Wag of the Week
Last updated 4/26/2022 at 3:12pm
Hi folks, AARF still has Keystone, Paris, Buddy, Taz, Shasta, and Bambi – please check us out at AARFcolorado.com. And remember, you can now visit with dogs at Tumbleweed Kennels on Old Pueblo Road any day of the week, but please call ahead: 719-382-1126.
This week I want to share info with you about a very serious, even fatal, illness: bloat. I lost my Sienna to this in 2010 when she was 12. I knew she was gassy from antibiotics, and unfortunately she had been given two rounds. Unbelievably, it was the first night that year that was temperate and she wasn't in the room with me. I'll never get over it, finding her gone the next morning. Here's some info excerpted from Pet MD: It's always good to cross-reference websites too.
Bloat is a condition in which food or gas stretches your dog's stomach, causing abdominal pain. While it is more common in large breed or deep-chested dogs, any breed can develop bloat. Depending on the severity, BLOAT CAN BE FATAL IF NOT TREATED WITHIN AN HOUR OR TWO. When bloat occurs, your dog's stomach begins to expand, or distend, and cuts off blood flow to the abdomen as well as the stomach itself. This may cause injury (even death) of the stomach wall and, without treatment, eventually other organs. Bloat can also put pressure on the diaphragm, a thin muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen, leading to trouble breathing. In severe cases, a dog's stomach twists and fills with gas. This is called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) and is considered one of the most painful, severe emergencies in veterinary medicine. This degree of bloat cuts off blood flow to the stomach and the lower half of the body, making it impossible for food to pass into the intestine. In extreme cases of GDV, a dog's stomach can rupture, and the spleen can also be injured. This is a very serious health emergency and, if untreated, a dog with GDV will die within hours.
Is Bloat in Dogs Curable? All cases of bloat require immediate medical attention to determine the severity. If bloat is treated immediately, it is often curable. Simple bloat, where the dog's stomach has not twisted, can sometimes be managed without medication, but may require fluids or other treatments. Other degrees of bloat, including GDV, can also be curable if diagnosed in the early stages. These conditions are usually treated with immediate surgery.
Symptoms: Bloat is a very uncomfortable, often painful, health crisis for dogs. As a result, a dog with bloat may 1)Dry-heave (also called retching) without vomiting any food. Sometimes a dog might spit out white foam when trying to vomit, which is usually mucus from the esophagus or stomach. 2) Have abdominal distention (this might not be visible in the early stages of bloat) 3) Experience sudden anxiety, pacing, an inability to get comfortable or constantly moving around the room/house. 4) Be guarding their belly or looking back at their belly 5) Position themselves in downward facing dog pose, where the dog's back half is up and upper half is down.z Pant, drool collapse, have a racing heartbeat and pale gums.
Causes: It's unknown why bloat and GDV occur in dogs, but there are suspected risk factors that can increase the chance of bloat: Ingesting large amounts of food or water too quickly; Weighing more than 99 pounds increases the risk by about 20%; Age (Older dogs are at a higher risk); Being deep chested; Exercise immediately after eating; Eating from an elevated food bowl; Having a close relative that was diagnosed with bloat; Eating dry food with fat or oil listed in the first 4 ingredients
Vet tips: Never leave large bags or bins of food accessible to your dog, to avoid overeating. Do not use raised food bowls unless advised by your veterinarian (some pets require a raised food bowl due to a medical condition). Wait at least 1 hour after a meal or drinking a large amount of water for any exercise or playtime. Feed small meals a few times throughout the day instead of 1 or 2 large meals Avoid allowing dog to gorge on water. Discuss preventative surgery with your veterinarian for breeds at higher risk of bloat. This can often be performed during your pet's spay or neuter procedure.
AARF holds adoption fairs at Petsmart on Powers Saturdays 11-2: 2965 N New Center Pt., Colorado Springs, CO 80922. PLEASE CHECK the website/Facebook for any updates (such as inclement weather. Sometimes the fair is right here in Fountain at Tumbleweed Kennels). More info, & call any time: JULIE at 719-375-1200 (land line) or Cathy at 719-761-5320. Email: [email protected] or [email protected] Facebook: AARF Colorado aarfcolorado.com