• Jason Ervin

Beat The Bloat!

This is a shout out to all my deep chested doggo friends (like myself). While this body shape does make us dashingly handsome, it carries some risks. Have you seen the movie “Marley & Me”?? My mom ugly cried like and I couldn’t console her at all. That fellow yella fella died!! He had bloat…or the fancy term gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). This is one of the most life-threatening emergencies for a dog.


See, over the course of just a few hours, our stomachs can fill with air and then flip right over, often trapping the spleen and pancreas with it. Once this happens, we go into shock and can pass away in just a few hours.


What doggos get bloat? Any of us! Mostly large deep chested breeds. Up to 40% of great Danes will bloat in their life and it is also common in labs, GOLDENS, Dobermans, Weimaraner’s, German Shepherds and any large breed with that body shape. My sister is a Great Dane, so I take this super serious. I get miffed at her sometimes for hogging the bed, but I love her.



How is it treated? Emergency surgery. Two words that send shivers to my tail. Due to the full body affects and heart toxins released when the spleen and pancreas are trapped, 30-40% of dogs may die despite the fastest and best treatment. The earlier treatment is started the better the chances. And its crazy expensive…cost of this surgery ranges from $2500-7500 depending on complications and where the surgery is done. Do you know how many Yak Chews I can have for that much?


What are signs of bloat? Swollen belly, retching, trying to vomit, pacing and restlessness, collapse.


How can you prevent bloat? Small meals frequently (I love snacks!) and feeder toys as well as limited play right after eating have been proven to help. You want to eat slowly my friends. And definitely don’t go rolling around with a full belly. Elevated feeders are like eggs in people….one study says bad and one says good, so who knows?? I know eggs are great for me (so eggs, please??).


The best prevention is a prophylactic gastropexy. That is a giant word for a doggo but it basically means the stomach is surgically attached to the body wall in the proper position permanently keeping it from doing the flippity flop. This is a relatively inexpensive addition to a spay or neuter (around $200 with those surgeries) but can be done at any age for peace of mind. Being owners of large breed dogs, the docs at Pet2Vet are skilled at this surgery and have made sure their own pets are protected. My sister got hers with her spay and I am super excited to get mine soon!


Ask me if you have any questions! I hang out at Pet2Vet most days performing my Chief Happiness Officer duties with a smile and a wag.




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