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Symptoms of Bloat

Typical symptoms often include some (but not necessarily all) of the following, according to the links below. Unfortunately, from the onset of the first symptoms you have very little time (sometimes minutes, sometimes hours) to get immediate medical attention for your dog. Know your dog and know when it's not acting right.

  • Attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful); may occur every 5-30 minutes. This seems to be one of the most common symptoms & has been referred to as the "hallmark symptom." "Unsuccessful vomiting" means either nothing comes up or possibly just foam and/or mucous comes up.

  • Doesn't act like usual self. Perhaps the earliest warning sign and may be the only sign that almost always occurs. We've had several reports that dogs who bloated asked to go outside in the middle of the night. If this is combined with frequent attempts to vomit, bloat is a very real possibility.

  • Significant anxiety and restlessness (One of the earliest warning signs and seems fairly typical)

  • "Hunched up" or "roached up" appearance (This seems to occur fairly frequently)

  • Lack of normal gurgling and digestive sounds in the tummy

  • Many dog owners report this after putting their ear to their dog's tummy.
    If your dog shows any bloat symptoms, you may want to try this immediately.

  • Bloated abdomen that may feel tight (like a drum) (Despite the term "bloat," many times this symptom never occurs or is not apparent)

  • Pale or off-color gums (Dark red in early stages, white or blue in later stages)

  • Coughing

  • Unproductive gagging

  • Heavy salivating or drooling

  • Foamy mucous around the lips, or vomiting foamy mucous

  • Unproductive attempts to defecate

  • Whining

  • Pacing

  • Licking the air

  • Seeking a hiding place

  • Looking at their side or other evidence of abdominal pain or discomfort

  • May refuse to lie down or even sit down

  • May stand spread-legged

  • May attempt to eat small stones and twigs

  • Drinking excessively

  • Heavy or rapid panting

  • Shallow breathing

  • Cold mouth membranes

  • Apparent weakness; unable to stand or has a spread-legged stance (Especially in advanced stage

  • Accelerated heartbeat

  • Heart rate increases as bloating progresses

  • Weak pulse

  • Collapse

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