Recognizing the Signs of Bloat in Your Dog

In humans, bloat is uncomfortable, but rarely serious. However, in dogs, bloat can be life-threatening. If you recognize any signs of bloat in your dog, call a veterinarian right away. Your dog may need emergency veterinary care.

Visual Cues

The most obvious sign of bloat is a hard, distended belly. This happens when the stomach fills with gas and twists. A bloated belly can cause dogs to have trouble breathing. It’s also possible for the torsion, or twisting, to occur at both ends of the stomach. If this happens, then the escape of liquid and gas is completely blocked. It also blocks blood flow throughout the body, and this can be fatal.

Behavioral Changes

Some dog owners have reported behavioral changes before their dog was diagnosed with bloat. Specifically, a dog may look as if he or she is trying to vomit, but nothing is coming up. Or, the attempt to vomit may only produce foamy saliva. Some dogs may also make unusual sounds to let their humans know they’re in pain. Other dogs may exhibit signs of anxiety, such as restlessly pacing around the house, looking panicked, or pawing at their bellies.

Postural Changes

As the bloat gets worse and the dog has increasing difficulty breathing, he or she may exhibit postural changes. A dog may stand with the neck extended and the elbows pointed outward. This is the dog’s effort to increase the space available for the lungs to expand. Dog owners who notice these postural cues should bring the dog to the vet right away for emergency care.

Pet Kare Clinic provides compassionate veterinary services for clients throughout Yampa Valley. Conveniently located in Steamboat Springs, CO, this clinic offers preventive wellness care, surgical services, emergency care, and advanced diagnostics. You can call the office to request an appointment at (970) 879-5273.