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Bloat- It Could Kill Your Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is one of the breeds at risk of bloat. Bloat is a very serious health problem related to swallowed air, food and/or water. It is common to Basset Hound, Dachshund, Labrador Retriever and other large and giant breeds especially those with deep chests.
The term bloat seems ordinary and nothing serious but beware because bloat can kill your Labrador Retriever in a matter of hours. Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) is the technical name for bloat. Gastric dilatation occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid and/or foam in the stomach. In addition, the stomach twists or flips, almost cutting off entry and exit to and from the stomach. This is called gastric torsion. Gastric volvulus is the term used when the stomach twists or flips, completely cutting off entry and exit to and from the stomach. That is why bloat is also called stomach torsion or twisted stomach.
There are different and sometimes unknown reasons why bloat occurs. It is usually a result of eating too much or eating too fast, drinking too much water before or after meals or vigorous exercise within the first few hours after eating. Dry foods that contain citric acid as a preservative and contain fat among the first four ingredients can also trigger bloat. Other causes of bloat are stress, heredity and/or fearful or anxious temperament.
Bloat will never go unnoticed. A bloated dog will attempt to vomit but is usually unsuccessful. There is also a lack of normal gurgling and digestive sounds in the stomach. Coughing, unproductive gagging, drooling, pacing, rapid panting and whining are some of the typical signs of bloat. Know the history of the dog to diagnose bloat. Know if he has eaten too much or if he has drunk too much water recently. Bloat can be treated if the dog is able to burp or vomit. Ask your vet for medication. If there is rapid breathing, pale gums and if the dog collapse, rush your dog to the veterinarian at once. No need to think twice! It could be a matter of life and death scenario for your dog.
It is important for every dog owner to know the prevention of bloat. It is always beneficial to feed your dog several meals a day rather than feeding one big meal and see to it that there will be no vigorous exercise or other activities within the first few hours after eating. It is equally important to control the dog's fluid intake before and especially after a meal. When feeding dry commercial dog foods, read the product label carefully. Check the list of ingredients to make sure that it contains the important dietary requirement of your dog, not just fillers and other useless ingredients.
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