The big problem for big dogs. The facts about bloat.

The big problem for big dogs. The facts about bloat.

This is a large breed dog suffering from bloat. The stomach of this dog did not twist thankfully.

This is a large breed dog suffering from bloat. The stomach of this dog did not twist thankfully.

This dogs stomach had bloated and then twisted. This x-ray indicated that surgery was required to alleviate the pets discomfort.

This dogs stomach had bloated and then twisted. This x-ray indicated that surgery was required to alleviate the pets discomfort.

Big and deep chested dogs are at risk for a very scary illness often referred to as bloat, or gastric dilation volvus or simply GDV.  When the stomach becomes overly large due to a large meal or even gasses it is possible for the stomach to actually twist or flip in these larger dogs.  When a stomach twists the dog will display a great deal of discomfort, drooling of saliva, frequent retching and may be attempting to vomit usually unproductively, they will show discomfort possibly by pacing and seeming anxious in general, they may move on to a show of shock and appear lethargic and depressed.

One of the most important things in treating bloat is time.  The faster the pet is seen by a vet and swift medical treatment is begun the higher the probability of survival is.  In recent years medical intervention has improved and more pets are surviving this deadly illness.  Another important thing to consider is prevention.  There are many thoughts on this revolving around feeding and exercise.  Smaller kibble size, feeding smaller more frequent meals, and not breeding animals with a history of bloat may potentially decrease the risk of GDV for the next generations.  The only true prevention is a preventative surgery called prophylactic gastropexy.  We do offer this surgery as a laprascopic add on to a young fit dog at time of spay or neuter, if you are the owner of a large or giant breed dog, please discuss the potential risk with your veterinary team at your next visit.

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