The Fast Illness That Can Kill Your Dog

I'd like to talk about our recent canine emergency that happened 3 weeks ago. Most of those who follow myself or my husband on Facebook saw the nightmare unfold. After this happened, a lot of people said they had never heard of this and wondered how to look for it in their own pets.

I knew about this condition only because when I was a child, I saw my aunt and uncle say goodbye to their beloved Chow because of it. It was then I knew to always look for the same signs, so it didn't ever happen to me. 

I'm talking about Bloat (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, GDV). It occurs when a dog's stomach is filled by air with food/water intake and swells causing major discomfort. The next level of this is when the stomach rotates (Volvulus) and will rapidly begin to die along with other organs. 

By rapidly, I mean...it only takes a few hours. This website was the deciding factor to bring Lola in to the vet at 1am on a Monday morning. If you don't click, that's fine because I will list the symptoms of bloat below:

  • Trying to vomit and nothing comes up - May occur every 5 - 30 minutes.
  • Restlessness / Anxiety
  • The may not be able to lay down comfortably, there walking may seem different
  • Could appear hunched up, or roached up in appearance. Their back appears arched in a since.
  • They just don't act like themselves (example asking to go out in the middle of the night)
  • Attempting to poop, with no output
  • Enlarged abdomen
  • When bloat is present, it feels hard and/or sounds hollow like a drum 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Drooling / Salivating
  • Pale or off color gums color (may be dark read in early stages, white or blue in later)
  • Pacing
  • Licking the Air
  • Seeking a spot to hide
  • Heavy or rapid panting
  • Collapse
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Happy ending for us, rather, new beginning for Lola and a complete recovery. There is a procedure to flip the stomach back IF the condition has been caught in time. The biggest thing we noticed with her was the hard stomach, dry heaving, and trying to hide from us. 

There are prevention tips and more about what causes this to happen to our pups. Please educate yourself so you don't end up "waiting it out overnight" and regret it in the morning.