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Bloat in Dogs: Signs

Jennifer Sellers

Bloat is one of the most common life-threatening conditions a dog can face, yet many pet parents are unfamiliar with it.

Bloat in Dogs: Signs


Also known as gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach becomes distended and filled with air, food or another liquid and presses against the other organs in his abdomen.

Bloat can also cause the stomach to twist, which can cut off the blood supply to the stomach and also prevent it from emptying. Bloat requires immediate medical attention and can be deadly — killing anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of the dogs it strikes.

Signs of Bloat in Dogs

It’s very important to be aware of the symptoms of bloat, because if your dog exhibits them, immediate medical attention is required.

Signs can include a distended or swollen abdomen, an abdomen that sounds hollow when you tap it with your finger, abdominal pain or discomfort, retching or an inability to belch or vomit, excessive drooling, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, cold body temperature, pale gums, weakness and even sudden collapse.

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