Bloat is a life-threatening condition that acts rapidly and can lead to the death of your dog within hours if the condition is not recognized and treated immediately. Unfortunately, the cause of bloat remains unknown at this time, but you can learn to identify its symptoms before it may follow its deadly course.
It first helps to understand exactly what this condition is and how it can hurt your dog. Dogs first experience a rapid and abnormal expansion of the stomach with gas. If this happens to your dog, the pressure can be so intense that its stomach could actually rotate. The rotation may then close both the entry to and exit from the stomach. That would put your dog in very serious jeopardy, since blood flow might also be restricted.
What could follow is an increase in pressure inside your dog's stomach, and compression of its surrounding organs. Eventually, shock could occur as a result of the restricted blood flow. Here are a few key facts about bloat:
Early Warning Signs
Since bloat is a true medical emergency, early identification and treatment is critical to your dog's survival.
If your canine is in the early stages of bloat, it will be feeling a lot of discomfort. You may see your dog pacing and whining and trying unsuccessfully to get into a comfortable position. It may seem anxious, and it may lick or keep staring at its stomach. Your dog may also attempt to vomit, but probably without success.
Other signs of bloat can include weakness, swelling of the abdomen, and even symptoms of shock, such as increased heart rate and abnormally rapid breathing. Here are the warning signs to watch for, and if your dog demonstrates any of these, call your veterinarian immediately:
There are several steps you can take to help decrease the incidence of bloat in your dog. Feeding management offers the best method available for reducing risk until the exact cause of bloat can be identified. Try these proactive strategies:
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