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bloat busters: petplan pet insurance offers advice for dealing with gastric dilatation-volvulus

  • Jules
  • Posted by Jules Benson on
    Chief Veterinary Medical Officer of Petplan

Table manners aside, your dog’s urgent eating style simply won’t do. Gulping down breakfast is not only a choking risk, but, in some cases, can increase the risk of a life-threatening condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).  

Also known as the dreaded “bloat,” GDV is a true canine emergency, often requiring surgery to correct. It occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with air and compresses the diaphragm and abdominal veins causing a restriction of blood flow to the heart.  The air-filled stomach can easily rotate, cutting off the dog’s blood supply to the stomach. Without emergency treatment, it’s only a matter of time before the stomach tissue dies. By learning to recognize the signs of canine bloat and responding immediately, you can help prevent the devastating consequences of this condition.  

Who Gets Bloat?•

  • Large breed dogs with narrow chests are much more likely than smaller breeds to get GDV

  • Male dogs over the age of seven are twice as likely to get GDV than females

  • Dogs who eat too fast and exercise soon afterwards and/or eat just once a day are also seem to be at an increased risk

What are the Symptoms?•

  • Bloated, distended belly

  • Retching

  • Dry heaving

  • Shallow breathing

  • Weak pulse

  • Rapid heart rate

Can I Prevent Bloat?

It’s not possible to completely prevent bloat. But if your dog is at an increased risk, you can help protect against it by making sure to:

  • Feed your dog two to three times each day

  • Limit water and exercise one hour before and after eating

Thanks to excellent veterinary care, Petplan pet insurance receives countless claims for dogs who recover from GDV every year. To help protect your dog from GDV, take the time to ask your vet for suggestions at your next appointment.

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Chris AshtonCo-Founder and Co-CEO of Petplan Pet Insurance
vet tip of the week

Visit your vet at least once a year to keep your pet protected from preventable diseases.