercising habits of the dog.

If you exercise your dog by making him do vigorous activities an hour before he east or up to two hours after eating, bloating is likely to result. Coming to age, dogs that are over four years old are more likely to suffer from bloating. Some dogs have also been found to be more susceptible to bloating due to genetics.

How to Recognize Bloat
If you would like to save your pet from the effects of bloating, it’s important to recognize its symptoms. One of the most obvious signs of bloat, although not the most common, is abdominal swelling after meals. Other symptoms of the condition include dry vomiting, heavy salivating, whining and gagging. Your dog may also show signs of pacing, have an excessive heart rate. In the case of volvulus, or torsion, your dog may have a week pulse and or discoloration of the gums (color of the gums can change to a pale color due to the severity of bloat).