Bloat in dogs is often deadly. It is caused when the stomach twists and creates a blockage. Dogs can die within 45 minutes if they do not receive immediate help. Since there is no known cause, there doesn’t seem to be a valid reason why only some dogs are afflicted. Deep chested dogs appear to be much more prone to bloat, but it can affect any dog.
Symptoms of Bloat:
- Distended belly
- Non-productive attempts to vomit
- Restlessness; pacing
- Abdominal pain (looking at and biting at the belly; whimpering; abnormal peg-legged stance)
- Lack of appetite
- Rapid shallow breathing (tachypnea); difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
- Profuse drooling/salivation (“frothing at the mouth”; usually indicates severe pain)
- Pale to blue mucous membranes (gums; others)
- Weak pulse
- Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
- Abnormal heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias)
There is a surgical procedure available to prevent your dog from bloating. Unfortunately, the cost can vary considerably, depending where you reside. Our veterinarians in southwest Ohio charge a minimal amount compared to costs elsewhere. With female Chows, we recommend having this surgery performed at the same time you have her spayed, when 6 months old. One veterinary we use charges an additional $40 to do the Gastropexy. Another veterinary clinic charges an extra $140. However, this is in sharp contrast to the cost quoted to one of our clients from another state, which was $1600.
Since Chows are not predisposed to this condition, I personally wouldn’t recommend spending $1600 for this surgery. Nevertheless, if you can get it done for a minimal amount, it provides an excellent precaution. This procedure can be done on males at the time of neutering, so you do not have to spend extra for anesthesia. Both can be done at the same time. Coupling the procedures is always better for the dog. The added cost for males is a bit more than females, since it requires an additional incision. Some pet insurances cover this surgery.
Gastropexy is a procedure where they surgically tack the stomach to prevent the possibility of future twisting. This prevents any chance of future bloating.
We all want the best for our furry friends. Do your own research, check with your veterinary, and if necessary, shop around! 🙂 D&M
Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. The advice I give is based on 20 years of experience with the Chow breed. When in doubt, contact your veterinary.