Have you ever heard of bloat? Medically known as Gastric Dilation and Volvulus syndrome (GDV), it is a life-threatening condition that primarily affects large, deep-chested dogs and some cats. Commonly called bloat or torsion, this condition occurs when your pet’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid, sometimes even twisting. The stomach expands against other organs and can result in a lack of blood flow to the heart or stomach lining, a tear in the stomach wall, and difficulty breathing. Though the causes aren’t often known, the signs & symptoms are. Knowing them could save your pet’s life!
Most or all of these symptoms are enough to take your pet to the veterinarian, but any combination of them should spark a more immediate trip to get them checked out. If you suspect your dog or cat is suffering from GDV, seek veterinary help IMMEDIATELY! If you’re unsure, call an emergency clinic and ask if the signs are consistent with bloat.
Confirming GDV is usually as simple as an abdominal x-ray and urine test. However, treating it is where things get tricky... GDV is an emergency condition and will most likely require surgery and aftercare with the vet’s team.
After initial diagnosis and treatment, it will still be very important to observe your pet for any additional symptoms, make sure they are getting enough water to combat the effects of diarrhea and vomiting, give them a bland diet, and restrict activity as long as your vet recommends.
As frightening as this all sounds, if you believe your pet may be at risk some veterinarians recommend doing the following: