Monday, June 7, 2010

Please read this important message about bloat.

I've just received an email from Gill Arney who has started a much-needed campaign to increase awareness of bloat which is, apparently, the second leading killer of dogs after cancer. She has created a facebook page and also a free poster that you can download from or send away for (

Bloat is a very serious, potentially fatal problem and I wrote about it at considerable length on 15th February 2010 if you care to look at my archived posts. How do you know if your dog has it? Here are the things to look for:
  • Your dog retches from the throat but nothing is produced other than small amounts of frothy mucus
  • Your dog tries to defaecate unsuccessfully
  • Your dog adopts the 'Sphinx' position
  • Your dog's tummy goes hard and/or swells up like a balloon and is as taut as drumskin
  • Trying to bite, or worry, the abdomen
  • Your dog is very unsettled

CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY. Bloat is a true emergency - be prepared to drive to the surgery straightaway. The chance of survival decreases alarmingly if you delay getting the dog to the surgery more than 60-90 minutes after the first signs.

What causes bloat? Bloat in dogs is likely caused by a multitude of factors, but in all cases the immediate prerequisite is a dysfunction of the sphinctyer between the esophagus and stomach and an obstruction of outflow through the pylorus. Some of the more widely acknowledged factors for developing bloat include increased age, breed, having a deep and narrow chest, stress, eating foods such as kibble that expand in the stomach, overfeeding, too much water consumption in a small period of time; before or after exercise and other causes of gastrointestinal disease and distress. Studies have indicated that the risk of bloat in dogs perceived as happy by their owners is decreased, and increased in dogs perceived as fearful.

1 comment:

  1. Nice and very useful topic that is very necessary for us.

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