A twisted stomach, also referred to as gastric torsion or bloat, is caused when air gets trapped in the stomach, causing it to twist and rotate. As it twists, more air becomes trapped. If left untreated, this can be extremely painful to your dog and can lead to death within a few hours. Unfortunately, many dog owners are unfamiliar with this term and what the signs are.
Here are a few of the common signs a dog who has a twisted stomach may display.
An Enlarged and/or Hardened Stomach
The tell-tale sign of a twisted stomach is an enlarged stomach or abdomen area. This area will continue to enlarge as more air or gas gets trapped in the stomach. When you feel it, it may also feel hard to the touch. If your dogs stomach area has suddenly and unexpectedly grown in size, and continues to grow in size, you need to take your dog to a veterinarian immediately.
Drooling and Panting
If your dog has a twisted stomach, he or she may also be drooling or panting. There are many reasons a dog may drool or pant, but as long as you are positive your dog is not dehydrated or overheated, this is a sign that your dog is in pain or distress. While drooling and panting alone will not lead you to a twisted stomach diagnosis, it may help to indicate to you that something is not right. This may cause you to examine your dog and find the enlarged stomach.
Trying to Vomit
Another sign of a twisted stomach in a dog is a dog who is trying to vomit but can’t. If your dog is obviously trying to vomit or making vomit noises repeatedly, but nothing comes up, they may have a twisted stomach. A dog will do this as they are trying to relieve pressure in the abdomen area. Unfortunately, due to the twist, they cannot get anything to come up. If your dog is vomiting and nothing is coming up, always take a look at their abdomen region. If it is enlarged, head to the vet. If it is not, be sure to keep a close eye on it in case that changes.
Obvious Signs of Pain and Distress
The last sign that your dog may give you if he or she has a twisted stomach is obvious signs of pain or distress. Your dog may be crying, howling or may be walking around because they cannot get comfortable laying. You know your dog and their moods best. If something seems off and they just do not seem right, it may be because they are not feeling well. Take a look at their stomach if something just doesn’t seem right.
A twisted stomach can be a serious condition in dogs. If your dog is displaying any of these signs or you have other reasons to believe they may have a twisted stomach, you will want to get them veterinarian care promptly. Liberty Animal Hospital can help. Call us now to schedule an appointment for your dog.