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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Be Prepared

Today our friend Beau was rushed to the hospital with bloat. He underwent surgery and had 30% of his stomach removed. Beau is one of the lucky ones. He survived.

Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus is the second leading killer of dogs after cancer. Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air. Stress can be a contributing factor. As the stomach swells it may twist, trapping air, food and water. The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock and damage to internal organs.

Know the symptoms of bloat because minutes count with this condition.

* Attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful)
* Doesn't act like usual self
* Significant anxiety and restlessness
* Hunched up appearance
* Lack of normal digestive sounds in the tummy
* Tight abdomen (like a drum)
* Heavy or rapid panting
* Excessive drooling
For other symptoms check out the website at or do a Google search for dog bloat symptoms. There are a number of sites that can give you information.

There are some things we can do to reduce the chances of our dogs getting bloat.

* Feed two or three smaller meals rather than one large one.
* Do not permit rapid eating
* Avoid heavy exercise immediately after eating
* Avoid stressful situations
* Know you dog's normal behavior

Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of bloat and keep the number and address of your emergency vet handy. Minutes count when you're dealing with bloat. Beau is alive and recovering tonight because his owner knew the signs and got him immediate medical care.


  1. Thanks for this good information. I saw a little about this on a Dog Town show and learned just how bad it could be.


  2. Thanks Sue. The information ks very helpful. WE all love our dogs so much it is good to be aware of what to watch for.
    Ernie & Sasha's Mom Barb

  3. Thanks for the excellent information. Seeing a beloved pet die from this awful condition is beyond horrible. Any steps we can take to lessen the chances are so important.

  4. Would also like to note that it is most common in large, deep chested breeds. I've heard it is genetic to an extent - if dogs in the line before your dog have bloated, your dog is more likely to bloat. And if your dog's bloated before, it will likely bloat again so even more care must be taken.

    Also, I've heard there is a surgery that can be done before the dog bloats where they tack the stomach to the side of the dog, so that the stomach can't flip. When the stomach flips on a dog that's bloated, things go south really quickly. If your dog is at high risk, consider having his stomach tacked, it might save his life!

  5. Like Chan said, thank you for the refresher!

  6. I might add that the stomach can/should be tacked at the time pets are spayed or neutered. If the dog is going to remain intact for showing/breeding, it can be done thru a scope with little recovery time.

    Thanks for the article. Good job.

  7. Natalie,
    No I didn't get an e-mail from you. Try

    Sometimes the other address acts up.

  8. Hooray for Beau. So glad he made it. BLoat is awful. My sister is a vet and when she had her German Shep spayed, they did a tummy tuck so she could never bloat. Great idea.

  9. Reiki and LOVE sent to beautiful Beau. {{{HUGS}}}

  10. Thanks for this important post. I'm generally careful about exercising Penny after a meal, but I'd forgotten the details of what I had once read about it. This post makes it clear.

    I was thinking that the sort of toy I blogged about might be useful for dogs that eat too fast. Having to solve a problem to get to the serves of food might slow the eating down.

    I fed Penny her whole meal last night in a Tornado. It can take pieces of raw food if you feed raw. (Though, on this occasion we did give her a commercial food - Ziwi from NZ, made of venison.)


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