Bloat, medically known as gastric dilation and volvulus or gastric torsion, is a common pet health concern that can affect both dogs and cats. However, it occurs more often in large-breed canines. This condition can occur rather rapidly, with the stomach filling up with air first and then twisting itself into life-threatening positions.
How Bloat Affects Your Pet
When pets develop bloat, their stomachs will fill up with gas and twist itself anywhere between 180 to 360 degrees. This twisting action prevents blood from flowing properly and gas from leaving the stomach. This, in turn, can lead to many serious problems including damage to the cardiovascular system, circulatory shock, bacterial septicemia, gastric perforation, acute dehydration, peritonitis and even death.
Common Symptoms of Bloat
Since bloat can occur suddenly and become serious quickly, it is essential that you recognize all of the symptoms of this pet health condition. Additionally, if you have a pet that likes to eat quickly, overeat or play after eating, you need to watch for these symptoms: Swollen and Painful Abdomen, Anxious Behavior/Restlessness, Pacing, Excessive Drooling, Dry Heaving, Depression, Labored Breathing, Rapid Heart Beat, Weak Pulse, Paleness, Generalized Weakness, Collapse, Shock and Walking with Stiff Legs.
Treatments for Bloat
Bloat is an extremely serious condition on pets that requires immediate treatment. Your pet will likely need to be hospitalized and treated right away. If there are any heart-related problems, the heart will need to be stabilized first. Your veterinarian will then perform a gastric decompression. Gastric decompression involves inserting a tube into your pet's mouth and running it through to the stomach. Surgery will then be performed, so long as your dog or cat is stabilized. Surgery is necessary to return the stomach and spleen back to their normal positions. Finally, your veterinarian may choose to secure the stomach with a gastropexy to prevent any future recurrences of bloat.
Bloat can occur in any breed of dog or cat and at any age; however, it occurs most often in large-breed dogs that are middle-aged or seniors. Additionally, canines with deep chests are more predisposed as well. Some of these breeds are as follows: Great Danes, Standard Poodles, Old English Sheepdogs, Saint Bernards, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhounds, Collies, Boxers, Irish Setters, Bloodhounds, Weimaraners, Basset Hounds, Chinese Shar-Pei and Dachshunds.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.