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Does Bloating Pose a Serious Health Risk for Your Dog?

When most of us think about the word “bloat” we think about the digestive disorder where or abdomen becomes filled up with gas. When you eat various foods that are known to be “gassy”, you may suffer a bloated stomach. Although bloating in humans is not something to take lightly, in canines bloating can be a very serious and life-threatening issue.

Bloating refers to the gas produced in the abdomen when a person swallows gas. Among dogs, especially the large ones, canine bloat is a serious condition that can affect them. However, the severity of canine bloat varies.

Torsion is the most severe case of bloat. The dog’s blood supply to the heart can be cut off when torsion occurs. Moreover, the stomach begins to die as toxins build up in it.
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Your dog will have to undergo surgery within a few hours should he suffer from torsion. Even with surgery, up to about a third of affected dogs still die.

Which Dog Breeds Does Bloating Mostly Affect?
The Rottweiler, German Shepard and the Great Dane are among the dogs that are most likely to be affected by bloating. However the dogs in the example are not the only ones susceptible to bloat. Other deep-chested dogs such as Akitas, Bloodhounds, Dobermans, Standard Poodles, Bassett Hounds are also at higher risk for bloat.

How Does Bloat Happen?
The cause for bloat does not always happen in the same way for each dog. However, there are specific causes that are common.
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To begin, dogs are likely to get a bloat when they are eating fast, and in the process swallow air and fluids. Dogs that usually eat fast and that are only fed once a day are likely to suffer bloat. However, the dogs eating habits alone are not the only causes for this disorder. Other factors known to contribute to bloating include stress levels, age, and exercising habits of the dog.

If you exercise your dog by making him do vigorous activities an hour before he east or up to two hours after eating, bloating is likely to result. Age is an issue since bloat is more common in dogs after the age of four. Genetics has also been found to contribute to bloating in some dog breeds.

What Are The Recognizable Symptoms For Bloat?
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of bloating early on to save your pet. One of the most obvious signs of bloat, although not the most common, is abdominal swelling after meals. Heavy salivating, gagging, whining and dry vomiting are the other signs of bloat. Your dog may also show signs of pacing, have an excessive heart rate. In the case of volvulus, or torsion, your dog may have a week pulse and or discoloration of the gums (color of the gums can change to a pale color due to the severity of bloat).