Bloat is a term that is often used to describe the condition GDV, Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus. It is a life-threatening condition that can develop in some dogs that causes the stomach to rapidly fill with gas and/or fluid and then flip upon itself. Once rotated, the gas is unable to escape and continues to build up. Often signs of GDV develop 2-3 hours after eating a large meal. However, it does not need to be associated with eating at all. The classic sign of bloat is unproductive retching (it looks like your dog has to throw up but nothing comes out). The abdomen appears to be swollen and firm to the touch. Breathing may also appear to be labored and they may have a hard time getting up or even collapse. Is this an emergency? YES! Get to your emergency vet as soon as possible. When the stomach becomes distended and then rotates, both the entrance and exit to the stomach are blocked. Extreme distention of the stomach decreased and blocks the blood supply to the stomach, as well as the blood flow to the rest of the body. Systemic circulation becomes seriously compromised resulting in systemic shock. Without treatment this condition is fatal in almost every case.
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