Bloat is a serious and life-threatening condition that is brought about by excess food, gas, fluid, or other material in the stomach. Bloat can occur very quickly and is a true veterinary emergency as bloat can progress to twisting of the stomach, known as gastric dilation & volvulus (GDV). GDV is ultimately fatal if not addressed quickly. 

Risk factors for bloat include:



Bloat is generally diagnosed based on history, physical examination, and abdominal x-rays. However, your veterinarian may also recommend additional tests to determine severity, such as:


Depending upon the severity, bloat may be managed by supportive care, such as intravenous fluids and pain medication, or it may require decompression of the stomach, either with a large needle or stomach tube. 

If GDV has developed, immediate surgical treatment to resolve the volvulus is indicated, and hospitalization postoperatively will likely be indicated to further stabilize your dog.