OK, I’ll admit it, I may be a little neurotic about my MuttButs health. OK, a LOT! Especially when it comes to Riedi. He’s a bit more delicate than Margi. I’ve actually gone to the vet once crying about what was going on with Riedi, but somehow managed to leave Riedi at home! (I know, stop laughing….)
Saturday evening about 30 minutes after Riedi finished his dinner he started to act strange, threw up and then was foaming at the mouth trying to throw up again. When I felt his stomach, it felt distended.
This really concerned me because I’ve heard about BLOAT in dogs and know how dangerous it can be. I took him to the local Emergency Vet and when I mentioned possible bloat, they called for triage and had a nurse out within a minute to look at him.
After X-rays and me worrying a lot, they told me the he did not have bloat. YAY! He was alert and seemed to be doing OK, especially since he decided to throw up in my car on the trip to the ER. (Luckily I have Fizzion from Dezi & Roo to clean that right up!) They gave him medicine for the nausea and also fluids and released him with instructions to return if he declined, otherwise he should visit his vet Monday for an Ultrasound. Yet another instance I wish I had gotten pet insurance when he was a puppy.
After more X-rays and an Ultrasound, Riedi was reported in good health. YAY!! We think he may have simply not digested breakfast well and ate too much dinner and it made him sick.
What do you know about Bloat?
This got me thinking about bloat and I wondered how many pet owners know what signs to look for. Bloat is when the stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off blood vessels. Dogs can rapidly go into shock and die if not treated immediately. The quicker the medical attention, the more likely the dog is to survive. The numbers that I found vary quite a bit, but it appears that somewhere between 25-35% of Bloat cases are FATAL. The number may be so high because some pet owners don’t recognize the symptoms of bloat and know the seriousness if not treated promptly.
Bloat is more common in large breed dogs, but can occur in dogs of all sizes. It appears that senior, male dogs that are anxious or high strung tend to be more at risk as well. Those of you that watch my Livestream Broadcasts can can see why I was concerned about my Riedi boy!
Unfortunately, the cause of Bloat hasn’t been definitively determined. However, there are ways that many agree can reduce the chance of your dog suffering from bloat:
- Do not exercise immediately after meals
- Feed more meals in smaller portions
- Changes in diet should be gradual over 5 days
- Water intake should be limited for an hour prior to and 2 hours after meals
- Feeding at floor level instead of raised feeders (This is new for me and I’ll be exploring it in the future.)
The main factor to remember is that Bloat is a dire EMERGENCY. There is no at home remedy and your dog should be taken to the vet or emergency vet immediately.
While Riedi’s episode was not bloat, I don’t regret taking him in. They are our kids and it is our responsibility to take care of them and keep them healthy and happy.
This post is not to be considered medical advice, please contact your veterinarian to discuss your pet’s individual needs. Various online resources were used in researching bloat, including these five articles: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.
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