How to Detect and Prevent Bloating and Torsion in Dogs

Bloat and Torsion (also known Gastric Volvulus or Gastric Dilatation Volvulus) is an emergency that affects dogs. GDV can be lethal and can lower the life expectancy of your dog. This article is going to show you how you can detect and prevent GDV and increase your dog's life expectancy.


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    Know your enemy. The first thing to know about prevention is to know definitions. How can you detect or prevent something if you don't know what it means?
    • Bloat: When the dogs stomach fills with gas and fluid.
    • Torsion: When the dog's stomach and spleen twist. Also called Gastric Volvulus.
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    Now that you know what words means, learn the signs and symptoms. Signs and symptoms (keywords in detection):
    • Restlessness and pacing. If the dog seems unsettled or is restless this could be a sign of discomfort.
    • Dry vomiting. The dog looks like it is vomiting, but is not producing any vomit. Also, retching and salivation.
    • Bloat. The abdomen feels tight This can vary depending on what stage the dog the dog is in. But it can be very tight or only slightly.Watch the dog if it seems lethargic or moves stiffly.
    • A pale oral cavity, faster heart rate, and labored breathing are also key signs your dog needs help.
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    Treat Your dog. If you are confident in your ability to save your dog or even if you're not, your options are:
    • Tube: If you have seen the procedure done before and you are sure you can do it. Then sticking a tube down your dogs throat into its stomach will release the gas and fluid. Only do this if necessary though, the dog could be hurt worse, if you don't do it properly.
    • Surgery: If Torsion and Bloat your vet can assist with this. You just have to make sure you get the dog there in time.
    • Confirmation. Your dog might need a x-ray to make sure he has this and might have to undergo surgery.
    • If your dog has a torsion, then he will need a vet.
    • Visit a vet, if possible, no matter what you do. Use your vet, he/she was trained for this they know what to do and pick a vet you trust. Don't put the visit off, the more time you save the more time your dog has.
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    Keep it from happening again, or in the first place. Many things can be done to save your dog, some including:
    • Giving your dog(s) their meals in smaller portions throughout the day. Don't feed them to much at once.
    • Don't feed your dog from a raised food bowl, as this makes them eat unnaturally. (Exceptions would be long legged animals and various medical issues.)
    • Shun acidic foods; more specifically citric acid.
    • Wait for your dog to digest food or exercise and wait for your dog to calm down before feeding. Never exercise on a full stomach.
    • Control fluid intake. Don't let your dog drink too much too fast.
    • Try not try to feed your dog dry food with a lot of fat. Try not to feed your dog dry food if their risk is high at all. You may add a little water, but consult your vet.
    • Always be prepared. After the first bloat your dog is more likely for a second one. Keep your vet on speed dial if you have to.


  • Tell your friends about this and possibly save another dogs life. Bloat is a major killer of dogs.Know your dog's risk, some dogs have a greater risk than others. Visit your vet or at least internet search it. Any info can help.
  • Dogs are a man's best friend, use this chance to keep them around by searching other major killer of dogs. Bloat is the second major killer of dogs.
  • Bloat can occur at any age, but dogs that are older and bigger are at a greater risk. Watch dogs as they age.
  • Always know an available vet you can take your dog too. Someone who listens and will care for your dog's needs in an appropriate manner.
  • Watch your dog and know his language. Dogs can't talk like humans can. If your dog is in pain he can't tell you out his mouth. One of the best things you can do is know your dogs body language, what it means when they do certain things.


  • This is not a guide to curing bloat. If your dog has bloat seek medical attention immediately. This article ONLY is for Detection and Prevention.
  • This article also does not go into the anatomy of bloat. Make sure you research all other facets.
  • Only follow these steps if your know what you are doing.

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Categories: Canine Health