Bloat in Dogs | Canine Gastric Dilatation & Volvulus (GDV)

Dog at vet's office Beagle with Cone Dog at veterinarian's office

Definition of Bloat

Bloat, also called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) or torsion, is an extremely painful and potentially fatal medical condition where a dog’s stomach rotates and fills with gas and fluid that can’t escape, either up the esophagus or down the small intestine. What causes bloat isn’t well-understood. However, the ballooning stomach pushes on the diaphragm and abdominal blood vessels, shutting down digestion and reducing blood return to the heart. Organs stop functioning, gastrointestinal tissues ulcerate, the stomach may rupture and, within a very short period of time, the dog goes into shock. By this point the animal is in excruciating pain and fighting for its life. Without immediate medical attention, the chance of survival is extremely low. Owners should have a good relationship with their nearby veterinarians and become familiar with the signs of bloat, so that if it happens they are prepared.

Causes and Prevention of Bloat

Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV or bloat), is a life-threatening medical condition in which the stomach becomes increasingly distended with gas to the point where it can rupture. What triggers bloat is not well understood. However, the physiological processes are. When the stomach rotates on its long axis (think of this as the connection between the stomach and esophagus on one end, and the stomach and small intestine on the other), gas and fluids become

Symptoms of Bloat in Dogs

In the early stages, a dog that is bloating will feel uncomfortable and edgy, and it won’t know why. In no particular order, without treatment an affected dog will become increasingly restless, painful, weak and depressed, and it will deteriorate rapidly. Its abdomen will become swollen, firm and excruciatingly painful from accumulating gasses and fluids in the stomach. It may retch and try to vomit, but those attempts won’t be productive, because its stomach has

Diagnosing Bloat (GDV) in Dogs

Bloat, also called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), is a life-threatening condition that can happen in any dog but is most common in older large and giant breed dogs with narrow, deep chests. It is not difficult for a skilled veterinarian to diagnose bloat. However, it is critical to diagnose the disorder quickly in order to save the dog’s life. When a veterinarian is presented with a large deep-chested dog that suddenly developed a distended

Treatment and Prognosis for Bloat (GDV) in Dogs

When an owner sees signs that suggest bloat, she should take her dog to the hospital immediately. If the dog is suffering from gastric dilatation and volvulus and is not treated, it will die in almost every case. The goals of treating bloat are to:When a dog comes into a veterinary hospital showing signs of bloat, the medical team will unite to prepare for emergency surgery to save the dog’s life. Typically, intravenous catheters will