Published: 27 September 2018

You may have heard of dog bloat or, as it is also known, gastric torsion, but what does it entail?

It means that a dog is suffering with a twisting of the stomach and can happen when the stomach becomes filled with gas.

The cause of the condition is seen as a bit of a mystery. It is thought that if there is enough room in the abdomen for gas-filled organs to move then occasionally they will. This is why the condition is most common in deep chested dogs such as Weimaraners, German Shepherds, Boxers and Great Danes amongst others. The triggers that are thought to possibly cause this are anxiety - which causes the dog to swallow more air than usual - or some diets.

A bloated dog is an emergency as if this inflated stomach twists it can be fatal.

So what should you be looking out for:

  • Anxiety: pacing around or trying to vomit, without success, may be warning signs

  • Too much air intake: animals often take in excessive air when anxious and this is more common in kennelled dogs

  • Saliva: watch out for excessive dribble or saliva from your dog's mouth

  • Gut bloating: if you notice a distended swollen stomach, seek advice fast

Once at the vets your dog may be x-rayed and sedated and may require further treatment.

If you'd like to know about how to spot when your dog needs medical treatment and how to respond in an emergency, join us on our three hour First Aid for Dogs course. We've courses taking place throughout the year, at locations in Sussex, the Midlands, London and Surrey. You can view all the available courses here.

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