There are many things we need to watch out for as dog owners, but this one is particularly tricky, the subtle symptoms of bloat are not always easy to notice but can cause our loved doggies to lose their lives in minutes.
It’s also commonly called Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), and it’s not really too well understood by vets and professionals, but it usually occurs in large breeds of dogs.
There was a well-known case, very popular in an autobiography, Marley and Me; “Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog.”
The author recalls and tells us his story when his fiery Labrador, called Marley, is rushed to the animal hospital after he suffers a second bout of the disease!
He said: – “He lay on the floor in the back seat with his head resting on the center hump, and I drove with one hand on the wheel and the other stretched behind me so I could stroke his head and shoulders.”
By the time that they got to the hospital, it was too late, Marley had to be euthanized to spare him any more pain and suffering.
Doctor Dan Pamment from Malvern Central Vet Centre warns:
“It can be very hard to pick the symptoms”
“No one knows 100 percent, but what’s thought to happen is dogs ingest air (aerophagia) and their stomach then blows up, bloats; that’s called dilatation…and that’s what starts to put pressure on the stomach wall”
Ge goes on to describe in detail the latter stages:
“For some reason, the stomach twists and rotates… and that twisting action cuts off the blood supply. The stomach wall and everything associated with it starts to be compromised by the (lack of) blood supply and starts to die.”
He concludes with:
“It gives you an idea that it’s a very serious disease.”
By larger breeds, he is including German Shepherds, Standard Poodles, Labradors, Great Danes, Greyhounds, and Rottweilers, mostly at risk.
He also said:
“It has occurred in sausage dogs- they are barrel-chested. It’s also occurred in terrier-type dogs.”
Dr. Pamment went on to say that he can suggest that owners of dogs who may be predisposed to the condition could consider an operation called a gastropexy.
He describes it in detail:
“The procedure is stitching the outer-wall of the stomach to the body wall, so it anchors the stomach to the body wall better than nature has done. That stops if not buys you more time because the stomach cannot rotate.”
We do indeed well know about this disease, and humans too can have similar problems with intestines getting twisted.
We hope that we can at least educate more people about these dangers and knowledge is the power to prevent and recognize these kinds of things.