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? asked in PetsDogs · 7 years ago

How long does it take before symptoms of bloat show up?

My dog doesn't have bloat, but I have a German Shepherd and know that he is a breed prone to it. I'm pretty much terrified of him getting it and do whatever I can to prevent that from ever happening. If he were to ever get bloat, would the symptoms be pretty obvious immediately? Time is usually of the essence with bloat, so I was just wondering. Thanks for any answers :)

5 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    • "How long does it take before symptoms of bloat show up?"

    It depends on the age of the pooch and what it has eaten or drunk, but generally it will be inside 2 hours and, as others have told, you do NOT have time to stand around watching the symptoms increase. I think there is a section on bloat in http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/The_GSD_Source/... but if I've misremembered, click back to the Links then click the Diseases_&_Disorders label.

    • "I have a German Shepherd and know that he is a breed prone to it."

    Not entirely true. But if your pet comes from lines that earn my description of "Prick-Eared Bassets" he will be high-risk. If he is from lines that rather resemble the BSD Malinois he will be low-risk.

    Unfortunately the best long-term research into bloat is no longer available on the Purdue web-site.

    The factors that indicate risk are

    ·· An ancestor (say the closest 4 generations) that bloated.

    ·· Old age (because the locating tissues weaken & stretch with age).

    ·· Deeper chest than normal for the breed (the reason being that it gives the tissue that is supposed to suspend the organs more room to stretch into when the belly is full of food or water).

    ·· An excitable nature.

    ·· Only 1 meal a day.

    ·· Kibble-fed - especially kibbles with a lot of grain involved, and those that are semi-cooked by being extruded through a steam-heated nozzle instead of being baked in an oven (grains DO need to be ground-&-cooked in order to make them edible by canids. Even so, wolves fed on kibbles are reputed to have a habit of dying).

    ·· Exercise & food close together in time.

    The dogs that die from bloat usually do so AFTER returning home. The reason is that the rotation of the stomach traps the blood vessels that supply the spleen, and so the spleen dies - but the toxins from its necrosis don't immediately affect the dog. Nowadays, most vets will remove the spleen during surgery on a bloat victim - they will certainly check to make sure that it is fully healthy before deciding to leave it in place (the spleen DOES have a function to perform).

    • "I'm pretty much terrified of him getting it and do whatever I can to prevent that from ever happening."

    Do NOT go overboard the way Great Dane breeders are reputed to do. It is one thing to have the vet "tack" the stomach to the ribs after relieving a bloat sufferer, but quite another thing to routinely have EVERY pooch "tacked" that way.

    Sadly, most dog breeders are IDIOTS who cannot think long term.

    A sensible breeder needs to KNOW which dogs & bỉtches are susceptible to bloat (or any other disorder that has a genetic involvement), so that they can "CLEANSE" their breeding stock of those individuals and try to avoid the ancestors that the genes came from. But how is a breeder to know whether the "tacked"-while-a-baby magnificent adult is susceptible to bloat? And so those breeders will CONTINUE TO BREED FROM pooches that should have been neutered, should have been AVOIDED!

    The sensible "avoidance" steps are to:

    ·· Choose a pooch with no bloat in its ancestral history just as you (I hope!) chose a pooch with no allergies, cancer, cataracts, cowardice, cruciate ligament problems, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, haemophilia, hip dysplasia, over-aggression, progressive retinal atrophy, etc, in its near ancestry

    ·· Supply smaller meals, and ensure that the dog RESTS after at least the bigger meal.

    ·· Separate exciting things from feeding & drinking by at least an hour. However, on a hot day your dog MUST have water available - so supply less than a cupful until the dog is calm & rested.

    One of my acquaintances had a dog that expressed its frustration (at being left home when the humans drove away) by "biting" water. Inevitably, one day they came home to find a dead dog. Food was NOT involved in his bloating - just the combination of the weight of water he'd gulped into his stomach and the jumping around & racing around he did attempting to get out to follow them.



    to your browser, so that you can easily look up all sorts of information about dogs, especially GSDs.

    To discuss GSDs, join some groups such as


    The people in them KNOW about GSDs. Plus you can include actual photos in your posts, unlike the clunky mechanism that stingy Y!A provides.

    King Les - first pup in 1950; GSD breeder & trainer as of 1968

  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Eliminate Your Bloating Naturally : http://bloatingcure.ohfos.com/?aPh
  • 7 years ago

    I own GSDs here a few simple prevention tips:

    Don't feed or let him have a large amount of water before exercise.

    Give him small, frequent amounts of water during exercise.

    Don't feed him or give him a large amount of water for 30 mins after exercise.

    Be careful when switching foods so that he doesn't become too gassy

    When he has gas give him something to relieve it

    Keep him on a strict feeding/pooping schedule so you know when something is off

    If bloat does happen he will likely whine, pace and seem very uncomfortable. He may try and fail to vomit. You may also notice that one side usually to left seems to stick out more than the other.

    If you fear he may have bloat rush him to the vet immediately the lack of circulation caused by the stomach flipping can cause tissue damage and death.

    Fortunately none of mine have ever suffered from this and hopefully your boy won't either.

    Source(s): 10 year GSD Owner/Trainer
  • 7 years ago

    Ok. Always keep Gas X pills on hand. Bloat usually shows up immediately after eating or drinking large amounts. Give 2 gas X pills and GET TO YOUR VET!

    Also, you can have the stomach tacked to the abdominal wall to prevent it from flipping over like a hammock. I would recommend this easy surgery it runs about 250-300. They can still bloat, but the stomach won't turn over and have the circulation cut off, this is what the emergency is, you have about 30 minutes to get the dog treated. Some Breeders especially Great Dane breeders do this tacking as a routine in male pups when they have the ears done. If you neuter, the vet can do it then.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    The abdomen starts to swell up and the dog is very uncomfortable. He tries to throw up but can't (or throws up very little). He can be dead within a few hours.

    If you even suspect your dog is bloating, get him in the car and head to the vet. The only time I ever had a dog that bloated, I watched for a few minutes in amazement as his belly was swelling up in front of my eyes and he was in obvious distress. Of course it was late at night, so we had to travel further to get to the emergency vet. Just as we pulled up, the dog threw up all over the car. I was never so happy in my life to see a dog throw up. The vet checked him over and observed him for a while, then told me he was okay to take home. It never happened again, and I still don't know why he bloated because the only "risk factor" he had was being a male....

    Here is a good site that shows you what is happening and gives pointers on how to try to avoid bloat: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=672

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