Bloat or GDV (gastric dilation volvulus) is a fast onset and very serious canine condition that can quickly prove fatal if prompt treatment is not sought. It is caused by gastric dilation, or the stomach of the dog filling with gas, which places pressure on the entry and exit of the stomach, which in turn prevents the gas from escaping in the normal ways. As well as simple gastric dilation, which is very serious in itself, bloat can also be accompanied by a twisting of the stomach under pressure, which effectively cuts off the digestive system and the normal digestive process. This secondary stage of the condition is the volvulus part. When the digestive system stops up in this way, and the stomach twists, the stomach becomes dangerously distended, which is both incredibly painful for the dog, and also ultimately commonly leads to death if left untreated.
All dog owners should be aware of the potential signs and symptoms of bloat and GDV and be prepared to act quickly if they expect that their dogs are in the early stages of the condition, as fast treatment can save lives. Some breeds and types of dogs are more at risk of developing bloat than others, and certain conditions and lifestyles can also elevate the risk factors for bloat in dogs of all types.
In this article, we will look at the risk factors that can heighten the possibility of any dog developing bloat, in order to provide more information to owners of potentially at-risk dogs. Read on to learn more.
While bloat can affect dogs of all shapes and sizes, large and giant dogs are much more prone to suffering from an attack than smaller dogs. The Great Dane is the breed that is most likely to develop the condition at some point over the course of their lives, and the Akita, standard poodle, German shepherd, Irish wolfhound and Irish setter are also classed as high risk breeds. Large and giant breeds as a whole are at risk of bloat, due to their deep chests, and any deep chested breed is likely to have higher risk factors than other dogs.
Bloat or GDV is a particularly challenging condition as it comes on suddenly with little to no warning, and it is almost impossible to identify the potential risk factors that might combine to cause an attack. However, studies into bloat and affected dogs have drawn some conclusions that indicate that certain living conditions and other factors seem to have a part to play in the condition’s development.
While there is no guaranteed or sure-fire way of preventing any dog from being afflicted by bloat or GDV, taking into account the risk factors above and working to reduce them can minimise the possibility of a potential attack.