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Big Dogs May Suffer From Bloat

By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Bloat is an extremely serious illness and most people are not even aware it exists. It occurs primarily in larger breed dogs with deep narrow chests, such as Greyhounds, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Saint Bernards, among many other large breeds. Bloat is an expansion of the stomach due to a build-up of gases. The condition can be life-threatening and treatment must be immediate.

There can be several factors that contribute to this condition. The faster dogs eat, the higher the incidence of bloat. This can occur because large amounts of air are gulped down along with the food so it's best to feed 2 or 3 smaller meals a day, rather than just one large meal.

Another factor is too much activity too close to mealtime. Take precaution and limit vigorous exercise to one hour before and two hours after after mealtime. Anxiety and stress are also contributing factors in cases of bloat, as is genetics.

Symptoms to watch for would be a swollen stomach, restlessness, inability to lie down, pacing, rapid shallow breathing, salivating, whining, nonproductive vomiting, and overall uncomfortabilty.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from bloat, do not hesitate to take your dog to your vet immediately.

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