Saturday, February 10, 2024

What Is Canine Bloat & How To Prevent This Fatal Condition


Canine bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a critical condition that demands swift action to save a dog's life. This life-threatening emergency occurs when a dog's stomach fills with gas and twists upon itself, impeding blood flow and causing breathing difficulties.

Dog Breeds At Increased Risk Of Bloat

While any dog can be susceptible to bloat, certain breeds are known to be at a higher risk. Some of the breeds that are frequently associated with a higher incidence of bloat include:

Great Danes: Great Danes are one of the breeds most commonly affected by bloat, and their deep chests make them particularly vulnerable.

German Shepherds: Large and deep-chested, German Shepherds are also known to be at an increased risk of developing bloat.

Boxers: Boxers have a deep chest, and their anatomy can predispose them to bloat.

Standard Poodles: This breed, known for its intelligence and elegance, is also prone to bloat due to its deep chest.

Doberman Pinschers: Dobermans, with their sleek bodies and deep chests, are among the breeds that can be more susceptible to bloat.

Saint Bernards: These large dogs, known for their friendly nature, are also at a higher risk due to their deep chests.

Weimaraners: This breed, characterized by its distinctive gray coat, is another example of a deep-chested dog more prone to bloat.

While these breeds are more commonly associated with bloat, it can still occur in any dog, regardless of size or breed. Additionally, individual factors such as age, genetics, and diet may contribute to the risk of developing bloat. 

Signs Of Canine Bloat

Recognizing the signs of canine bloat is crucial, and vigilant pet owners should be on the lookout for symptoms such as a distended abdomen, unproductive retching, excessive drooling, panting, and restlessness in their furry companions.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Signs Of Bloat

If you suspect that your dog is experiencing bloat, immediate veterinary attention is needed as as this condition can be life-threatening. Contact your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic without delay.

Keep your dog calm and restrict their movement to minimize stress on the twisted stomach. Monitor their vital signs, such as breathing and heart rate, while en route to the veterinary clinic. Time is of the essence, and prompt medical intervention is the best course of action when dealing with canine bloat. Always consult with a veterinarian for guidance tailored to your specific situation and your dog's health.

Canine Bloat Prevention
One of the key factors in preventing canine bloat is maintaining a proper feeding routine. Feeding your dog a high-moisture diet, preferably a frozen raw diet, can help reduce the risk associated with dry kibble. Avoid hard-to-digest fillers like grains, soy and pulps. If your dog has allergic skin problems like scratching and itching avoid poultry, dairy and beef to reduce inflammation. Offering smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, rather than one large meal, can also contribute to preventing bloat. It's crucial to have fresh water readily available for your dog, encouraging proper hydration, which aids in digestion. Limiting strenuous exercise around mealtime is another preventive measure that pet owners can implement. Excessive activity immediately following meals may exacerbate the risk of bloat, so allowing your dog some time to rest after eating is advisable. Additionally, incorporating digestive supplements into your dog's routine can provide added support for their gastrointestinal health. Many veterinarians recommend Ask Ariel's K9 Digestive Enzymes and Power Probiotic to help dogs with bloat. These digestive supplements for canine bloat are designed to improve digestion, reduce gas and discomfort in dogs. The inclusion of HCL (hydrochloric acid) and pancreatic enzymes in K9 Digestive Enzymes is particularly beneficial for dogs with a history of bloat, as these components play a crucial role in breaking down food and supporting overall digestive health.

K9 Digestive Enzymes - Contains two key ingredients (ox bile extract and HCL) that are essential for the digestion of fats & protein. Healthy levels of acid (HCL) are needed in a dog's stomach to prevent the overgrowth of pathogens in the upper GI tract.

Power Probiotic - Multi-strain dog probiotic supplement for bloat that promotes the growth of friendly bacteria.  Contains 6 powerful strains along with prebiotics to increase absorption and survival of the bacteria. 

Canine Bloat Prevention Summary

1) Feed small meals throughout the day
2) Feed a high moisture diet, preferably a raw frozen diet
3) Keep fresh water readily available
4) Have your dog rest after meals
5) Use digestive enzymes and probiotics to enhance digestion

Be Mindful Of Canine Bloat Symptoms
Staying informed about the signs of canine bloat, especially if you have a big, deep chested dog is essential. Bloat can happen to any dog and it is an emergency. Taking proactive measures in your dog's care can significantly reduce the risk of this life-threatening condition. A holistic approach including a high moisture diet, proper hydration, controlled exercise, and beneficial supplements like Ask Ariel's K9 Digestive Enzymes, you can help ensure the well-being of your beloved dog.

Author:  Susan Blake Davis
First Published 12/1/2023
Updated 2/10/2024