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Bloat in Dogs

 by ben on  |
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Bloat is a condition whereby the stomach twists and then fills with gas. This process occurs in almost all mammals that have a stomach. Dogs being among the class of mammals, they also experience bloat. The process of bloat in dogs is not well understood. Regardless of the little knowledge of bloat in dogs, the process is very harmful to these organisms.

Harmfulness of Bloat to dogs.

Bloat is characterized by a gas filling up the stomach cavity of the dog. When the gas builds up, and the stomach cannot hold any more gas, the stomach is forced to overstretch outwards. As the stomach overstretches outwards, it puts pressure on the diaphragm thus causing breathing problems. Additionally, the built pressure stops the return flow of blood to the heart.

The pressure in the stomach also causes the stomach tissues to die, thus leading to dysfunctioning of the stomach organs. For instance, the pressure causes the spleen to twist with the stomach, and this will result in the damage of the spleen tissues.

Causes of Bloat in Dogs.

At times, bloat may occur for no known reason. Some of the reasons that result in bloat are explained below.

1. Hereditary factors. Bloating of dogs may be a tendency, which is inherited in the dog's family. This involves passing the genes from a parent to the offspring. Therefore if a parent is suffering from bloat, this can be a predisposing factor of bloat in the offspring.

2. Age and sex. Dogs that are older, around the age of seven and above, are likely to experience bloat compared to the younger dogs, which are in the age of 2 to 4. This is because the stomach lining of these older dogs is weaker than that of the younger dogs. Besides age, male dogs are also likely to experience bloat than female dogs.

3. Eating fast. Some dogs are naturally fast eaters. This condition is highly contributed by giving several dogs food in one bowl. The dogs compete for the food which makes some dogs swallow the food even without chewing. When this unswallowed food gets into the stomach, it facilitates the occurrence of bloat.

4. Stress. Dogs that are under stress develop a bloating effect. This is because they take in a lot of air due to their fast breathing rate. This also applies to dogs that are anxious and fearful. Dogs should be led to have a stress free and happier life.

Symptoms of Bloat in Dogs.

Symptoms relating to bloat do appear very fast, and therefore, they can be easily noticed. Some of the symptoms include the following:

  • A swollen hard belly.
  • Pain in the abdomen when touched.
  • Signs of distress such as panting and restlessness.
  • Attempts to pass stool.
  • Drooling from nausea.
  • The dog looks anxious.

Actions to take when Your Dog Shows Signs of Bloat.

When the signs mentioned above are evident in your dog, you should do the following:

  1. Immediately take your dog to a veterinary clinic near you for an examination.
  2. Do not try to give your dog over the counter medication. The medications can worsen the situation.


Bloat in dogs is common nowadays. Therefore, it is important to learn more about bloat in dogs. The knowledge learned will help you to quickly identify a bloat problem in your dog and solve it.


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