Last week Gill Arney from Safedog Crash Tested Car Crates asked me to share some information on this blog about the Bloat Awareness Campaign which she set up after nearly losing her dog Beau. I also have a close family member whose beautiful Red Setter had suffered with this terrible infliction, so it’s a campaign that’s close to my heart.
Bloat (gastric dilatation and volvulus, or GDV) is a condition that involves the stomach twisting, rotating or flipping and trapping the contents – air / fluid / food. With no means of escape the pressure that builds can cut off the blood circulation to the stomach as well as causing complications with other organs, the heart and major blood vessels. The list of symptoms below are intended to raise awareness of this condition in the hope that it could save a dogs life…
If your dog experiences a combination of the following:
- your dog wretches from the throat but nothing is produced, other than a small amount of frothy mucus;
- your dog tries to defaecate unsuccessfully;
- your dog adopts the ‘sphinx’ position;
- your dog’s tummy swells up like a balloon and is taut as drumskin;
- your dog is trying to bite or worry the abdomen; or
- your dog is very unsettled.
Then you should CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATLEY.
Bloat is a true emergency and you should be prepared to go to your vets straightaway. The chance of survival decreases alarmingly if you delay getting your dog to the surgery more than 60-90 minutes after the first signs.
Gill’s key message is to drop whatever you are doing (not matter how important it seems) and get to the vet.
IT COULD SAVE YOUR DOGS LIFE
Large deep chested dogs are thought to be most at risk of developing bloat such as Great Danes, Setters, Weimeramers etc. but smaller dogs can also be affected. There are various other factors suggested by specialists that are thought may increase the likelihood of bloat; the type of food eaten; how fast the dog eats; having an immediate relative that has had bloat; eating large amounts of food or water quickly followed by exercise; being underweight and/or having a fearful temperament.
There is various advice available on how to prevent it, suggestions include:
- waiting for at least an hour after eating before exercise is given;
- avoiding rolling your dog over;
- smaller portions more frequently though out the day rather than one large meal;
- avoiding excessive amounts of drinking straight after a meal;
- using a bowl that slows down eating;
- avoiding raising the food bowl; and
- being extra vigilant with a dog that has had an episode of bloat as the likelihood of reoccurrence is high.
BLOAT – IT’S A KILLER – IF YOUR DOG SHOWS SYMPTOMS PLEASE CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATLEY
I have attached Gill’s poster. Please share if you can: Beau Bloat