Why Bloat in Dogs in Tulsa, OK is a Serious Condition and What Symptoms to Watch For

Many dog owners are not aware that dogs can get a condition called bloat. This is more common in large dogs than small dogs, but every dog can get this condition. The name of the condition pretty much sums up what the condition is. This is a bloating of the stomach that can be life-threatening if ignored.

There are various secondary conditions that could happen related to bloat, and you do not want to ignore the primary condition or the secondary issues. Taking your dog to the veterinarian is critical as this condition can only be corrected with surgery. When you know what to look for, you can prevent your dog from getting very sick.

If you are ready to learn some more about why bloat in dogs is so serious and what symptoms to watch for, you need to keep reading.

bloat in dogs

Why is Bloat so Serious?

Bloat is the distention of the stomach that cannot be resolved by burping or vomiting.

Twisting of the Stomach

There are many things that could cause this condition, and it can even be spontaneous in some large dog breeds. When the condition is ignored for too long, the stomach can twist, which can lead to serious pain, blockages, and even tears in the GI tract.

Possible Damage to Other Organs

Your dog’s swollen stomach and intestines can press on other organs, damaging them, and the internal pressure can also cause circulation to be cut off to limbs and other tissues. This is a very serious condition that can escalate very quickly when it is not properly addressed. Long-term prognosis is not good for dogs with advanced secondary conditions, and many dogs will go into shock when the swelling of the stomach starts to cause pressure on other organs.

Secondary Problems

Tissues that have been compressed for too long can also die, leading to necrosis and toxicity in the body. While it might seem like a swollen stomach is not that big of a deal, all of the other secondary problems related to this problem are quite serious.

Symptoms of Bloat

There are some key symptoms of bloat that you need to be aware of.

First Symptoms

The first and most obvious symptom is the swollen and pendulous-looking belly that dogs with this condition present. This is often the most visible part of the symptoms in the early stages of the process. Your dog might only seem a little uncomfortable at first, and they might pace around and whine or lay down and pant.

Secondary Symptoms

Touching the belly can be very painful for your dog, and they might also start to whine and fuss as the pressure inside their body increases. If your dog seems to be trying to vomit or pass stool but cannot, this is a sign that there are now secondary conditions that torsion involved. Drooling and pale gums are common at this stage as well.

Shock, Collapse or Paralysis

Cases that have advanced for too long can show symptoms of shock, collapse, or even paralysis. The pain of the internal pressure might be so great that your dog will be largely unresponsive to you. This might mean that you have waited too late to head to the veterinarian, but you should still try to save your dog. Calling before you arrive at the emergency vet clinic can help to get your dog the help that it needs right away when it arrives. There is not much time to lose if your dog is showing severe symptoms.

Treatment of Bloat in Dogs

Treatment options depend on the types of symptoms your dog is currently showing.

IV Fluids and Medications

In mild cases, providing IV fluids and pain medications along with removing gas from the stomach can be enough to resolve the issue. This is not very common but, in some cases, that is all that is required to resolve the issue and get your dog started on the road to healing.


In most cases, surgery will be needed to untwist the stomach and to tack the stomach to the side of the dog’s body cavity. This will prevent the stomach from twisting again and is usually enough to prevent bloat from ever happening again as well. This is the most useful in dogs with deep chests that might have experienced a spontaneous twist, but it is also a common solution for other breeds with this health concern.

If the twist has gotten bad before surgery is performed, repair might need to be done to certain parts of the GI tract, and there might be a need to remove dead intestines that have been strangled during the bloat. Damage to other organs might be addressed during surgery or might be treated later on with supportive care like electrolytes and anti-inflammatories.

Monitoring at the Animal Hospital

Your dog will need to stay at the vet clinic for a few days to make sure that their gut will “wake back up” and start working again. Once your dog has been able to eat and drink and pass stool, they will be allowed to go home with you.

Bloat Can be Very Serious and Should be Treated Right Away

When your dog seems to be showing signs of bloat, there is no time to waste. Getting to the vet right away can change the outcome of this condition and make it possible to save your dog’s life. This is a condition that processes very rapidly, and you do not want to ignore any signs that your dog might be experiencing this condition. The sooner that your dog gets medical care, the more likely they will be to survive the bloat.

Knowing your dog’s normal behavior can be important in the early stages of these kinds of conditions, and you should never be afraid to take your dog to the vet just to be safe. Better safe than sorry is always a good rule of thumb, and you will feel better if you know that there is nothing to worry about when your dog seems not to feel their best. Bloat is so serious that it should always warrant a trip to the vet right away to make sure your dog survives.

If you would like to talk with a veterinarian about bloat in dogs give Animal Emergency Center a call at 918-665-0508!