What a Bloated Abdomen Could Mean for Your Dog

Dogs love their food, and when they overindulge, their stomachs may show the signs. However, abdominal distension in a dog can also be an indicator of an extremely serious medical condition called bloat. If your dog has a bloated abdomen, you may need to seek emergency veterinary treatment in case your pet needs urgent care. Here is a look at some of the most common causes of abdominal bloating in dogs.

Bloating from Overeating

If your dog has a bloated abdomen but he or she appears otherwise healthy and happy, then the bloating is likely to be caused by overindulging. One simple way to recognize this kind of bloating is to know that your dog has recently eaten more than usual. For instance, if your dog managed to grab some table scraps and is now full and content, the bloating may not be a cause for concern but rather a side effect of eating too much. Overeating can lead to the more serious form of bloat, however, so it is important to be vigilant about your dog’s symptoms.

Bloat

Bloat, also more technically called gastric dilation and volvulus (GDV), is one of the most serious emergencies dogs can face. Without treatment, GDV can be fatal within hours of the onset of symptoms. It occurs when a bloated stomach twists on itself, inside the dog’s abdomen, which traps air and gas in the stomach and prevents blood from reaching the stomach. This condition is painful, so in addition to a distended abdomen, your dog will appear restless and anxious and he or she may pace, drool, and try to vomit unsuccessfully. You may also notice pale gums, shortness of breath, and a rapid heart rate as the condition progresses. It is important to seek immediate veterinarian care if you even suspect that your dog has GDV.

Other Bloating Causes

Other conditions can cause bloating as well, including peritonitis, an infection that occurs when the stomach or intestines rupture, and Cushing’s syndrome, in which the body overproduces the hormone cortisol. Both conditions are serious and require immediate treatment at an animal hospital.

Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers emergency vet care & advice in the Dallas areas when your dog needs it the most. Find out how to get life-saving care around the clock by calling Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or by calling Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney at (972) 529-5033.

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