Dog bloat emergency. Is first aid possible?

Narrated from: Dog Health

IMPORTANT: Bloat is a life-threatening condition for dogs! Professional help is required!

1. Determine symptoms

Quickly examine your dog. Make sure that the problem at hand is bloat.

Symptoms may vary, but usually include:
- enlarged abdomen, feeling tight as a drum;
- abnormal behavior – restlessness, panting, whining;
- salivating;
- attempts to vomit;
- unsuccessful attempts to defecate.

More severe symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, weak pulse and a sudden change in the colour of the gums are normally followed by prostration and death.

2. Determine bloat phase

Phase 1 – the abdomen is still not enlarged. The main symptoms are behavioral.
Phase 2 – salivating and unsuccessful attempts to vomit begin. The abdomen starts to enlarge – however, not all dogs show an enlarged abdomen during bloat!
Phase 3 – the dog goes into shock, and then into coma.

A change in the color of the gums is one of the most obvious indicators that the bloat is getting severe and your dog’s life is in danger! In phase 3 the heartbeat is rapid (60-80 beats per minute is the normal rate for large dogs), and the pulse is weak.

3. Remain calm

No matter what, keep your wits – your dog needs you.

4. Call the vet/hospital

Bloat is a life-threatening condition. It is imperative to contact a professional. You must describe the symptoms correctly and determine the stage of the bloat if you can. After that, follow the instructions you will receive.

Is first aid possible?

Giving first aid to a dog in an advanced stage of bloat is almost impossible if you are not prepared in advance. Getting the dog to the nearest hospital as fast as you can is the best thing you can do.

Saving the dog’s life often requires getting the air out of the dog’s stomach, and putting the inflated stomach back in its place surgically. Only a veterinarian can do these things.

First aid is POSSIBLE, but only if you have prepared a Bloat First Aid kit in advance and know how to use it. You need to insert a tube into the dog’s stomach without harming the internal organs, in order to get the excess air out. Different Great Dane sites offer accurate advice on how to do just that.s life often requires getting the air out of the dog

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