Bloat is a most serious condition and mainly affects large deep chested breeds, it requires immediate veterinary treatment.
The stomach becomes dilated due to an abnormal accumulation of gas/air. This 'enlargement often results in a twisting of the gut. This then sets up a series of reactions within the body resulting in a critical condition which is frequently fatal. The series of events can take place very rapidly (within minutes).Bloat usually occurs after the age of 12 months. lt can also affect puppies but this is rare.
Many theories exist as to the causes of bloat including:
Certain types of food i.e Soya based cereal foods.
Eating too quickly/Eating too much at one meal.
Delays in the passage of food through the gut.
Presence of certain bacteria causing over fermentation.
Stress During showing.
Change of environment. (Kennelling).
Death of an owner or canine companion.
Males living with a bitch in season.
3 First Signs. (Roughly in order of appearance)
b) Unproductive vomiting/retching of a saliva type frothy substance which can resemble whisked egg white and/or bubbles.(undigested food is usually not seen)
IT IS NOW TIME TO CALL YOUR VET. EXPLAIN THAT YOU THINK YOUR DOG HAS BLOAT
c) Abdominal swelling.
d) Tightness over abdomen
e) Stance -Dog stands with head down and legs apart.
f) Difficulty in breathing / Shock followed by collapse.
4 First Aid
You can give your dog 8 fluid ounces of an antacid. Brand names to look for are:
Actonorm Altacite Pfus Asilone Infacol Simeco Polycol
Ask the chemist for an activated type of antacid. Always keep one in the house and regularly check the expiry date.
Don't wait to see if the antacid improves your dog's condition. Get the dog to the Vet. Time is of the essence.
Not all vets agree with the administering of an antacid so you should check this point with them. lf you have given an antacid to your dog remember to tell your vet which one an how much.
a) Feed your dog at least twice a day to avoid stomach overloading.
b) Avoid your dog gulping down its food fast.
c) Avoid exercise for at least 1 hour before and 2 hours after a meal.
d) Do not feed before or after any situation that might cause your dog stress.(For Example Dog Shows) If you withhold food on show day DO NOT feed your dog a large meal on returning home. Feed only half the quantity you would normally.
e) Avoid excessive drinking at one time.
f) Avoid leaving your dog for long periods without being checked.
g) Get to know your dog's normal habits and you will recognise in good time when something is wrong.
h) Make sure your vet knows that your breed of dog is susceptible to bloat and talk to them about it. Ensure that your vet offers 24 hour cover and is close enough to your home in case of an emergency.
6.Treatment As per your Veterinary Surgeons instructions.