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How do dogs Bloat?

22/03/2015

Deep chested breeds of dog are highly susceptible to bloat or Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), this can lead to emergency surgery and the possibility of the dog not surviving.

So how does your dog get bloat?

Bloat occurs due to a build up of gas trapped in the gastro-intestinal tract. This gas is created by microbacteria in the hind gut as a result of bacterial fermentation of starch.

Starch in the mammilian body is digested by amylase, however dogs produce very small quantities and therefore have no capacity to deal with the large amounts in commercial diets.

Therefore small amounts of starch can be coped with in the canine diet, large amounts of starch such as found in dried and tinned foods, from grains, cereals, rice & potatoes can and do lead to bloat and death.

This is Ruby, a few weeks before this photograph was taken she was rushed into the local veterinary hospital for Emergency Surgery due to bloat.

Upon veterinary recommendation she is now on dried food 4 times a day, is it any wonder that she isn’t feeling very well?

As far as bloat being a complication of eating frozen raw foods, or ice in water bowls there is no proof to substantiate this.

Were bloat to be a consequence of exercise after feeding then there would be very few wolves and wild dogs remaining in the world, as when there are pups at the den the pack must return from the kill quickly in order to feed them.

Scientific articles blame rapid consumption of food leading to “aerophagy” promoting the entrance of air into the stomach (Robbins et al. 2011), although the clearest and most obvious perpetrator is abnormal gastric motility patterns and delayed gastric emptying (Gazzola & Nelson, 2014); which leads us straight back to what is being fed.

A species appropriate diet promotes digestive enzyme production, aiding digestion and gastric motility. Due to the nature of canine stomach pH being optimum at 1, and the time it takes to achieve this, it is best to feed only once a day in order to be assured of better digestion, and a starve day once a week has shown to be beneficial to a number of dogs.

Should you believe your pet to be particularly at risk due to breed disposition or genetic inheritance Aloe Vera has been shown to aid digestion when added to food. For more information on Aloe Vera please check our facebook page Healthful Aloe.

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