He was in with us a few weeks ago because his owner noticed he was persistently limping on one of his back legs. We had him in for x-rays and the good news is he hasn’t done anything too bad and he should be back to fighting fit very soon. All nice and simple… or at least it is compared to his stay with us last year! Back in January’16, Gatsby came in to The Neighbourhood Vet in a poorly state. He was trying to vomit and appeared in pain, all very distressing for both Gatsby and his owner. It was quickly ascertained that Gatsby had gastric dilatation and volvulus, otherwise known as bloat.
Bloat is an emergency condition, usually seen in large breed dogs, who have eaten and often exercised soon after. This condition can be fatal and the only treatment is emergency surgery. In Gatsby’s case, he was lucky, as we diagnosed him quickly and was taken straight into surgery. Suzanne managed to untwist his stomach and save his life. He recovered well and has been a enjoying life ever since.
TOP TIPS FOR REDUCING THE RISK OF BLOAT
With appropriate management it is easy to reduce the risk level for your pets, here are a few tips:
- Feed your dogs from an appropriate height: Feeding large breed dogs from elevated bowls allows the food to move into the stomach without lodging in the oesophagus. This allows for gas to escape and the dog to “burp”.
- Slow your dog down: Special bowls, called “slow feeders” can be really useful to help your dog take a breath between mouthfuls. Pop into the clinic for a demo.
- Rest after feeding: Walking your dog after food is a no-no, always walk before! If you have to walk after feeding then leave at least 2 hours after feeding to allow for digestion.
- Feed good quality food: The better quality the food you feed, the less gas is produced when it is sat in the stomach.
Even with these changes there is still a chance your dog could get bloat so do not hesitate to contact us if you see any of these signs:
- Restlessness and abdominal pain
- Non-productive vomiting or excessive retching and vomiting
- Bloated abdomen
- Panting and laboured breathing