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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Bloat (also called gastric dilatation and/or volvulus) is a common and potentially fatal disease that occurs particularly in large breed dogs. Owners can take some sensible precautions to avoid bloat occurring in breeds that are susceptible.

Bloat is massive dilatation of the stomach with air and, unfortunately, if the pressure is not relieved quickly it can prove to be  fatal. It can occur in any breed of dog or cat, but dog breeds that are reported to be particularly at risk to develop bloat include :

  • Akita
  • Basset Hound
  • Bloodhound
  • Collie
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd Dog
  • German Short-haired Pointer
  • Gordon Setter
  • Great Dane
  • Irish Setter
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Newfoundland
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Rottweiler
  • St Bernard
  • Standard Poodle
  • Weimaraner

Owners of susceptible breeds may be able to help reduce the likelihood of bloat occurring by following these recommendations (which have been proposed by the Morris Animal Foundation 1990) :

  • Feed in a quite, undisturbed place
  • Feed 2 or 3 equal sized meals a day, not one big meal
  • Don't allow excessive drinking immediately after food
  • Avoid vigorous exercise, excitement or stress for up to an hour before feeding and for 2 hours after feeding
  • If a change of pet food is being introduced - it should be done gradually over 4-5 days - avoid a sudden change
  • Observe the dog during the 2 hour period following feeding and watch for signs of bloat, including :
    • retching
    • salivation
    • restlessness
    • whining
    • abdominal swelling

In addition "at risk" dogs should not be allowed to eat rubbish or be fed leftovers.

For further information about "bloat" CLICK HERE


Updated October 2013