Research Continues Into the Cause of Canine Bloat

March 24, 2014 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

Not a lot is known about the cause(s) of Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), better known as bloat, in dogs, but that all could change thanks to two research grants funded by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. One lead scientist, Laura Nelson, an assistant professor at Michigan State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is hopeful the studies will bring to light the genetic and environmental factors that bring about canine bloat.

Bloat is one of the leading causes of death in dogs, second only to cancer for several breeds. For Great Danes, it is the number one cause of death. Over the years, research has shown that older, nervous, and large and giant breed dogs are more prone to bloat, and with the help of these grants, Nelson and colleagues are set to figure out why.

When a dog bloats, gas fills their stomach causing it to get twisted. Therefore, the gas cannot escape, and blood and air supply to the stomach are cut off. The stomach swells and pushes against the abdominal wall and large blood vessels. The cause of death is usually shock. All of this can happen in a matter of hours or even minutes. Surgery is required in order to save the dog’s life.

Signs of GDV or bloat include expanded abdomen, shortness of breath, excessive salivation, weakness, unsuccessful attempts to vomit, rapid heartbeat, and collapse. Time is of the essence. If your dog has any of these symptoms or you suspect your dog is suffering from GDV, seek immediate veterinary attention.

For more information on the grant funded study, check out:
http://cvm.msu.edu/about-the-college/news-and-events/news/understanding-bloa t-for-better-treatment

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