Sunday, August 17, 2014

Canine Bloat - Signs, What To Do and How To Prevent It

What is canine bloat?
Actually, canine bloat is two conditions. The first is gastric dilatation, in which the stomach distends with gas and fluid, putting pressure on the diaphragm, making it difficult to breathe. The second is volvulus, in which the distended stomach rotates on its long axis, pinching off the blood supply. The spleen is attached to the wall of the stomach, and therefore rotates with the stomach. Bloat is a very serious condition and you should seek immediate veterinarian attention. 

What can be done to help prevent canine bloat?
  • Be aware of the early signs of bloat and take immediate action if you see the signs
  • Large dogs should be fed two or three times daily, rather than once a day.
  • Adding appropriate digestive support is essential:  K9 Digestive Enzymes, Power Probiotic, Gastro ULC
  • Have water available at all times, but  it should be limited immediately after feeding.
  • Exercise, excitement, and stress should be avoided one hour before and two hours after meals.
  • Dogs that have survived bloat are at an increased risk for future episodes
  • Feed a highly digestible raw frozen diet and avoid dry kibble which expands in the stomach

Who can suffer with canine bloat?
Usually canine bloat occurs in middle-aged to older dogs (7 and over are twice as likely). There may be a familial association and there is a link between the breed and build of the dog. Large-breed dogs with deep chests seem to be anatomically predisposed. For example Great Dane, Saint Bernard,  Boxers, Irish Setters, and Standard Poodles.

What causes canine bloat?
There is no one particular activity that leads to the development of GDV. It appears that it occurs as a combination of events and results in air getting trapped in the stomach and for unknown reasons it cannot be released. 

Symptoms of bloat in dogs:
  • Distended abdomen
  • Unsuccessful attempts to belch or vomit
  • Retching without producing anything
  • Weakness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Collapse
If your dog has any of the above symptoms, please see your veterinarian right away.  For ongoing maintenance, use the K9 Digestive Enzymes and Power Probiotic for basic support to ensure that your dog fully digests his food every time he eats.  These supplements reduce gas, bloating, belching and discomfort.  Some dogs tend to have acid stomach buildup, so the Gastro ULC is very helpful for that.

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