What is Bloated?
Your dog’s stomach may seem bloated once in awhile due to eating too much or eating something he is not supposed to, but a hard, swollen belly is not normal. If you notice that your dog is not acting normal, has a bloated belly, tries to vomit, circles like he cannot get comfortable, and has trouble breathing, you need to get your dog to a veterinary emergency hospital right away. This may be a life-threatening illness called bloat. Here are some other common causes of bloating in dogs:
- Stomach cancer or other tumors
- Heart problems
- Internal bleeding
Bloating in dogs is usually a sign that something is wrong and it needs to be checked out if it does not go away within a few hours. Since bloat can be lethal within hours, you should not wait longer than a few hours and you should not try to diagnose him on your own. Do not give him any kind of medication unless the veterinarian tells you to. It is best if you take him to see a veterinary professional right away.
Why Bloated Occurs in Dogs
There are many causes of bloating in dogs and many are serious, so it is important to see a veterinary professional right away.
Bloat (Gastric Dilation Volvulus)
Bloat is considered by most experts to be the most emergent situation for a canine. This is a condition that happens when a dog eats too much or swallows too much air and the swollen stomach rotates and traps the gas inside the stomach. The other symptoms include circling, vocalizing, trying to vomit, depression, and anxiety. This condition is more common in older dogs and large dog breeds with deep chests such as:
- Standard Poodle
- Gordon Setter
- Basset Hound
- Irish Setter
- German Shepherd
- Doberman Pinscher
- St. Bernard
- Great Dane
Intestinal Cancer or Other Tumors
Some types of cancer are more common in dogs, but the most common include:
- Intestinal (Adenocarcinoma)
- Liver (Hepatocellular Carcinoma)
- Adrenal Gland Cancer (Pheochromocytoma)
Heart failure and some cardiac infections can cause a buildup of peritoneal in the abdominal area. Other signs of heart disease in your dog are coughing and breathlessness.
This is usually caused by a trauma to the abdominal or chest area. Blood will build up and cause the stomach to swell.
An infection of the womb (pyometra) and other infections, can cause abdominal bloating as well. Some of the other symptoms you will see may include:
- Bloody vaginal discharge
- Excess thirst
- Loss of appetite
Roundworms can cause the stomach to swell. This is a common condition in puppies but can affect a dog of any age and breed.
There are numerous things that can cause poisoning in dogs, and that includes everyday items that we use every day such as seasonings and vitamins. Other items that can cause bloat are chocolate, some plants, medications, and even some bugs.
What to do if your Dog is Bloated
If your dog has signs of bloat, you need to take him to an animal hospital immediately. Do not wait to make an appointment with your regular veterinarian unless they will take you immediately. This is an extremely painful and fatal condition that will kill your dog within a few hours. Bloat causes the stomach to twist upon itself and blocks both the openings to the stomach, making it impossible for your dog to pass the gas and cutting off the blood supply. It usually requires emergency surgery to put the stomach back in its original position.
Stomach cancer or other tumors can be treated with medication or may need to be removed surgically. Your veterinarian will let you know what options are available for your dog.
Heart problems such as infections that cause fluid retention are usually treated by removing the fluid with a needle. Medication will be started to control the heart problems.
Often, infections like pyometra, which is a uterine infection, can cause abdominal swelling. Other symptoms include bloody discharge, fever, and appetite loss. The veterinarian will likely prescribe an antibiotic and maybe a corticosteroid to reduce the swelling.
Parasites such as roundworms need medication to be removed from the body. You should make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can if you believe your dog has roundworms.
Poisoning needs to be treated immediately because it can be lethal as well. The veterinarian will likely give your dog an emetic to induce vomiting, a gastric lavage to flush the stomach, and intravenous fluids to help circulation.
Prevention of Bloated
To prevent bloat, you should feed your dog more than two meals per day and add canned food to his diet. Try to keep him calm after eating and do not let him run around with a full stomach.
You cannot prevent cancer, but you can feed your dog veterinary approved foods and supplements known to help prevent cancer. Talk to your veterinarian for suggestions about what is right for your dog.
Heart problems can be prevented by visiting your veterinarian on a regular basis.
Infections that can cause bloat include those that are bacterial, anaerobic, and fungal. You can prevent these infections by keeping your dog away from areas where there are known to be outbreaks and keeping your dog up-to-date on his vaccinations.
Parasites such as roundworms and heartworms can be prevented by seeing the veterinarian every three months. You should also give your dog dewormer and follow up with the veterinarian as needed.
Poisoning can be avoided by keeping toxic chemicals, food, and other dangerous items away from your dog.
Cost of Bloated
The cost of bloating in dogs can range from $150 to $200 for a veterinary visit and some medicine for worms, to $7500 for intestinal cancer which is a more serious condition. The cost for treating a case of poisoning will vary depending on the toxic substance and the exposure to it; chocolate poisoning, for example, may present a cost of $2500.
Worried about the cost of treating your pet's symptoms?
Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.
Bloated Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
1 found this helpful
1 found this helpful
Dec. 20, 2020
Dec. 20, 2020
0 found this helpful
0 found this helpful
Sept. 5, 2018