In loving memory of Heidi
Heidi bloated at the age of 3
She is sorely missed by her family
WATCH OUT FOR BLOAT
An Article found in German Shepherds Vol. 3
Any owner of a German Shepherd should be aware of a fearful, often fatal affliction that strikes rapidly and without mercy. Bloat, the common name for gastric torsion and volvulus, is a swelling of the stomach resulting from a buildup of liquid and gases that cannot be expelled naturally. The swelling can be additionally complicated by an accompanying torsion, or twisting, of the stomach on its axis. Torsion can quickly cut off the blood supply to major organs, eventually resulting in shock and death if not treated in time.
Unfortunately, the exact cause of bloat remains elusive. Theory after theory has been advanced, but case studies show that individual occurrence vary greatly, which makes pinpointing the origin of this killer nearly impossible. Possible reasons: too much swelling of dry food once ingested; exercise within an hour before or after eating; drinking of excess water after a meal; laxity in the ligaments holding the stomach; or all of the above. Recommendations for prevention include soaking dry food thoroughly before feeding and not allowing your shepherd to drink water or exercise until an hour after it has eaten. Feeding two smaller meals a day to a bloat-prone breed is advisable to prevent overloading the stomach. Digestive enzymes have also been suggested as a possible aid against bloat.
William Young, DVM, of Chevington Animal Hospital in Pickerington, Ohio, says that taking all advised precautions provides no guarantee that a dog will not develop bloat. Symptoms include depression, drooling, restlessness, failed attempts to vomit and a swollen abdomen. "It is imperative for the owner to seek veterinarian assistance immediately when bloat is suspected. The pressure in the dog's stomach must be relieved as soon as possible. Emergency procedures may include treatment for shock and possible surgery." Dogs 7 years or older are at greatest risk, but this heartbreaker can occur at any age. Always keep the number of both your veterinarian and a nearby emergency clinic readily available--just in case.
BLOAT IN THE GERMAN SHEPHERD
A FEW SIGNS TO LOOK FOR
Knowing these early warning signs could save your dogs life.
Typical symptoms often include some (but not necessarily all) of the following,
according to the links below. Unfortunately, from the onset of the first
symptoms you have very little time (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours) to
get immediate medical attention for your dog.
Know your dog and know when it's not acting right.
Attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful); may occur every 5-20 minutes
This seems to be one of the most common symptoms & has
been referred to as the "hallmark symptom"
Doesn't act like usual self
Perhaps the earliest warning sign & may be the only sign that almost always occurs
Significant anxiety and restlessness
One of the earliest warning signs and seems fairly typical
"Hunched up" or "roached up" appearance
This seems to occur fairly frequently
Bloated abdomen that may feel tight (like a drum)
Despite the term "bloat," many times this symptom never occurs or is not apparent
Pale or off-color gums
Dark red in early stages, white or blue in later stages
Lack of normal gurgling and digestive sounds in the tummy
Many dog owners report this after putting their ear to their dog's tummy
Heavy salivating or drooling
Foamy mucous around the lips, or vomiting foamy mucous
Unproductive attempts to defecate
Licking the air
Seeking a hiding place
Looking at their side or other evidence of abdominal pain or discomfort
May refuse to lie down or even sit down
May stand spread-legged
May attempt to eat small stones and twigs
Heavy or rapid panting
Cold mouth membranes
Apparent weakness; unable to stand or has a spread-legged stance
Especially in advanced stage
Heart rate increases as bloating progresses
FOR MORE INFORMATION VIEW:
Bloat is a life threatening condition.
You do not have long to save your beloved baby.
If you suspect bloat get to the vet IMMEDIATELY.
email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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