The normal stomach sits high in the abdomen and contains a small amount of gas, some mucus, and any food being digested.
It undergoes a normal rhythm of contraction, receiving food from the esophagus above, grinding the food, and meting the ground food
out to the small intestine at its other end. Normally this proceeds uneventfully except for the occasional burp.
In the bloated stomach, gas and/or food stretches the stomach many times its normal size, causing tremendous abdominal pain.
For reasons we do not fully understand, this grossly distended stomach has a tendency to rotate
thus twisting off not only its own blood supply but the only exit routes for the gas inside.
Not only is this condition extremely painful but it is also rapidly life-threatening.
A dog with a bloated, twisted stomach (more scientifically called "Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus")
will die in pain in a matter of hours unless drastic steps are taken.
Not all dogs that experience stomach bloating end up with volvulus, which is torsion (twisting) of the stomach.
A dog's stomach can fill up with gas and air and stay in position.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS TO WATCH FOR:
The signs your dog may have GDV are not subtle and include:
- Bloating, in which your dog's belly grows very big with air.
- Episodes of unproductive belching, retching or vomiting. Your dog's body is trying to expel air collected in his stomach.
- Intense abdominal pain that can prevent the dog from moving around.
- Initial restlessness followed shortly by a moribund (close to death) condition.
- Shallow, rapid breathing and pale gums. When you press on gums they should return to pink colour
*If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, you should get him to your vet or an emergency animal clinic immediately.
If you are unsure if it is simply bloat or bloat with stomach torsion, you should still take immediate action
Give your Poodle Gas X and get your dog to a vet.
The only way to tell the difference between simple bloating and GDV is with an x-ray
(and no need to use anaesthetic for this !!!)
Due to the high mortality rate associated with GDV, it is much better
to be safe than sorry, so get your pet seen right away.
A dog with simple bloat can relieve himself through belching.
Puppies, for example, tend to eat their food very quickly and swallow lots of air in the process.
Their tummies become bloated and they belch to relieve the pressure.
Sometimes they even throw up. Their stomachs return to a normal size as they expel all that excess air and gas.
A way to avoid this behaviour is to follow our feeding recommendations of "FREE FEEDING" outlined on this page:
Bijou Poodle's Food Page
I decided to build this page to alert our Puppy people of bloat since we have had 2 people inform
us that their pups have experienced Bloat and they had no clue about Bloat being a risk for Poodles.
I have to really get the point across that by not "free feeding and keeping a routine" a dog can be stressed
and at risk for bloat or torsion. So trips to a cottage, vacationing, holding events at your house are all well and good
but keep a routine for your pet as much as possible, or keep an eye on your fur kid for signs and or symptoms
or just feed RAW or soft kibble or even tin food for the duration of the change in their normal lifestyle.
We have never had any of our Poodles that live with us, have Bloat and or Torsion.
That means in over 25 years (since 1989) of owning a high risk breed that this fact is pretty impressive.
FREE FEED. Always have food and water available 24/7
Poodles are grazers and will NEVER gorge or over eat if fed this way as soon as potty trained.
FEED RAW Raw food is not going to expand like kibble will, with moisture.
RAW food is easily digested and will rarely cause any issues.
KEEP A ROUTINE. Same time let outside to play and to retire to bed.
This means on weekends and holidays as well, no exceptions.
NO FEED AFTER EXERCISE. If you insist on controlling your dog's food,
never feed them an hour before or after exercise.
A Great Dane breeder that doesn't have any bloat issues (hard to imagine) suggested that Routine in feeding and
exercise times has aided her in not experiencing bloat.
She suggested those that don't keep routines on holidays or weekends, trips to cottages, holding parties, are risking Bloat/Torsion.
When I mentioned her theory to my Vet, he did confirm that he sees cases of bloat (all variety of dogs)
on weekends and holidays for the most part and thinks she might be onto something.
My vet also suggested that anyone really worried about bloat issues could always just feed
softened kibble to avoid any digestion problems,
however an even better and healthier way would be to feed RAW.
Someone that lost a Borzoi due to bloat recently sent me these links to share with anyone worried about bloat:
Great information on what bloat is
Make your own bloat kit
Acupuncture to relieve Bloat
GAS X is also great to have on hand, as provides gas relief and uses simethicone
to work with your dog's body to help relieve gas and bloating fast while on your way to the Vet office.
People should be aware that the ONLY reason there is "documented" health concerns in "purebreds" is because
breeders and breed clubs keep track of such data. Mutts and or "designer breeds" have all the same health concerns/risks
just there is no responsible party to keep track of data like there is in the "purebred" responsible breeding world.
So don't be fooled into thinking irresponsible breeding of "oodle" crosses is a healthier one, rather it is an undocumented one.