Monday, January 28, 2013

My dog has Bloat.What should I do?

Bloat in dogs ( known as Gastric dilatation volvulus) is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary care.  When bloat happens, the dog’s stomach fills fluid and food. The bigger stomach sets pressure on other organs and eventually may decrease blood supply to a dog’s vital organs. Even with immediate treatment, approximately 25% to 40% of dogs die from this medical emergency.
Causes of Bloat in Dogs
Bloat in dogs is likely caused by a multitude of factors, but in every case the immediate prerequisite is a dysfunction of the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach and an obstruction of outflow through the pylorus. Certain risk factors include: rapid eating or eating one large meal daily, dry food-only diet, overeating and heavy exercise after eating, fearful temperament, sometimes is stress, trauma and abnormal gastric motility or hormone secretion. Dogs with inflammatory bowel disease may be at an increased risk for bloat.
Symptoms of Bloat in Dogs
Dog bloat
Distended abdomen                
Excessive salivation
Pale gums
Rapid heartbea
Unfortunately, not all cases of bloat present with typical signs. A high rate of dogs with bloat have cardiac arrhythmias (40% in one study).  A dog that stands uncomfortably and seems to have abdominal pain for no apparent reason may be suffering from bloat or from a number of unrelated conditions. When a large, deep-chested dog is retching, restless and trying to vomit unproductively, painful and drooling, with a distended abdomen, he must be rushed to the nearby veterinary hospital, time is of the essence. Bloat can become fatal within a matter of minutes.
Treatment for Dogs bloat
Depending on your dog’s situation, a veterinarian will take an X-ray of the abdomen to assess the stomach’s position. The vet can extract the stomach and relieve gas and fluid pressure by inserting a tube down the esophagus.  Intravenous fluids may be started to reduce shock; bloodwork may be done to check for abnormalities, and a heart monitor may be set up. Most vets will still recommend surgery to permanently attach the stomach to the side of the abdomen in an attempt to prevent future episodes.
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