Bloat in dogs

One of the more serious concerns of particularly large, deep chested breeds of dogs such as Poodles and Doberman Pinchers is the development of a disease known as bloat, or gastric dilatation/volvulus syndrome. Bloat is a condition that occurs when the stomach quickly distends with gas and even twists, potentially resulting in severe health and life threatening consequences. Symptoms of bloat in dogs may include:

  • Abdominal distention
  • Drooling
  • Nonproductive vomiting or retching
  • Drooling
  • Restlessness
  • Collapse/shock

While there is no known definitive cause of this condition, there are many risk factors that can increase the likelihood of bloat in dogs. Some of these include feeding nutrient poor quality foods that are high in carbohydrates or soy based.  Also, dogs who drink water or eat too quickly and/or exercise immediately after eating can also result in an increased chance of bloat. For dogs that eat too fast, a bowl such as the Slo-Bowl Slow Feeder may help in allowing your dog to have more natural eating habits.

Once stomach distention or twisting occurs, emergency veterinary attention is critical, including passing a stomach tube, IV and shock therapy, and potential surgery if twisting has occurred. Because of the high incidence of bloat in certain breeds, it is often recommended at the time of spay and/or neuter to perform what is called a tie-back procedure at time of spay/neuter to lessen the likelihood of future bloat in later years.

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21 Comments

  1. my dog is vomiting undigested dog food. 2 times today, unusual for him, why?

  2. my dog has vomited 2 times today, undigested dog dry food, Diamond is the name, he has a cold nose and damp. no temp,, why would he be doing this. please answer, thank you

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Dogs can vomit like this for many reasons from dietary allergy, to virus to foreign body ingestion to metabolic reasons like pancreatitis. See vet if vomiting persists. Try pepcid AC at dose of one half mg per pound twice daily and feed bland diet for now.

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 1, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Answered previously.

  5. Thank you so much for answering my question, Falcon is a true member of my family. I gave him Pepto and he calmed right down. He seems to want to eat all my plants, which I have a lot, so needless to say they are all put up. I am afraid he will get poisoned. Thank you again Dr Barbara Martin bbmartin11@yahoo.com

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    You are very welcome. Feed low carb high quality natural diets, as well as avoid exercise after meals and overdrinking which can help as well.

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  10. My little chihuahua has a very hard time with stomach bloating. Everyone thinks she is just really fat but she is always bloated. You can touch her stomach or pick her up and she makes grunting noises. I have taken her to the vet several times they told me to put her on a low calorie food which i have done. She eats very quickly like she is afraid someone is going to take her food.
    What can I do to help this situation??

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 12, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I would change her to a low grain, low carb diet such as wysong epigen diet or Evo from 1800petmeds. Also consider add digestive enzymes and probiotics to her food like naturevet enzymes which mayhelp as well.

  12. I have a beagle and lab and both are obviously deep chested breeds. Is it possible that they could bloat from playing really hard (rolling around, running, etc) and drinking water to rehydrate?

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 19, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Dont let them exercise AFTER drinking alot of water for a good 30 minutes.

  14. Our 60pd Aussie/Lab 7 yr old has been on Pheno for a yr. She gets meds twice a day after meals. She has been vomiting for approx. six months. Blood work and xrays have been taken. Its usually her morning small first meal of organic dry and two table spoons wet food. When she vomits the food is covered in a white mucus. After she vomits she eats it up and it stays down. Please share any ideas

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 16, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Many possibilities from food hypersensitivity, to pancreatitis to inflammatory bowel disease. Would recommend full blood work and possibly x rays and/or ultrasound. Consider pepcid AC at dose of one half mg per pound once to twice daily with food. I would have her tested for pancreatitis as well which sometimes phenobarb can cause

  16. what can i give my dog 4 bloating and gas ..

  17. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 9, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    You can try Gas X from drug store

  18. i have a chihuahua that is bloting in tummy
    thay put her on panacur suspension
    and it run out is there somthing i can get to replace that ,, ?.. it did work but now im out of it and the bloating has come back .. she is eating good and peeing good . i have put her on . gnc multivitamin plus
    soft chew,s and castor pollux natural dog food , but dont
    look like it doing no good ….can you help me plz ..

  19. I feed my pits grain free Kirkland never had a problem

  20. My Pit has just recently started with making noise randomly like she is going to get sick but doesn’t, we believe she has gotten sick once (there was not food it was like a Flem type substance) since this has been going on about a week. Not sure what to do, she still seems to be herself with playing and eating. Not sure if it could be related or not? Now I am worried.

  21. Not something I can diagnose from your description in this question here. If signs persist or worsen, best to see your local vet for full exam and workup

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