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How Serious Is Bloat for Your Dog’s Health?

When most of us think about the word “bloat” we think about the digestive disorder where or abdomen becomes filled up with gas. The stomach can get bloated when we take various “gassy” foods. While bloating may not be a serious condition in humans, in dogs it can be life-threatening.

Generally, bloating refers to gas being produced in the abdomen because of air being swallowed. Canine bloat, which is also known as Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, is most common in large breed dogs and is a very serious disorder. The severity of the condition varies from dog to dog.

A severe form of canine bloat is known as torsion. When a dog experiences torsion, the supply of blood to its heart may be cut off. Moreover, toxins will start building in the stomach and affect it.
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Your dog will have to undergo surgery within a few hours should he suffer from torsion. According to latest statistics, about one-third of dogs that undergo surgery to cure torsion end up dying.

Which Dog Breeds are Prone to Bloating?
Deep chested dogs such as the Great Dane, German Shepard and Rottweiler are the ones that are most likely to get a bloat. However, bloat does not only affect these dogs. Basset Hounds, Standard Poodles, Dobermans, Bloodhounds and Akitas are also susceptible to bloats.

Main Causes of Bloat
The cause for bloat does not always happen in the same way for each dog. Below, we look at some of the common causes of bloat.
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One of the most common causes of bloat comes from the dog eating so fast that they swallow air and fluids. Dogs that usually eat fast and that are only fed once a day are likely to suffer bloat. However, eating fast is not the only cause of bloating in dogs. Genetics, stress, age and exercise habits all contribute to bloating.

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. Coming to age, dogs that are over four years old are more likely to suffer from bloating. Some dogs have also been found to be more susceptible to bloating due to genetics.

Symptoms of Bloating
The key to saving your pet from bloat is to recognize the symptoms early on. One of the signs of bloating is swelling of the dog’s abdomen after he has finished eating. Other symptoms of the condition include dry vomiting, heavy salivating, whining and gagging. Your dog may also show signs of pacing, have an excessive heart rate. If your dog is suffering from torsion, his gums may be discolored.