Dog Bloat: A Guide to Signs, Symptoms, and Precautionary Measures

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Dog BloatDog bloat is formally known as Gastric Dilatation Volvulus. It’s the second leading cause of death in dogs, but many owners don’t even know the signs to look for. Bloat is a buildup of gases in the digestive system caused by swallowing air, stress, or an internal twisting. Once symptoms occur, it can quickly lead to death.


The number one sign of bloating in dogs is unsuccessful attempts to vomit. They can repeat this anywhere from every five to thirty minutes. The dog will have a vomiting reflex but only produce light foam. The dog may appear restless or anxious; whining, pacing, or trying to hide. They may ignore their normal routine. For example, the dog may insist on going out during the night when they normally sleep.

Many dogs with bloat will have strange behaviors such as licking the air. They may hunch up, drink more than normal, or attempt to eat foreign debris like stones and sticks. If you place your ear against their stomach, you won’t hear the typical gurgling digestive noises.


Once a dog is actually experiencing bloat there are definite symptoms you’ll notice. At the beginning stages they will appear fatigued and very reserved. Eventually, they will begin to cough and gag with heavy drooling. A foamy mucous may appear around the mouth, while the gums will appear very pale. They will either stand with their legs spread apart or curl up in a ball due to pain. They will avoid laying on their stomachs due to the pain. Put your ear up to their stomach. If you don’t hear a gurgling noise signifying digestion, it indicates bloat.

As the bloating progresses, they won’t be able to defecate. Breathing will range from heavy panting to shallow breaths, but the membrane of the mouth will feel cold. The dog’s heart rate will increase, and they eventually collapse.


There are precautionary measures that can be taken to help your dog avoid bloating. Meal time is crucial. Reduce their stress when eating. Make this a peaceful time of day. Avoid exercise for one hour before, until one hour after feedings. Discourage rapid eating by giving them several smaller meals instead of one large serving. Remove water during feedings as it will dilute the digestive acids needed to break down food. When food isn’t breaking down properly, the gasses that cause bloat are formed.

If switching food, do it gradually. Feed a mix of wet and dry foods. Choose dry foods with bone meal product or rendered meat as one of the first four ingredients. Make sure that fat is not listed within the first four ingredients. It should be high in protein with an adequate fiber content of three percent. The dry food should contain at least 30% protein.

One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or Aloe Vera gel can be given after meals to aid digestion. Prozyme, an enzyme product, can be added to food as well as herbs that reduce gas. Avoid additives such as alfalfa, brewer’s yeast, and soybean products.

Keep a product with Simethicome on hand. This would be Mylanta Gas, Gas X, or a similar product. Give it once bloating occurs to slow down the gasses, giving you more time to get to the vet. Don’t let your dog be a victim. Know the symptoms of bloat. If you even suspect that your dog has bloat it is safer to visit an animal emergency hospital immediately.

Information credit to Central Animal Emergency Clinic, a Vancouver pet hospital.

Five Things to Expect After Your Dog’s Surgery

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5 Things to Expect After Your Dog's Surgery

Five Things to Expect After Your Dog’s Surgery

You love your dog enough to seek proper veterinary care whenever there’s a problem. At times, your dog may need to go to an animal emergency and surgical center to correct serious problems ranging from swallowed, lodged objects to broken bones. Or, your pet may need routine surgery such as spaying or neutering. After surgery your pet will exhibit certain characteristics of which you should be aware:

Your Dog May Be Cranky

Your dog has just experienced a traumatic event. She or he may not be accustomed to an overnight stay away from you. Additionally, your dog is coming out of anesthesia, which can have a lingering effect on his mood and disposition. Post-surgery, a dog may appear snappish, scared, or angry. Don’t be alarmed, as this is likely the waning effect of anesthesia.

Your Dog May Seem Disoriented

Another effect of anesthesia is disorientation. Your dog may seem like he does not know where to go when you bring him home from surgery and get him out of the car. He may hesitate to go into your house. This is common behavior and will wear off after the anesthesia has left the dog’s blood stream.

Your Dog May Be Reluctant to Eat

This is very common. Surgery can affect a dog’s appetite, and any kind of pain can make him seem disinterested in food. Don’t be alarmed, as your dog’s appetite should return in a day or two. Conversely, your dog may be ravenous and want to eat immediately when he or she comes home from surgery. Limit his food intake for at least a day so that he does not eat too quickly and regurgitate.

Your Dog Will be Sleepy

If it seems like all your dog wants to do after surgery is sleep, this is normal. Post-operative sleepiness is expected with dogs, just as it is with humans. Your dog will want to sleep more due in part to the anesthesia and in part due to the trauma of the experience. As in all animals and humans, trauma can be exhausting. When it is over, extra rest and sleep are in order.

You May Seem Like A Stranger

Don’t worry if your dog seems “mad” at you, or if he seems like he doesn’t know who you are. Again, this is a common side effect of anesthesia. As it wears off and your dog becomes more relaxed in his familiar surroundings, he will come to you and forget all about the surgery.

In summary, getting your dog the surgery he or she needs is the right thing. Don’t be overly worried about whether surgery for dogs is too invasive, as it is part of standard veterinary practice. Owners who take good care of their dogs and get the care they need will have a loving relationship for more years with their pets.

Four Home Remedies for Curing Your Dog’s Cold

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FourFour Home Remedies for Curing Your Dogs Cold Home Remedies for Curing Your Dog’s Cold

A cold, wet nose in the morning is one thing, but when your furry friend has watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose, then he has the symptoms for a cold. Much like humans, there are four home remedies that will help provide comfort to your canine companion.

Colds are dehydrating for humans and pets. Proper hydration helps the natural ability of the body to fight off viruses. Encourage your dog to drink lots of water and change his water at least once a day. It is also helpful to keep his water bowl clean, as well. When your pet is hydrated, it will keep the nasal secretions from becoming thick which can clog up the dog’s nose leading further to breathing problems.

Chicken Soup 
Just like mother made for you, a warm bowl of chicken soup will help comfort your dog as well as keep him hydrated. Low sodium chicken broth, brown rice, and chicken breasts (please leave out the bones) are the perfect ingredients for a soup to comfort a sick pup. Also, just some warm chicken broth will do the trick, as well. A warm bowl of chicken soup will help give his immune system a boost, revitalize his energy, and health.

Steam will open bronchial passages and ease his breathing. One method is to run a hot shower or bath and enclose your pet within the room for about ten minutes. Just make sure you do not put your animal in the hot water. You can also boil a pan of hot water on the stove so that the house will be warm and humidified. There are plenty of humidifiers on the market that you can purchase at your local store that will humidify your home.

Like people, dogs need rest when they have a cold. Give him only short periods of time outside, especially in winter where the cold air could tighten up his bronchial tubes and make it harder for him to breathe. Keep his area warm and dry. Wooden dog crates with a soft blanket on the bottom, and a fluffy dog toy provide a cozy environment for recuperation.

Check with your veterinarian for recommendations on other home remedies such as Vitamin C, Echinacea and garlic. If symptoms persist past a few days, then call your vet for further testing. Hydration, rest, and chicken soup will help provide comfort and help cure your dog’s cold.

Author Bio

Karleia is a freelance blogger and animal lover. Away from the office she enjoys spending time her with her two daughters and myriad of pets.

Five Tips for Helping Your Old Dog Get Used to the New Puppy

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Five Tips for Helping Your Old Dog Get Used to The New PuppyEvery family that loves dogs will have a combination of old dogs and puppies in the home. While the family may have had an older dog for quite some time, it is best to make sure that the family has a younger dog in the house to play with the older dog. It will also help to keep the home active and vibrant even as the older dog prefers to relax rather than play most of the day. Each of these tips is great to make sure the old dog and the new dog get along.

1. Treat Them Equally

Dogs and children are the same. They know when one is getting more attention than the other. As long as the older dog is honored for their time in the home, they will be able to handle the attention the younger dog gets as they learn how to live in the house.

2. Give the Older Dog Their Own Space

Every dog that has a crate or bed, or even a place on the owner’s bed should be able to sleep in their own space. When the older dog knows that their space is not being invaded by the new dog, they will feel more comfortable.

3. Give the Older Dog Their Time

Older dogs should be able to take their walks alone with the owner rather than together with the new dog. The two dogs can get used to each other better when they are kept separate for some of their activities.

4. Let the Dogs Play Together

Letting the dogs go in the yard and play together is a great way to make sure that they can learn from each other. Most of the time the owner only needs to mediate play time to make sure the dogs are getting along. Otherwise, the dogs can learn each other on their own.

5. Give Them Their Own Food

When both dogs are ready to eat, it is best for them to have their own food. When the dogs do not have to fight over food or make sure that they have their own space, they will tend to get along better. For example dogs get their own appointments and their own exam rooms when they visit the vet.

If you are having trouble teaching the dogs to get a long many animal health experts such as those at San Ramon Vet Surgeons can give you insight into your dogs. An old dog doesn’t have to learn new tricks, but they must be given their own space so that they can have fun with their new brother or sister. Respecting dogs as one helps them to adjust to new family members.


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