Please read this information …Your Greyhound’s Life Could Depend On It.
It may be a funny name, but bloat, or gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV) is no laughing matter. The intestinal disorder kills an estimated 36,000 dogs in the US each year.
The onset is sudden. For unknown reasons, gas accumulates rapidly in the dog’s stomach, causing an increase in pressure, compression of the surrounding organs and shock. The stomach may twist or displace. Bloat can be rapidly fatal. About 30% of affected dogs die.
Why Does Bloat Happen?
Certain behaviors appear linked to bloating episodes: gulping large amounts of dry food, drinking copious amounts of water right after eating, and exercising vigorously shortly before or after meals. Cereal-based diets, hereditary predisposition and swallowing air have also been suggested as causes of Bloat.
Ongoing studies at Purdue University have identified two possible additional culprits; dry food with fat as one of the top four ingredients, and the addition of water to dry food containing citric acid. Details of these studies are not yet available.
The dog most likely to suffer from bloat is one of the large or giant breeds, especially deep-chested breeds. Particularly susceptible breeds include Irish Wolfhounds, Greyhounds, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Irish Setters, Doberman Pinschers, Bassett hounds, Standard Poodles, and German Shepherds.
Quick Action Helps
Quick Action on the part of the dog’s owner often can help save the dog’s life. If the pressure on the dog’s stomach is relieved, or if it is rushed to surgery to correct a twist, the animal stands a better chance of survival. Dogs that bloat once are more likely to bloat again. There are surgical procedures that veterinarians can perform to help prevent future cases of bloat.
Symptoms of Bloat
Educate yourself about bloat and if your dog shows any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately. Tell-tale signs include: Abdominal fullness or swelling, an arched back and difficulty walking, whining, pacing, getting up and lying down, stretching, looking at the belly, anxiety, intense salivation, and wretching without vomiting.
Steps Owners Can Take
Feed two or three small meals daily rather than one large meal.
Reduce the speed at which your dog eats by dropping small mouthfuls in the bowl one at a time or spreading the food around in a larger bowl.
Dogs should avoid vigorous exercise, excitement, and stress one hour before and two hours after meals. Walking is permissible and may help stimulate normal gastrointestinal function.
You should make diet changes gradually over a period of 3-5 days.
Make sure water is available to dogs at all times, but limit quantities.
Discuss emergency measures for Bloat with your vet.