Which type of animal would you like to browse:



by Diana Guerrero 
Copyright & copy; 1998 By Diana Guerrero 



You have probably heard the term bloat or torsion twist mentioned in a death of a dog sometime or another. These unfortunate situations kill many dogs every year. Any dog can bloat, however it is more common in larger and more deep chested breeds. Dogs that are older have twice a much risk as dogs who are younger. My own animal never had any problems with this until he was about five years old.

Bloat seems to be more common in animals such as Weimaraners, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Pointers, Vizslas, Danes, etc. Since this is an informational article only, please see your veterinarian for a complete explanation and comprehensive understanding of this topic. They can assist you with notes on identifying the situation, how to address it, and treatment options for it.

In this article the discussion is about two different conditions most commonly occurring together. The combination creates a deadly situation for your critter. The good news is that you can take some steps to preventing it from occurring.

Bloat is a condition where the stomach rapidly expands. It generally does this due to gas and water. Torsion Twist is where the stomach twists over and each end is twisted shut, this blocks off the system and if these two situations combined are not treated immediately, the situation often results in death.

The combined situation most commonly occurs within a short time after eating. Overeating, or eating a large amount of food, or engaging in vigorous exercise after a meal may contribute to the condition. Ingestion of air and water through play activity can contribute to this problem, my own dog has bloated and it is not a pleasant experience.

The first time I observed bloat was with my own dog. We were at the lake hours after his meal. He was swimming and retrieving when I noticed he was blowing up like a balloon. During his swim he was ingesting water and air. I stopped his activity immediately.

Fortunately, by throwing up water and his stomach contents he alleviated the situation on his own. Rushing him to a veterinarian would have been the only other option and I was a mile from our vehicle and quite a distance in travel time from the nearest vet clinic.

During distress your animal may run around and try to defecate. Sometimes they will be able to expel gas. My own animal was able to do this during another situation similar to the one above. However since he still was bloated this time, we were on the way to the veterinary clinic when he vomited up his stomach contents -water, food, and air. He was not very happy about the situation, but I was very ecstatic and relieved!

Since the incident occurred in the truck, I told him it was his truck anyway and he shouldn’t worry about it! When you get right down to it I am just the chauffeur, and I would rather have him do that then loose him to a painful death.

Symptoms of bloat or torsion twist may include some of these: 
-an enlarged or hard abdomen
-distress pacing or looks
-vomiting, unsuccessful attempts to defecate or vomit, pale gums
-Your dog may even ask you for help in the way that they move or look at you.

Get the dog to the veterinarian immediately--you could lose them very quickly from this situation.


Avoiding the situation of bloat or torsion twist:
Avoiding bloat can be done. It is no guarantee but if you lower the chances of putting your animal at risk you will at least have some more peace of mind. Here are a few generally accepted tips. Please see your veterinarian for a complete explanation and comprehensive understanding of this topic.


-Feed more than one meal a day. Less food in the stomach is easier to digest.
-Feed a natural diet or soak kibble in warm water until it is fully expanded. Some people add a bit of yogurt to help with digestion. 
-Keep your dog quiet after they eat for more than an hour. No play or exercise. 
-Watch your dog for a bit before and after meals. 
-Keep your animal around you so you can hear and see if there is any distress. 
-Have the emergency veterinary clinic number and your veterinarian’s number on you. 
-If you are at the veterinarian and suspect torsion twist or bloat, insist on an x-ray to make sure. 
In the early stages sometimes this is hard to determine. 
-Have a way to get your animal to the veterinarian. 
-If you are in a new area traveling with your dog, take a minute to locate the nearest veterinary clinics or emergency animal clinic.


Since my dog first bloated, I have taken several precautions to address the situation. I feed him smaller portions of food twice a day and am changing over to a natural diet. His food is soaked with water to assist in avoiding some of the additional expansion of the kibble in his system; And when we plan a trip with lots of activity, I avoid feeding him before the excursion. Feeding him later is not a big deal and insures less risk of complications.

We had another experience that I will mention that could have been risky. On one of our trips I had fed my dog before going out for a speaking engagement. My friend was alerted to the fact that he had already been fed, but she decided to feed him again with her animals. She was not aware of the problems she could have created, and did trigger from that simple act.

Although my dog did not bloat, he did vomit and had other complications from being overfed. If you have others in your household make sure that you have a clear way of noting feeding schedules and related activities. Taking a few simple steps will prevent problems from occurring.



Quick Search

Mission Statement and History

Cyberpet.com is your Ultimate resource for dog breeders listings, purebred puppies, dog breed information, rescue groups, cat breeders, and kittens for sale.

More Info >