What is Bloat in Dogs? Life Threatening!


A Dog with BloatBloat is a life-threatening emergency in which gas and fluid become trapped in the stomach. It is most common in large, deep-chested breeds, i.e. Pit Bulls. In the most thorough study of bloat to date, several factors affecting bloat emerged. Dogs who are fearful, eat fast, and eat only one meal a day are more likely to bloat. Stress seems to call upon a bloating episode. Dogs with stable temperaments and dogs who eat some canned food and table scraps are less likely to bloat.

Avoiding Bloat!

  • Feed several small meals instead of one large meal.
  • Include some canned food or table scraps
  • Make sure your Pit Bull chews their food some, no gulping.
  • Help to create a more calming mood when your Pit Bull eats.
  • Restrict water for an hour after eating.
  • Discourage your dog from running or jumping for an hour after eating.
  • Pre-moisten food, especially foods that expand when moistened. This means once dry food goes into the stomach and hits the water, it will expand with the stomach fluids.

What to do if your Pit Bull has Bloat!

YOU HAVE HOURS BEFORE DEATH! If you do not get your dog to a veterinarian within hours of the start, there is nothing you can do. Your Pit Bull will be dead, do not think there will be any other outcome. If you think your dog has bloat, get them to a 24hr Vet pronto. In early stages you can give your dog a Gas-X, but if they are a few hours into the pain and swelling, it is too late for the Gas-X. Once the stomach has reached full torsion, there is nothing that can be done unless you are in the vets office at that time. Even then the outcome is likely fatal. Hopefully you are not reading this article in emergency.

QUICK REFERENCE (Phases of Bloat)

Phase 1

  • Stomach Starts to Dilate (gastric dilation)
  • Then Stomach will Twist at the end of Phase 1
  • Dry heaving maybe some white foam
  • Restlessness, Anxious, Pacing
This is the time to call your vet and tell him why you’re calling, or make your way to a 24hr emergency care clinic. Your Pit Bull may recover if treated in this phase.


Phase 2
  • Blood supply to stomach is cut off
  • Stomach begins to twist
  • Spleen becomes engorged with blood
  • Shock begins to develop
  • Restless whining and panting
  • Salivating hard
  • Constant vomit attempts
  • Stands with legs widened and head down
  • Stomach will be swollen and makes a hollow sound if tapped
  • Dark red gums
At this point, get your dog to the Vet immediately, every minute is crucial here. The vet will need to relieve the stomach pressure, and begin the procedure to untwist the stomach. This is very expensive and the survival rate is severely lowered.


Phase 3
  • Spleen and stomach tissue become necrotic
  • Severe shock sets in and is irreversible at the end of stage 3
  • Death is imminent at the end of stage 3
  • Unable to stand
  • Gums are white or blue
At this point, there really isn’t any hope. There may be a small, small chance but I wouldn’t bet on it. Hopefully you are not reading this as a real life example, and you are preparing yourself for the possibility. 30% Survive from bloat, and that’s assuming you catch the symptoms on time. Good luck and favorite this or send to your friends so hopefully they don’t lose their best friends.


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