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Bloat In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes And Prevention

Bloating In Dogs

What Is Bloat In Dogs?

Bloat, also known as gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in dogs, especially in larger breeds with deep chests.

In bloat, the stomach fills with gas and can twist on itself, causing a blockage of blood flow to the stomach and other organs. Bloat requires immediate veterinary care and can progress rapidly, so it is important to recognize the signs and seek treatment as soon as possible.

Symptoms Of Bloat In Dogs

You can easily identify if your dog bloats. The basic symptoms

  • Restless behavior
  • Attempting to vomit
  • Feeling worried
  • Looking at the stomach often
  • Drooling
  • Swelling in the stomach

If the condition becomes serious, he may have

  • Fast pulse rate
  • Breathes fast
  • Pale gums

Warning Signs of Bloat in Dogs

Please be aware of the warning signs of bloat in dogs

  • Restlessness
  • Swelling in Abdomen
  • Excessive saliva
  • Vomiting but nothing comes out

Treatment Options For Bloat In Dogs

Treatment for bloat typically involves stabilization of the dog's condition with intravenous fluids, oxygen therapy, and pain relief, followed by emergency surgery to relieve the twisted stomach and restore blood flow.

Let’s take a quick look at the step-by-step treatment procedure

  • First, the vet will do a complete physical examination of your dog and get x-rays.
  • If your dog is diagnosed with bloat, the vet will release the gas built up in the stomach by inserting a tube into the dog’s throat, which can go down to his stomach.
  • Sometimes, the tube the vet inserts won’t go down to his stomach. In such cases, the vet may insert a large, hollow needle in the dog’s belly that goes down to his stomach and releases the pressure.
  • Then, the vet will see the x-rays for a stomach twist. If your dog has a twisted stomach, the vet will do surgery to bring the stomach back to its normal position. By fixing the stomach in its place, your dog won’t get bloat again. But, you have to discuss with the vet for post-operative care for your dog.
  • Generally, vets examine the dog and confirm if he is in shock. Before he proceeds, he will first give treatment for shock.
  • If your dog is in shock, the vet may provide fluids intravenous to make the heart rate slower in order to prevent the dog from heart failure. He may also give medicines, antibiotics, and painkillers to ensure the blood supply to the heart.
  • If a dog is stable after this treatment, the vet will remove the damaged tissue. But, the vets place the stomach back to the abdominal wall to prevent the stomach twist from occurring repeatedly.

Surgery For Dog Bloat

If your dog is having bloat, take him to the vet as soon as possible. Because his condition may become severe if left untreated.

In general, the vet will insert a tube in your dog’s stomach and release the gas in case of bloat. But in the case of GDV, the vet may do either “gastropexy” or “pyloroplasty” surgery.

In gastropexy, the vet will fit the stomach wall to the abdominal wall. In a pyloroplasty, the pylorus (lower part of the stomach) will be widened and this leads to emptying the stomach contents into the small intestine.

How Much Does the Dog Bloat Treatment Cost?

Treatment for dog bloat is highly expensive. You have to spend around $1500 to $7500.

Home Remedies For Bloat In Dogs

Bloat is a medical emergency, and there are no home remedies that can cure it. However, if you suspect that your dog is experiencing bloat, there are some things you can do to help them before getting to the vet.

These include:

  • Keep your dog calm and comfortable. Do not let them run or play, and do not give them food or water.
  • If possible, try to gently massage your dog's belly to relieve some of the gas buildup.
  • If you have an antacid medication approved by your vet, you may administer it to your dog to help reduce stomach acid.

It is important to remember that these measures are only temporary and will not cure bloat. Immediate veterinary care is crucial in cases of bloat.

How To Prevent Bloat In Dogs?

Preventive measures for bloat include feeding multiple small meals throughout the day instead of one large meal, avoiding exercise before and after meals, and discouraging rapid eating by using a slow-feed bowl or puzzle feeder.

Additionally, some veterinarians may recommend prophylactic gastropexy, a surgical procedure to tack the stomach in place to prevent it from twisting.

Affected Dog Breeds Of Bloat

Large hound, Standard Poodle, Doberman Pinscher, Great Danes, German Shepherd, Boxer, Weimaraner, Akita, Basset Hound, Newfoundland, Irish Setter

What Causes Bloat In Dogs?

1. Causes:

Dogs bloat due to various reasons. But, it is unsure which factor exactly causes bloating in dogs.

In general, dogs may get bloat due to:

  • Eating habits
  • Certain foods
  • Stress
  • Physique
  • Exercise before and after eating

People believe that dogs bloat more due to eating habits, certain foods, and their physique.

2. Eating Habits:

If dogs have the below eating habits, bloating usually occurs:

  • Eating fast
  • Having food in the raised food bowl
  • Having food in large quantity (that is a large meal)
  • Rapid drinking of too much water

3. Foods:

  • Dry foods containing fat and citric acid
  • Soybean
  • Yeast

4. Physique:

Dog’s physique makes them bloat. The below-mentioned dogs can bloat:

When To See A Vet For Bloat In Dogs?

If you suspect your dog is experiencing bloat, it is essential to seek veterinary care immediately. Bloat is a life-threatening condition that can progress rapidly, so time is of the essence.

Signs of bloat include a distended abdomen, restlessness, pacing, drooling, unproductive vomiting or retching, weakness, and collapse.

Even if you are unsure if your dog is experiencing bloat, it is always better to err on the side of caution and seek veterinary care. Prompt veterinary attention can help improve your dog's chances of survival and recovery.

Food Suggestions For Bloat In Dogs

Preventing bloat involves more than just avoiding certain types of food. It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to preventing bloat. However, some recommendations for preventing bloat include:

  • Feeding smaller, more frequent meals instead of one large meal.
  • Avoiding exercise or strenuous activity immediately before or after meals.
  • Using a slow feed bowl or puzzle feeder to slow down eating.
  • Avoiding feeding your dog from a raised bowl, which has been associated with an increased risk of bloat.
  • Feeding a high-quality, balanced diet that is appropriate for your dog's age, breed, and activity level.
  • Avoiding feeding your dog table scraps or high-fat, high-carbohydrate, or high-fiber diets, which can increase the risk of bloat.

Consulting with your veterinarian is the best way to determine the most appropriate diet for your dog.


Bloat is a serious and life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care. While there are no home remedies that can cure bloat, there are things you can do to help your dog before getting to the vet.

Preventive measures for bloat include feeding smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding exercise before and after meals, and feeding a high-quality, balanced diet appropriate for your dog's age, breed, and activity level.

If you suspect your dog is experiencing bloat, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

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