|Large Breed Dogs & Bloat
|Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV), otherwise known as Bloat, is the second leading cause of
death in large breed dogs. In GDV there is a rapid accumulation of air in the stomach, causing
distention and often rotation (torsion) of the stomach, cutting off blood supply at both ends and
causing the dog to go into shock. GDV is an acute emergency and immediate Veterinary care is
essential. The risk of GDV increases with age. Other factors that increase the risks are: having a
first-generation relative with a history of GDV, having a deep and narrow chest or abdomen,
being thin, experiencing a major health problem before age 1, and having a fearful or nervous
The dietary factors that increase the risk of GDV are: eating only one meal a day, feeding only
dry dog food, and feeding a large amount of food per meal. Other feeding factors that increase
the risk are: eating rapidly, increased physical activity before or after eating.
*Feed two or more meals a day.
*Feed no more than 1 cup per 33 pounds of body weight per meal.
*Feed a variety of different foods. Adding some human grade raw foods decrease the risk, as
does adding canned pet food.
*Avoid raising the food bowl, place it at ground level.
*Restrict vigorous exercise one hour before and two hours after meals.
Recognizing signs of GDV
They include, panting, pacing and restlessness, head turning to look at abdomen, rapid shallow
breathing, nonproductive attempts to vomit, and salivation.
These symptoms can progress very rapidly to shock and death.
Get to your Veterinarian or emergency hospital the moment you suspect GDV.