Not many dog owners are aware the bloat is one of the leading dog killer diseases. This life threatening situation is also known as Gastric Dilatation Volvulus. The stomach is not anchored on any tissue inside the body thus the accumulation of air can cause it to turn 90 to 360 degrees and in doing so would trap air, food and water inside the stomach. The twisting of the stomach will cut off blood supply and result to the distention of the stomach so that pressure is placed on the nearby organs. Excess air can be expelled if the dog can burp or vomit. Unfortunately, when the stomach twists, the esophagus is also closed.

In a matter of minutes, a dog can die from bloat. Dogs with bloat has to have medical attention if possible as this condition practically has no first aid. Dogs with bloat must be given immediate professional medical attention. This condition though can develop to any dog anytime and anywhere. But if it is impossible to get the pet to a vet within an hour after the occurrence a bloat, it would be imperative for the owner to administer first aid to the dog.

A responsible dog owner would always make sure that there is a first aid kit in the car especially if the dog is usually taken on hunting or camping trips. Bloat is an acute digestive problem most common in large breeds thus it is imperative for owners of these breeds to have equipments that can be used to stabilize the condition of a pet with bloat. To be able to administer first aid to a dog with bloat the kit should contain a lubricating jelly, an 8″ wooden block with a hole in the center and a ½ inch or a ¼ inch clear vinyl tube.

Bloat would make the dog very restless, to salivate excessively, to have a distended abdomen and to try to vomit. Pale or blue gums and the inability of the dog to stand are signs that the condition of the dog has deteriorated rapidly. Medical care is very necessary to save the dog’s life.

Position the block of wood inside the mouth and with a nylon cord secure the wood to the pet’s lower jaw. Insert through the hole in the block the lubricated end of the tube and firmly slide down the dog’s throat. When the dog swallows, push the tube little by little. Resistance will be felt when the tube enters the esophagus. By blowing on the tube, the esophagus will expand and allow the tube to pass more easily. When the tube reaches the stomach, gas and fluid will be expelled. With a locked wrist around the dog’s abdomen apply pressure to remove all the remaining gas from the stomach.

You can learn more about bloat and first aid for dogs at Sarah’s Dogs.

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