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Possible Bloat - Not Sure What To Avoid?


Guest jschwe
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We had a very scary moment last night with Superbird. We had a bit of a rushed day, so we fed him immediately after work, which is not usual; usually he has a short pee walk first. After he ate, he was acting strange, doing a weird, swallowing thing, after maybe thirty seconds he laid down but was still doing it, and I even saw a bit of froth on his mouth. I was pretty alarmed, so I got him to stand up, called the husband into the room, and started to check him out. His ribcage seemed like it might have been sticking out a bit more than usual at the back, but other than that nothing physically felt different, and as soon as I started poking and prodding, he had a huge burp--it was like a switch was flipped and he went right back to normal.

 

We were really cautious with him after that, even cancelled our plans so we could keep an eye on him, but since the episode he has been acting, eating, pooing, and burping as normal. Is there any way to know for sure that we are out of the woods? I assumed that since his behavior is all back to normal he is ok, but was that wrong of me? Should I still take him to the vet anyway, just in case?

 

Basically I am now on even higher bloat alert than I was to begin with, and pretty paranoid about encountering it in the future. But, frustratingly, there seems to be very little consistent information available. In our situation, it seems to me that feeding him while he was still excited to see us home was where we went wrong. Other than that, though, I'm at a loss as to what I can do to prevent it! So much of the information out there seems to directly conflict, and since stress seems to be an issue I'm reluctant to change things (size of meals, method of feeding, etc) for fear of the stress cancelling out any good the change might do. Is there anyone who has direct experience who can offer any advice? Or should I really just be taking this information to the vet?

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I keep Gas-X on hand just in case.

 

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If he ate faster than normal, it could also have been some acid reflux?

 

I tend to avoid feeding immediately after activity and as long as the dog is panting - this in my mind is the best prevention. Once they are calmed down, it is the best time to feed. However, bloat can strike out of the blue as well, so you can eliminate the chances but it could still happen. Deep chested dogs just happen to be more prone to it than other breeds.

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Genetics and body type play a larger role in developing bloat than other factors. A highly anxious dog is also more prone to it. Truthfully, it sounds like your boy just had some gas build up (which I guess, technically is bloat), and burping took care of it. Gas-X can help, but just letting them burp is the easiest way.

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If you only feed once a day - you might want to change to twice a day. Some people think that feeding at an elevated level keeps the dog from swallowing air - hard to say if this works however, my dogs are fed at an elevated feeder.

 

You can try and avoid the situations which cause bloat and torsion to occur and that would be making sure that the dog is calm and no heavy exercise either before or after eating. You also don't want them gulping food.

 

My girl has been at the ER twice for gas ... it didn't turn into bloat however it was so bad one time that she stayed overnight to be monitored.

 

I suggest that you check out some of the videos on what bloat looks like - there are a few good ones out there.

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Thanks!! I will certainly look more into it. I am pretty prone to being overly paranoid, so it's possible it was nothing... bloat is just something I've always been aware of as being dangerous.

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We keep this bloat symptom chart on our refrigerator so that we have quick access.

 

http://www.bmd.org/bmdcr/bloat_chart.pdf

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You said he's back to burping normally. Was that just a little humor or does he burp a lot routinely?

 

I would try a food dispensing toy to get him to eat more slowly.

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