Monday, April 2, 2012

Dog bloating, Torsion or Volvulus: It Could be Deadly!

A condition called torsion/volvulus or better known as bloating can happen to any dog but, it hits larger breeds and barrel chested dogs more than most.

From the research I have done, this condition is more apt to hurt your dog, if they do not slow down, when it comes to eating and/or drinking, especially after they have exerted themselves.  Stress is also not a good thing for them either, when trying to eliminate bloating from your dogs life.

Dog bloating is not 'always' preventable but, you can take some steps that just might help your dog from having to encounter this issue in the first place.

When bloating occurs, the dogs stomach will twist or as some, their stomachs will flip. When this occurs, the ends of each part of their stomach will twist on itself and close off. No food or water will be able to go in and nothing will be able to come out the other end.  

Bugg being in the category of a larger breed and also a barrel chested dog, I have taken some precautionary steps to help him all I can, to make sure this does not happen to him.

                          Let Them Play!

Bugg loves to play and play hard.  So I have him on a strict schedule.  After a good game of Alabama frizzbie, Bugg is so thirsty he would drink a gallon of water.  If I let him.  

As a 'good' and 'informed' mommy to Bugg, I do not allow this to happen.

Dogs are more apt to have their stomachs 'flip' if they gulp things too fast, before and/or after exercising.

Slow Them Down!

I give Bugg bowls of ice and not water. This slows down his consumption of water.  Bugg still gets his daily intake of water but, it is at a slower pace.

If it is a very hot day and the ice has melted or I feel too much water is being consumed by Bugg I will dump out most of the water.  

The best thing to do is, keep a eye on his water bowl, if you see that the ice has melted a bit too much, then dump out the water and add more ice to their bowl.

Remember: Slow them down! 

                      Ice, Ice, Buggah

We had started Bugg on ice since he was a puppy.  We saw the movie 'Marley & Me' some months prior to getting Bugg and we knew then, we would also have to take some extra steps with Bugg, so he might not go the way Marley did.  His dad is a 'huge' Yellow Labrador and as you can see, He does take after his daddy.

Bugg loves his ice but your dog might not like the ice at first, add a little water to the bowl at first and then gradually put less water in their bowl, leaving only ice.

                          Feeding time Can be Difficult

Bugg is well over 100 pounds. It is recommended that Bugg gets 8 cups of food a day. According to the back of the dry dog food bag. 

Not only do you have to worry about the amount of food they consume and how fast they eat it. You must also make sure your dog does not play hard one hour before they eat and one hour after they eat. 

Balancing Bugg's play time, his eating time and sleeping time is not easy but, when I see that sweet face, I know it is well worth the extra effort I have to put into his daily upkeep.

                                       Our Routine

For starters, in the morning Bugg goes outside, does his business and then comes in. Bugg has barely exerted himself at this time. So Bugg can have some ice and his breakfast.  Bugg then lays down and sleeps by my side for an hour.

If Bugg had played hard when we went out than I would make him wait an hour before he eats and wait  one hour after before he could once again play hard as he usually does.

I am very strict on this one step we must take.

Once again:  Slow them down!

I am weening Bugg off of dry food. I have noticed that he can clean out a bowl of dry in about ten seconds. So he will now have dog slop (food I make myself) and a vitamin.

When Bugg eats his slop, he is slowed down by the small grains of brown rice. This way Bugg is not able to suck his food up in a few gulps.

Remember: Slow them down.

Bugg Loves Snacks
Bugg is growing up. I give Bugg small snacks throughout the day. This will help curve Bugg's appetite during the day. 

So when Bugg does eat his meal, he is not trying to swallow the whole bowl of food, all in one bite. 

Some times Bugg is like a human toddler and he will refuse to eat, because he so busy playing and he is afraid he will miss something.

If this happens to your dog...

Do not double up on their food during his/her next feeding, the dog will be just fine.

I never give Bugg more than 2 cups of food at a time.

                I know this is time Consuming

I feel it is my responsibility to do all I can to make sure Bugg enjoys his life as one of our family members.  Remember:  'We' picked Bugg, he didn't pick us.

Bugg will be 1 years old, the end of this month and I want too make sure... 

Bugg is with us for many, many more birthdays to come.

Bugg Wants:  Food!

All photographs are the property of Denise O.  Do not use unless you get 'my' written permission. All written material is owned by Denise O, it will not be 'used' (sharing my article is different, it is acceptable and appreciated) without 'my' written permission.  Just keeping it real folks.:)

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