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Information On Bloat

Guest got2now

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Guest got2now

With all the talk lately about bloat, there's a website with some info that I'm pasting here on its symptoms, causes, and prevention. The address is http://www.globalspan.net/bloat.htm. I cut the parts called "Breeds At Greatest Risk" to make it shorter:

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. Notify 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.


Be prepared! Know in advance what you would do if your dog bloated.


If your regular vet doesn't have 24-hour emergency service, know which nearby vet you would use. Keep the phone number handy.

Always keep a product with simethicone on hand (e.g., Mylanta Gas (not regular Mylanta), Gas-X, etc.) in case your dog has gas. If you can reduce or slow the gas, you've probably bought yourself a little more time to get to a vet if your dog is bloating.


This information is not intended to replace advice or guidance from veterinarians or other pet care professionals. It is simply being shared as an aid to assist you with your own research on this very serious problem.



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


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


Unproductive gagging

Heavy salivating or drooling

Foamy mucous around the lips, or vomiting foamy mucous

Unproductive attempts to defecate



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





According to the links below, it is thought that the following may be the primary contributors to bloat. To calculate a dog's lifetime risk of bloat according to Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine, click here.


Stress 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 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 Trypsin (a pancreatic enzyme present in meat)

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

Heredity (especially having a first-degree relative who has bloated)

Build & Physical Characteristics Having a deep and narrow chest compared to other dogs of the same breed

Older dogs

Big dogs


Being underweight

Disposition 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 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 yogurt or supplemental acidophilus

Avoids fermentation of carbohydrates, which can cause gas quickly. This is especially a concern when antibiotics are given since they tend to reduce levels of "friendly" bacteria.

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.



Bloat - - the life threatening canine emergency

Overall summary emphasizing high-risk factors

Canine Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)

Research from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine

Dietary Risk Factors for Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat) in 11 Large and Giant Breeds: A Nested Case-Control Study

Latest findings from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine

Bloat: The Mother of All Emergencies

Interesting statistics and clear medical explanations.

Great Dane Links Directory - Bloat

First-Hand Experiences, Articles, and Links

On My Soapbox

A commentary on the Purdue studies

Bloat and Torsion: Is Nutrition a Factor?

Explores nutritional factors

Bloat and Allergies:The Relationship to Yeast Overgrowth and/or Pathogenic Bacteria

Explores possible relationships to yeast overgrowth and pathogenic bacteria

Prevention of Bloat and Torsion in Dogs

Maintains avoidance is possible in high-protein diets with raw meat that avoid carbohydrates

Understanding Bloat and Torsion

Lots of good information and advice

Bloat First Aid

Describes the stages and associated symptoms

Bloat First-Aid Kit

May help those who are unable to get to a veterinarian

How to Tube Your Dog

Same comment as above

Signs of Bloat

Many first-hand descriptions by dog owners of the symptoms they observed

Overview of Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

Provides an overview of GDV. Describes causes. Photos.

Bloat in a Dog

Graphic medical photos.

Hannah the Giant Schnauzer's Experience With Bloat

Jake the Lab - - A Survivor's Tale

What is Canine Bloat?

Gastric Torsion in Dogs

Bloat (Gastric Dilatation & Volvulus)

Dogs & Heat (North American Police Work Dog Association)

Bloat (Weimaraner Rescue)

Feeding Regimen and Bloat

Bloat - - A Medical Emergency

Bloat During Recovery from Anaesthesia

GDV - - Animal Health Channel

Bloat and Torsion - GDV

Bloat - - Killer of Dogs

Gastric Torsion - - Bloat in Dogs

Gastric Torsion in Dogs

Bloat information by HomeVet

Canine Bloat and Temperament

GDV (a veterinary surgeon's perspective)

Homeopathic information


Information written by GlobalSpan.net using the references above. Although we have summarized information we found from the links, we cannot attest to the accuracy. Please consult with your veterinarian for medical information.

We have a deep-chested dog who has never experienced bloat. We hope he never will. Feel free to share this link with any who might benefit.

Edited by got2now
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That's terrific!!! I'm going to add that write up to my Great Dane bookmark folder where I keep my bloat info :thumbs-up


My personal recommendation is to carry Phazyme (simethicone) gelcaps and a safety pin. Having had a Dane, I always carried at least ten. I'd likely do the same with a grey. At the first onset of symptoms, pierce all ten caps and squeeze the meds down. It won't get to the stomach if the dog has torsed but if he hasn't and the stuff in the stomach is gas and not just free air, it's a good start. BUT NOT A CURE.

Angie, Pewter, and Storm-puppy

Forever missing Misty-Mousie (9/9/99 - 10/5/15)
Fort Wayne, Indiana

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Guest got2now
My personal recommendation is to carry Phazyme (simethicone) gelcaps and a safety pin. Having had a Dane, I always carried at least ten. I'd likely do the same with a grey. At the first onset of symptoms, pierce all ten caps and squeeze the meds down. It won't get to the stomach if the dog has torsed but if he hasn't and the stuff in the stomach is gas and not just free air, it's a good start. BUT NOT A CURE.


What a good idea to have that on hand.

Edited by got2now
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