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Bloat is a very serious health risk for many dogs, yet many dog owners know very little about it.  According to the links below, it is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer.  It is frequently reported that deep-chested dogs, such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Dobermans are particularly at risk.  This page provides links to information on bloat and summarizes some of the key points we found in the sites we researched.  Although we have summarized information we found about possible symptoms, causes, methods of prevention, and breeds at risk, we cannot attest to the accuracy.  Please consult with your veterinarian for medical information. 

If you believe your dog is experiencing bloat, please get your dog to a veterinarian immediately!  Bloat can kill in less than an hour, so time is of the essence.   Call your vet to alert them you’re on your way with a suspected bloat case.  Better to be safe than sorry!

The technical name for bloat is “Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus” (“GDV”).  Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air (although food and fluid can also be present).  It usually happens when there’s an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid, and/or foam in the stomach (“gastric dilatation”).    Stress can be a significant contributing factor also.  Bloat can occur with or without “volvulus” (twisting).  As the stomach swells, it may rotate 90° to 360°, twisting between its fixed attachments at the esophagus (food tube) and at the duodenum (the upper intestine).  The twisting stomach traps air, food, and water in the stomach.  The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs.  The combined effect can quickly kill a dog.


Typical symptoms often include some (but not necessarily all) of the following, according to the links below.  Unfortunately, from the onset of the first symptoms you have very little time (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours) to get immediate medical attention for your dog.   Know your dog and know when it’s not acting right.

  • Attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful); may occur every 5-30 minutes
    • This seems to be one of the most common symptoms & has been referred to as the “hallmark symptom”
    • “Unsuccessful vomiting” means either nothing comes up or possibly just foam and/or mucous comes up 
    • Some reports say that it can sound like a repeated cough
  • Doesn’t act like usual self
    • Perhaps the earliest warning sign and may be the only sign that almost always occurs
    • We’ve had several reports that dogs who bloated asked to go outside in the middle of the night.  If this is combined with frequent attempts to vomit, and if your dog doesn’t typically ask to go outside in the middle of the night, bloat is a very real possibility.
  • Significant anxiety and restlessness
    • One of the earliest warning signs and seems fairly typical
  • “Hunched up” or “roached up” appearance
    • This seems to occur fairly frequently
  • Lack of normal gurgling and digestive sounds in the tummy
    • Many dog owners report this after putting their ear to their dog’s tummy.
    • If your dog shows any bloat symptoms, you may want to try this immediately.
    • Bloated abdomen that may feel tight (like a drum)
      • Despite the term “bloat,” many times this symptom never occurs or is not apparent
      • Pale or off-color gums Dark red in early stages, white or blue in later stages
      • Coughing
      • Unproductive gagging
      • Heavy salivating or drooling
      • Foamy mucous around the lips, or vomiting foamy mucous
      • Unproductive attempts to defecate
      • Whining
      • Pacing
      • Licking the air
      • Seeking a hiding place
      • Looking at their side or other evidence of abdominal pain or discomfort
      • May refuse to lie down or even sit down
      • May stand spread-legged
      • May curl up in a ball or go into a praying or crouched position
      • May attempt to eat small stones and twigs
      • Drinking excessively
      • Heavy or rapid panting
      • Shallow breathing
      • Cold mouth membranes
      • Apparent weakness; unable to stand or has a spread-legged stance Especially in advanced stage
      • Accelerated heartbeat Heart rate increases as bloating progresses
      • Weak pulse
      • Collapse


    According to the links below, it is thought that the following may be the primary contributors to bloat.


    Dog shows, mating, whelping, boarding, change in routine, new dog in household, etc.
    Although purely anecdotal, we’ve heard of too many cases where a dog bloated after another dog (particularly a 3rd dog) was brought into the household; perhaps due to stress regarding pack order.  

    Activities that result in gulping air

    Eating habits, especially…

    Elevated food bowls

    Rapid eating

    Eating dry foods that contain citric acid as a preservative (the risk is even worse if the owner moistens the food)

    Eating dry foods that contain fat among the first four ingredients

    Insufficient pancreatic enzymes, such as Trypsin (a pancreatic enzyme present in meat)

    Dogs with untreated Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) and/or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) generally produce more gas and thus are at greater risk

    Dilution of gastric juices necessary for complete digestion by drinking too much water before or after eating

    Eating gas-producing foods (especially soybean products, brewer’s yeast, and alfalfa) 

    Drinking too much water too quickly (can cause gulping of air)

    Exercise before and especially after eating


    Especially having a first-degree relative who has bloated

    Dogs who have untreated Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) are considered more prone to bloat

    Gas is associated with incomplete digestion

    Build & Physical Characteristics

    Having a deep and narrow chest compared to other dogs of the same breed

    Older dogs

    Big dogs


    Being underweight


    Fearful or anxious temperament

    Prone to stress

    History of aggression toward other dogs or people


    Some of the advice in the links below for reducing the chances of bloat are:

    Avoid highly stressful situations.  If you can’t avoid them, try to minimize the stress as much as possible.  Be extra watchful.
    Can be brought on by visits to the vet, dog shows, mating, whelping, boarding, new dog in household, change in routine, etc.

    Do not use an elevated food bowl

    Do not exercise for at least an hour (longer if possible) before and especially after eating
    Particularly avoid vigorous exercise and don’t permit your dog to roll over, which could cause the stomach to twist

    Do not permit rapid eating

    Feed 2 or 3 meals daily, instead of just one

    Do not give water one hour before or after a meal
    It dilutes the gastric juices necessary for proper digestion, which leads to gas production.

    Always keep a product with simethicone (e.g., Mylanta Gas (not regular Mylanta), Phazyme, Gas-X, etc.) on hand to treat gas symptoms.
    Some recommend giving your dog simethicone immediately if your dog burps more than once or shows other signs of gas.  
    Some report relief of gas symptoms with 1/2 tsp of nutmeg or the homeopathic remedy Nux moschata 30

    Allow access to fresh water at all times, except before and after meals

    Make meals a peaceful, stress-free time

    When switching dog food, do so gradually (allow several weeks)

    Do not feed dry food exclusively

    Feed a high-protein (>30%) diet, particularly of raw meat

    If feeding dry food, avoid foods that contain fat as one of the first four ingredients  

    If feeding dry foods, avoid foods that contain citric acid   
    If you must use a dry food containing citric acid, do not pre-moisten the food

    If feeding dry food, select one that includes rendered meat meal with bone product among the first four ingredients  

    Reduce carbohydrates as much as possible (e.g., typical in many commercial dog biscuits)

    Feed a high-quality diet

    Whole, unprocessed foods are especially beneficial

    Feed adequate amount of fiber (for commercial dog food, at least 3.00% crude fiber)

    Add an enzyme product to food (e.g., Prozyme)

    Include herbs specially mixed for pets that reduce gas (e.g., N.R. Special Blend)

    Avoid brewer’s yeast, alfalfa, and soybean products

    Promote an acidic environment in the intestine
    Some recommend 1-2 Tbs of Aloe Vera Gel or 1 Tbs of apple cider vinegar given right after each meal

    Promote “friendly” bacteria in the intestine, e.g. from “probiotics” such as supplemental acidophilus
    Avoids fermentation of carbohydrates, which can cause gas quickly.  
    This is especially a concern when antibiotics are given since antibiotics tend to reduce levels of “friendly” bacteria.  [Note: Probiotics should be given at least 2-4 hours apart from antibiotics so they won’t be destroyed.]

    Don’t permit excessive, rapid drinking Especially a consideration on hot days And perhaps most importantly, know your dog well so you’ll know when your dog just isn’t acting normally.

    Breeds At Greatest Risk

    Breeds most at risk according to the links below:

    • Afghan Hound
    • Airedale Terrier
    • Akita
    • Alaskan Malamute
    • Basset Hound
    • Bernese Mountain Dog
    • Borzoi
    • Bouvier des Flandres
    • Boxer
    • Bullmastiff
    • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
    • Collie
    • Dachshund
    • Doberman Pinscher
    • English Springer Spaniel
    • Fila Brasileiro
    • Golden Retriever
    • Gordon Setter
    • Great Dane
    • German Shepherd
    • German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Great Pyrenees
    • Irish Setter
    • Irish Wolfhound
    • King Shepherd
    • Labrador Retriever
    • Miniature Poodle
    • Newfoundland
    • Old English Sheepdog
    • Pekinese
    • Rottweiler
    • Samoyed
    • Shiloh Shepherd
    • St. Bernard
    • Standard Poodle
    • Weimaraner
    • Wolfhound
    • Sighthouds
    • Bloodhounds

    Roundworms are intestinal parasites that can be passed to and from any warm-blooded animal.

    The most common internal parasite, roundworms are especially prevalent in puppies. Puppies are infested in utero, through transplacental transfer from a roundworm infested mother. A slender, spaghetti-noodle shaped worm can be found in the stools of a dog that is heavily infested, or a fecal exam by a veterinarian will reveal roundworm eggs.

    • Vomiting
    • Coughing
    • Diarrhea
    • Bloated belly
    • Bloody or mucus-laden stool
    • Loss of appetite

    Whipworms are long, whip-shaped worms that take up residence in the dog’s colon. Eggs are shed and diagnosis can be made three months later through a veterinarian fecal exam. Weight loss, anemia, and fresh blood in the stool are signs of a heavy infestation.

    The most common dog tapeworm is is transmitted through fleas. The most common sign of infestation is discovering the egg sacks around the anus. Egg sacks look grains of rice, that may or may not be moving. Treatment is accomplished by a prescription from your veterinarian. Due to the nature of tapeworms, regular de-worming medication will not help.

    Hookworms are minuscule (12 to 15 mm) intestinal worms that hook onto the intestinal wall and consume copious amounts of blood. A hookworm infestation can kill a puppy before the eggs are ever discovered in a fecal exam. It is extremely important to test all dogs on a regular basis, as hookworms are not only very contagious to other pets, but also to humans.

    Let K9 Executive remove your waste, disinfect the area and help prevent the spread of disease.

    Look after your children & your family.

    Reduce smells / flies and pests coming into your garden.

    Stop that wheelie bin from attracting pests.

    ** Information from Google 2010

    Links : We support the fair treatment of dogs !

    Brucella canis Infection (brucellosis): A bacterial disease rarely associated with dogs.
    Campylobacter Infection (campylobacteriosis): A bacterial disease associated with dogs, cats, and farm animals.
    Cryptosporidium Infection (cryptosporidiosis): A parasitic disease associated with dogs, especially puppies, cats, and farm animals.
    Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm): A parasitic disease associated with dogs, cats and fleas.
    Giardia Infection (giardiasis): A parasitic disease associated with various animals, including dogs and their environment (including water).
    Hookworm Infection: A parasitic disease associated with dogs and cats and their environment.
    Leishmania Infection (leishmaniasis): A parasitic disease associated with dogs and sand flies outside the United States.
    Leptospira Infection (leptospirosis): A bacterial disease associated with wild and domestic animals, including dogs.
    Lyme Disease: A bacterial disease that can affect dogs and ticks.
    Q Fever (Coxiella burnetii): A bacterial disease occasionally associated with dogs.
    Rabies: A viral disease associated with various animals, including dogs.
    Ringworm: A fungal disease associated with dogs.
    Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: A bacterial disease associated with dogs and ticks.
    Roundworm: See Toxocara infection.
    Salmonella Infection (salmonellosis): A bacterial disease associated with various animals including dogs.
    Tapeworm (flea tapeworm): See Dipylidium Infection.

    Toxocara Infection (toxocariasis, roundworm): A parasitic disease associated with dogs and cats and their environment.

    Dogs can carry a variety of germs that can make people sick. Some of these germs are common and some are rare. For example, puppies may pass the bacterium Campylobacter in their feces (stool). This germ can cause diarrhea in people. Puppies and some adult dogs often carry a variety of parasites that can cause rashes or illness in people. Less often, dogs in urban or rural areas can carry the bacterium Leptospira (lep-TO-spy-ruh). This germ causes the disease leptospirosis (lep-to-spi-roh-sis) in people and animals.]

    Defra Website to help dog owners ;
    • How to be a responsible dog owner
    • Is your dog barking too much?
    • Dog Control Orders
    • Keep Britain Tidy

    Step by step guide found on the internet to picking up Dog poop.

    Plastic grocery bags work great for picking up dog poop. These bags do sometimes have a tear or two, so it helps to use two bags – one inside the other. This way the odds are extremely small that there will be two holes in the same location and you are almost guaranteed not to get poop on your hands.
    Using two bags of whatever kind also has an insulating effect so that you don’t feel the heat from the poop as much. And it also works better in keeping the smell down.

    Some pet supply stores have doggy bags that are scented. You may want to try some!

    Put your hand into the bag, grab the bottom of the bag with your fingers, and pick up the mess on the ground. On concrete, gingerly lift it directly up from the surface to leave as little behind as possible. On grass, make a claw-like circle with your fingers; get as far under the pile as possible, then lift.

    Use your other hand to pull the top of the bag over your fist, retaining the poop inside the bag.

    Tie the bag tightly, and dispose of it in the nearest trash receptacle. Holding your breath until you’ve picked up the poop and tied a knot in the bag(s) helps a lot.

    Dont forget to wash your hands thoroughly immediately after contact with dog or pet waste.

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