Bloat in Dogs - it is the second leading killer of dogs after cancer

February 13, 2016

Bloat in Dogs - it is the second leading killer of dogs after cancer

Bloat is a very serious health risk for many dogs, yet many dog owners know very little about it.  It is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer.  It is frequently reported that deep-chested dogs, such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Dobermans are particularly at risk.    

If you believe your dog is experiencing bloat, please get your dog to a veterinarian immediately!  Bloat can kill in less than an hour, so time is of the essence.   Call your vet to alert them you're on your way with a suspected bloat case.  Better to be safe than sorry!

The technical name for bloat is "Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus" ("GDV").  Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air (although food and fluid can also be present).  It usually happens when there's an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid, and/or foam in the stomach ("gastric dilatation").  Stress can be a significant contributing factor also.  Bloat can occur with or without "volvulus" (twisting).  As the stomach swells, it may rotate 90° to 360°, twisting between its fixed attachments at the esophagus (food tube) and at the duodenum (the upper intestine).  The twisting stomach traps air, food, and water in the stomach.  The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs.  The combined effect can quickly kill a dog.

Be prepared!  Know in advance what you would do if your dog bloated.

  • If your regular vet doesn't have 24-hour emergency service, know which nearby vet you would use.  Keep the phone number handy.
  • Always keep a product with simethicone on hand (e.g., Mylanta Gas (not regular Mylanta), Gas-X, etc.) in case your dog has gas.  If you can reduce or slow the gas, you've probably bought yourself a little more time to get to a vet if your dog is bloating.    

This information is NOT intended to replace advice or guidance from veterinarians or other pet care professionals.  It is simply being shared as an aid to assist you with your own research on this very serious problem.


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         
  • Some have reported that it can sound like a repeated cough    

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, and if your dog doesn't typically ask to go outside in the middle of the night, 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    

  • 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 curl up in a ball or go into a praying or crouched position       
  • 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

It is thought that the following may be the primary contributors to bloat.

  • Dog shows, mating, whelping, boarding, change in routine, new dog in household, etc.
  • Although purely anecdotal, we've heard of too many cases      where a dog bloated after another dog (particularly a 3rd dog) was brought into the household; perhaps due to stress regarding pack order.          
  • Activities that result in gulping air    

Eating habits, especially...

  • Elevated food bowls       
  • Rapid eating       
  • Eating dry foods that contain citric acid as a preservative (the risk is even worse if the owner moistens the food)       
  • Eating dry foods that contain fat among the first four ingredients       
  • Insufficient pancreatic enzymes, such as Trypsin (a pancreatic enzyme present in meat)
  • Dogs with untreated Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) and/or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) generally produce more gas and thus are at greater risk
  • Dilution of gastric juices necessary for complete digestion by drinking too much water before or after eating       
  • Eating gas-producing foods (especially soybean products, brewer's yeast, and alfalfa)      
  • Drinking too much water too quickly (can cause gulping of air)    

Exercise before and especially after eating       

  • Especially having a first-degree relative who has bloated       
  • Dogs who have untreated Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) are considered more prone to bloat
         Gas is associated with incomplete digestion    

Build & Physical Characteristics

  • Having a deep and narrow chest compared to other dogs of the same breed       
  • Older dogs       
  • Big dogs       
  • Males       
  • Being underweight    


  • Fearful or anxious temperament       
  • Prone to stress       
  • History of aggression toward other dogs or people



Dr. Charles Kruger DVM found the solution to this problem 30 years ago. Dr. Kruger realized the only way to stop Bloat was to prevent it from occurring in the first place.  He came upon the idea of supplementing the dogs' diets with the missing enzymes and probiotics needed. For an extra measure of safety he added in good bacteria (medically known as Lactobacilli) that are critical to the dog’s digestive tract and its normal process of fighting off bad bacteria.  As he knew that even the best dog foods do not provide all the required bio-available vitamins, minerals and trace elements necessary for good health, he added them to his formula to make the only complete All-In-One supplement on the market today.

Dr Kruger Pet Supplements are ALL Natural, NON-GMO, Human Grade Ingredients that are sourced and manufactured in the USA. Dr. Kruger knew that he just could not treat the symptom as this was and is a "whole dog" issue and the treatment had to match this approach. Dr Kruger Pet Supplements utilizes the foundation of the Everyday Health Formula in all of our supplement formulas which include:

  • Puppy & Pregnancy Formula
  • Everyday Health Formula
  • Healthy Skin & Coat Formula
  • Healthy Joint Formula
  • High Performance Formula
  • Senior Health Formula

Through this approach we help the dogs body achieve the natural balance that nature intended, allow the immune system to go back to its normal level and keep the dogs body healthy. 


    Breeds At Greatest Risk

    Breeds most at risk:

    • Afghan Hound       
    • Airedale Terrier       
    • Akita       
    • Alaskan Malamute       
    • Basset Hound       
    • Bernese Mountain Dog
    • Bloodhounds  
    • Borzoi       
    • Bouvier des Flandres       
    • Boxer       
    • Bullmastiff       
    • Chesapeake Bay Retriever       
    • Collie       
    • Dachshund       
    • Doberman Pinscher       
    • English Springer Spaniel       
    • Fila Brasileiro       
    • Golden Retriever       
    • Gordon Setter       
    • Great Dane       
    • German Shepherd       
    • German Shorthaired Pointer       
    • Great Pyrenees
    • Greyhound       
    • Irish Setter       
    • Irish Wolfhound       
    • King Shepherd       
    • Labrador Retriever       
    • Miniature Poodle       
    • Newfoundland       
    • Old English Sheepdog       
    • Pekinese       
    • Rottweiler       
    • Samoyed       
    • Shiloh Shepherd
    • Sighthouds  
    • St. Bernard       
    • Standard Poodle       
    • Weimaraner       
    • Wolfhound



    Blog Source: Bloat In Dogs