View Full Version : Bloat?

2nd May 2009, 11:08 PM
I just started this job as a caregiver at a veterinary office and we have to take tons of quizzes. One of the quizzes that we took recently was a quiz on bloat. It almost surprises me because dog food companies and veterinarians advertise how it's bad to feed dogs table scraps and things but then on the packet about "bloat", it listed feeding table scraps as one of the things that decreases the dog's chance of getting bloat. And then also, dogs on dry food diets aren't supposed to do strenuous exercise for an hour after they eat. If they do, it increases the chances of bloat.

Basically, I was just wondering if anyone has had any personal experience with it? It's really interesting to me because I'd never heard of it before until I got the packet.

3rd May 2009, 12:54 AM
It can be a really dangerous condition and unfortunately is more common in certain breeds. Deep chested breeds are at much higher risk. Cavaliers are deep chested but I've not heard of this being a particular problem -- perhaps it is more the larger deep chested breeds?

There's a lot of info here:


however you may need to register at the site to read it.

I do know of people whose dogs have been struck by this. It is generally viewed as an emergency.

3rd May 2009, 09:42 AM
I was in the emergency vet two weeks ago with bloat in a Cavalier.

We gave them all pressed raw hide as a treat and only a little while after eating it she ballooned (she had also drank quite a bit of water). Her whole belly was very swollen, hard and uncomfortable to touch. She wasn't able to lie down and ws sitting up with a giant belly. We rang the vet and we were at the surgery maybe half an hour later. He was late arriving and as we were waiting for him she seems to be a good bit better. When we finally got to see a vet she was quite close to normal (to everyones relief!) but he give her plenty of injections (anti-spasmodics, anti-inflams etc) just to make sure. He told us that this is the good way it can turn out, and some dogs bodies can just deal with it before it gets to a very serious state. All that night she was very gassy (:yuk:) but by the morning she was good as new! This didn't last long...

It turns out that there was a problem with the raw hide we had given her - we were back in the vet due to blood in her poo (quite a lot) land very bad diahorroea that day (after the night at the vet). The first worry was an obstruction or rat poisoning (:yikes) but both were disproved and after a lot more injections and a chemist of pills to bring home with us, we were on our way, and no problems since! :xfngr:

The reason for the suspected raw hide contamination was my other dog had very severe diahorroea, no blood but extremely bad, for two/three days after eating the raw hide. Nothing else in his diet/enviroment had changed and it coincided with my other dogs stomach problems perfectly. While my Cocker (who will eat anything that stays still for too long!) didn't eat very much of his treat and was fine. At the time, we thought it was very wierd that he didn't eat it but didn't think too much of it, now we know why. I told the vets about the whole thing, afterwards, and they agree with me - there is no other logical explanation. I contacted the store I bought them in and, while the guy I dealt with was very nice, they haven't gotten back to me at all about it. I would be worried (and thought they would also bo concerned) about a faulty product that was making dogs ill. It will be the last time I buy anything there.

3rd May 2009, 03:47 PM
I used to work for a vet and bloat is very dangerous, often dogs die from it. It's usually deep chested large breeds, but can happen in other dogs rarely. We have an Irish Setter (prime candidate) so I really paid attention to bloat cases when I worked at the vet.... In true bloat the stomach gets distended with too much food and/or water and twists over inside the dog. Surgery is almost always required, but it has to be FAST. Often the dog dies if you take too long to get it into surgery, or if the stomach has been twisted too long part of the intestine is dead already, you have to remove the dead part (it turns black if the blood supply has been cut off for too long) then you have to resect the remainder of the intestine/bowel, if neccesary remove from the stomach what caused the bloat, if it is a large thing, sew the stomach into a fixed position to try to keep in from flipping over again, then close the dog and begin to pray.... Some dogs die later, esp if part of the intestine was already dead. Sometimes the vet gets in there and knows its too bad to even try saving and they end up just euthanizing the dog. :( Once a dog has had a true bloat incident they are prone to have it again. It does usually come from eating a huge meal, then playing to rough, or even a long walk right after a meal can be bad. We free feed our adult dogs, so large meals aren't a problem, they eat when ever they want, which works for us, but with most dogs they would get over weight. Vets do suggest that for large breeds prone to bloat that you feed them two meals a day, not just one, just one makes them more prone to bloat. Of course eating a sock, or something like that can cause blockages etc, that still require surgery to remove, as I have heard from many cav owners since they love to eat EVERYTHING! :rolleyes:

Love my Cavaliers
3rd May 2009, 05:04 PM
Is bloat what Marley - the dog from the movie Marley and Me - died from? In the movie, the vet said his stomach turned over (or something like that) and was likely to happen again.

3rd May 2009, 08:06 PM
Yes, I ment to mention it in my post, bloat is what happened to Marley in the movie. The book was much better than the movie of course, boy did I cry at the end of that book! :cry*ing:


3rd May 2009, 10:13 PM
I never actually saw Marley and Me. I also never wanted to, it's like dog propaganda. That and everyone that I see has a horrible acting lab and I can't stand them. Well... trained labs are fine but I don't know many college students that think it's necessary to train their dogs - or even use leashes on their dog. (sorry, little rant there)

I was basically interested on how likely it is that cavalier's get it. I'm sure they're low on the list just because they're lazy. My dog pretty much goes straight to sleep after eating.

I do know that the top breed for bloat is the great dane, then st. bernard, and the third top is the weimaraner.

I obviously haven't had any problems with my dog and bloating but my dog's problem is that she doesn't chew her food, she almost swallows it whole. But regardless of what she's eating, I try not to let her go have major exercise right after. I usually feed her right before I leave the house and at night right before bed.

4th May 2009, 10:02 AM
. In true bloat the stomach gets distended with too much food and/or water and twists over inside the dog. Surgery is almost always required, but it has to be FAST.

With our case, she didn't reach the "twisting" yet so we were very lucky. Some of the injections given were to help empty her stomach (of food and gas) so that it would go down before there was a more serious issue. The suggestion was made to make her vomit but the vet was very against this - the last thing you want to do it force the stomach to contract (which is why they usually use tubes to get whatever it is out of there).

We are so careful since - she tends to drink a lot in one go so we have to keep an eye on that and she is being fed more, little meals. She is so lazy and just konks out after she eats so no prblems there :rolleyes:. The vet suggested giving her a small amount of olive oil with her food to lubricate it (which she loves) and of course, warned us that if it has happened once it prob will happen again.

Years ago, we had a lab that also had bloat - he didn't need to be opperated on but did have tubes put into his stomach to empty it and spent a night in the vets. He was quite old at the time and died pretty soon after from a totally unrelated condition (cancer).

4th May 2009, 10:14 AM
I read this with interest, i always thought that large breed dogs were more at risk from bloat than small breed.
I have friends whos akita had bloat they were very lucky they knew the signals & took imidiate action. once a dog has suffered bloat they are prone to it happening again & from what i can remember have an operation to stop the stomach twisting.

There are ways that they say help prevent bloat & i personally will not feed my dogs after or before a walk for a couple of hours, they advise one, but im a little paranoid about it!

Here is a link that tells you all about it plus symptoms & which breeds are more prone, The Cavalier isnt one listed.


8th May 2009, 03:45 AM
OK, so here are a few facts:

. bloat can happen to ANY dog in theory, and also in cats. I have seen it in a toy poodle.
. however, a Cav would be rare.
. indeed, Great Danes are #1.
. Also, German Shepherds, Labs, Goldens, Rotties, Setters etc.
. there are 2 parts, so it is a misnomer. There's the stomach-full-of-air part, or true "bloat." And there's the twisted stomach part. Either one can kill a dog.
. This is the ultimate emergency. If you suspect your pet has it, you need to rush to the closest vet, day or night.
. You can find much more RELIABLE info on that topic, and many others, on my web site.
. While you're there, you can subscribe to my (free) newsletter.

drphilzeltzman - doggie surgeon
www.drphilzeltzman.com (http://www.drphilzeltzman.com)