Is Your Dog Bloated? How You Can Tell And What To Do About It

Everyone gets a little bloated after a big meal, right? While bloating in humans is usually very benign, bloating in canines is a different matter entirely. Left untreated, severe bloat can restrict blood flow to the heart, tear the wall of the stomach, and prevent the lungs from expanding. Bloating also puts your dog at risk for a very serious condition called volvulus in which the stomach gets twisted or flipped.In short, bloating can be deadly for your dog. For this reason, you must learn to recognize the symptoms of bloating and seek treatment immediately if you suspect that your dog may be bloated. 


Bloating in dogs can cause an array of symptoms. In addition to acting like their stomach hurts, your dog may pace, act anxious, and look at their stomach repeatedly. The following symptoms can also occur:

  • Drooling
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Unproductive vomiting
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid pulse
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Loss of consiousness 

In many cases, symptoms appear after an exercise session, especially if exercise occurred immediately following a meal. 


If you suspect that your dog is bloated, you should seek immediate attention. Take them to your nearest veterinary hospital. The situation can escalate very quickly, so don't mess around and put off seeking help. Even with immediate help, 25 to 40 percent of dogs suffering from bloat can die.

Treatments vary. The one your vet chooses to use will depend primarily on the condition of your dog. First, your vet will try to relieve the pressure on the stomach by snaking a tube down your dog's throat. If the passage is blocked, they pay release pressure by using a chest tube. Your dog may also get hooked up to an IV. If an X-ray shows that your dog's stomach is flipped, they will have surgery to correct it. 


Large, deep-chested dogs are more at risk for bloating than other types of dogs. If your dog fits this description, you should take steps to prevent bloating. Feed your dog using a raised food bowl. Feed your dog several small meals throughout the day and don't let them eat too fast. Also, give your dog a period of rest after each meal. 

Bloating is a serious and sometimes deadly condition in dogs. If you have a dog that might be prone to bloating, be sure to watch out for symptoms and seek immediate attention if they occur.  For more information, talk to a professional like Orange Grove Animal Hospital.