Everyone knows the feeling of having a heavy stomach, especially when delicious food is served. You may feel draggy when you’re feeling bloated, but it goes away in a few hours.
Sadly, a dog’s stomach does not function in the same way as a human’s, which means its bloat does not go away on its own.
We compiled everything you need to know about dog bloat, including if a dog with bloat can poop, causes, and what you can do to prevent it!
Will My Dog Poop When They Have Dog Bloat?
When we suffer from bloating, sometimes poop is all it takes to solve it. So we ask the question, “Can a dog with bloat poop, too?”
Generally, a dog with bloat WILL NOT be able to poop.
Unlike a human stomach, dog bloat will cause stomach twists, which means that both ends of the stomach will be closed, preventing your dog from pooping.
It might also be possible that the twisted stomach does not close its rear, and in this scenario, your dog will suffer from diarrhea, but there will be no hard stool.
A dog’s stomach is severely affected during dog bloat, which will also affect their bowel movement.
Can a dog with bloat fart?
Unfortunately, they can’t too. We will learn more about dog bloat and understand its causes in the subsequent headings.
What Is Dog Bloat? Is It Dangerous?
Medically known as gastric dilatation-volvulus, dog bloat means that your dog’s stomach fills up with GAS.
This results in something called gastric volvulus, which is when the stomach twists on itself at either end.
Because of this twisting, no food can come in and out of the stomach. Bloat in dogs can be dangerous, especially when not treated early.
The stomach torsion from the gastric volvulus restricts blood flow to the rest of the body, causing none of the internal organs and extremities to get the blood supply they need.
This can also quickly cause the dog to into shock, especially when the stomach torsion is so strong that it twists into itself. Gastric juices also transform the contents into trapped gas.
When this happens, this can affect the other internal organs near the stomach, such as the pancreas and the spleen.
The danger here rises significantly when the pancreas does not get the blood or oxygen needed. The pancreas will produce toxic hormones in the body, which can cause cardiac arrest.
What Are the Causes of Bloat in Dogs?
Now that we know the severity of dog bloat, our goal is to prevent bloat from happening. We’ll start by identifying the causes linked to bloat.
First, there is no certainty as to the direct cause of dog bloat, and veterinarians themselves said there is no conclusive evidence, either. However, we can prevent the following risk factors:
Believe it or not, dog breeds play a role in the possibility of dog bloat, especially large or giant breeds with a deep chest.
Some large breeds include Weimaraner, Saint Bernard, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Rottweiler, Standard Poodle, Doberman, and Great Dane.
This doesn’t mean that small breed dogs will never get bloated. The risk of bloat is present in all kinds of dogs, regardless of their age.
#2 Eating Habits
Humans get bloated when they eat a lot too fast. Well, the same thing can happen to dogs.
When dogs are eating too quickly, they tend to gulp down air as they are eating, leading to a higher risk for a bloated stomach.
This usually happens when your dog is feeling overwhelmed and anxious in the presence of other dogs, as they may eat quickly so nothing else can eat the dog’s food.
Of course, it may also be possible that your dog is too enthusiastic when they’re eating, so they tend to eat too quickly.
#3 Dog Food’s Nutritional Content
One reason that your dog can’t pass gas is they’ve eaten too much dry food with acid. When water is added to the food, the acid becomes gas, causing bloating.
What are the Symptoms of a Bloated Dog?
How will I know if I have a bloated dog with me?
Keep an eye on your dog if they start to experience the following symptoms.
It’s really easy to tell when something is happening in your dog’s body. Their behavior will show you.
Is your dog attempting to vomit? Like something is stuck in their throat, and they can’t get it out? That’s one of the first signs of bloating.
Since your dog cannot poop, they will try to get the food out the other way. However, they won’t be able to either.
The stomach twisting will close both stomach openings, preventing the contents from going on both ends.
Another symptom of nausea is having excess saliva, which your dog will also have as they attempt to vomit.
One of the early signs on dogs, when bloat occurs, is being restless and visibly uncomfortable.
You will see your dog pacing more often and going from one place to another. They won’t be able to stay still or lie down as that would aggravate their abdominal pain.
It will be difficult for your dog to be comforted, even when you offer them a snuggle or some distraction.
Another thing you would immediately notice is the way your dog stands.
When they have a bloated stomach, the dog will usually point their elbows outward and extend their neck as far as possible.
As the dog’s abdomen appears to be swollen and unable to pass gas, other internal organs will start to be affected, including the lungs. You will notice that your dog is trying to breathe harder.
The dog will adopt this stance to relieve some of the pressure building on their lungs. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help at all.
With that much pressure on their lungs, the dog will inevitably start panting and gasping for air.
Not only that, but gastric dilation is a known cause of metabolic abnormalities, causing a faster breathing pattern.
#5 Distended Stomach
Large breed dogs – such as Great Danes – will usually have a deeper chest, so it is more difficult to tell if they have a swollen stomach.
It’s also an additional factor if the dog has a lot of hair or is overweight.
But, if you tap the stomach of barrel-chested dogs, you will immediately feel AND hear that something is wrong!
A dog’s belly will feel hard, tight, and distended. When you tap it, it will sound like a steel drum.
What Is the Best Treatment for Bloat?
Treat this condition with UTMOST urgency and contact a veterinarian IMMEDIATELY! There is NO way that medicine or other over-the-counter treatment can treat bloat.
Bloat would require medical attention, especially when the bloat had already been happening for quite some time.
If this happens at night or outside of the work hours of a veterinarian, contact an emergency veterinarian. This condition CANNOT wait until the next day due to its severity.
Why Would I Need a Veterinarian?
Your dog will need emergency surgery for its gastric dilation volvulus. The veterinarian would help the dog pass gas by opening the digestive tract.
A dog’s risk of going into shock is high if proper treatment is not administered early. That’s why surgery will be necessary. There will be no other way to treat bloating.
Once the dog receives primary veterinary attention, the team will run diagnostic tests such as an EKG, blood pressure measurement (to check blood flow), and take a blood sample.
To make sure there is bloat, the doctor will also conduct an x-ray. This ensures a successful surgery and increases the chances of the dog surviving!
Aside from fixing the digestive system, a procedure known as gastropexy will be done. This procedure tacks the stomach to the abdominal wall to prevent the stomach from twisting.
This does not mean that your dog will never get bloated again. This means that too much air will NOT cause stomach torsion and reduce the risk of the life-threatening condition.
After the surgery, you won’t be able to take the dog home yet. They will need continuous monitoring to ensure that the surgery will not cause any complications.
How Can I Prevent Bloat?
When it comes to preventing bloat, we can never have 100 percent certainty. At the end of the day, we can manage the risk factors, such as the dog’s eating behaviors.
Here are some tips to prevent dog bloat.
#1 Train Your Dog to Eat Slower
A large meal consumed too quickly is a huge risk factor for having gastric dilatation and volvulus.
Of course, your dog’s belly will also need some time to digest the food properly.
That’s why we discourage giving them a large meal, especially if you have more than one dog. Your dog tends to be anxious and eat faster because of the fear that other dogs will take their food.
Instead, you can opt for smaller but more frequent meals throughout the day or purchase a puzzle feeder for your dog.
A puzzle feeder will slow down your dog’s eating speed, PLUS it can also be good mental training for them!
#2 Improve Your Dog’s Diet
Did you know that a lot of dog food contains animal fat? These kinds of food raise the risk of your dog having bloat.
If you are feeding your dog pellets instead of canned food, you might think you can also help them digest by moistening dry food.
However, that’s counterproductive behavior.
Citric acid can also be found in dog food as a fat preservative. And when that citric acid combines with water, it becomes gas that can start bloating for your dog.
Instead of feeding them purely dry food, we recommend that you prepare a meat meal high in calcium for them.
A dog’s body would need proper nourishment for them to be able to digest properly!
Some Final Words
Dealing with dog bloat is never an easy thing for all pet owners. But, we commend you for increasing your knowledge about it!
As they say, prevention is better than cure, and this applies especially to our furry friends!
We hope you learned a thing or two from this article. Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!