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Bloat: Dog Owners, Watch for Symptoms

Bloat: Dog Owners, Watch for Symptoms


What is bloat?

Gastric volvulus, also known as bloat, is a condition where a dog's stomach becomes distended or bloated and then begins to twist upon itself, which can affect breathing and heart function, leading to death. Bloat can prove fatal to dogs in just a few hours, so noticing the symptoms early and getting your dog to veterinary care immediately is critical.


  • A large, distended stomach
  • Excessive drooling
  • Attempting to vomit but nothing comes out
  • Restlessness and agitation


Bloat can occur in any dog, but large-breed dogs with deep, narrow chests like Saint Bernards, Irish Setters, Great Danes, and Shepherds tend to be more susceptible.


  • Feed smaller meals several times a day rather than one big meal.
  • Limit the amount of water your dog drinks at one time, especially after exercise or in hot weather.
  • Separate feeding time from exercise.
  • Consider feeding wet food in addition to kibble. Ask your veterinarian about feeding options.

Updated: March 20, 2014