Dog Owners Can Easily Prevent A Common Fatal Dog Disease By Doing One Simple Thing
When you feed your beloved fur baby dinner, from time to time you may see them gobble down their food in mere seconds. Although a pup’s gusto at dinnertime can be adorably entertaining, for certain dogs, it can be deadly.
A life-threatening condition called bloat, also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus, can occur when some dogs eat too quickly. Although veterinarians aren’t certain why some pets are more susceptible to bloat, the symptoms of the disease are well-documented and every dog owner should be aware of them. Simply knowing the signs of bloat could save your four-legged best friend’s life.
When a dog experiences bloat, their stomach both twists and fills with gas; then, the stomach then becomes distended with the gas, putting pressure on the diaphragm, causing breathing problems. The pressure can even cut off blood flow to the heart and may cause the stomach to rupture.
The serious condition usually appears and escalates very quickly; thankfully, there are specific signs that you can watch out for (that every dog owner should know):
Swelling in the abdomen or stomach
Looking anxious and upset
Trying to look at or adjust their stomach
Pacing and panting
Attempting to vomit (but being unproductive with nothing coming up)
Stretching out with the front end down and rear end up
If you think that your dog has bloat, the only thing you can do is to take your pup to the emergency vet as soon as possible, as there is nothing you can do for them at home. According to PetMD.com, bloat is a “life threatening emergency and cannot wait until the morning. If an owner is not sure whether or not their dog has a GDV, they can always call an emergency clinic and ask if the signs are consistent with bloat.”
The only way to treat bloat is to surgically go into the dog’s abdomen and untwist the stomach. The procedure is a serious one — and up to a third of dogs experiencing bloat die despite undergoing the gastropexy to cure the condition.
Thankfully, the risky surgical procedure can be avoided by using non-invasive methods to prevent bloat in dogs. They include:
Feeding your pup several small meals a day (instead of one large one)
Not feeding from an elevated food bowl
Offering water at all times
Reducing stress around feeding times
However, one of the easiest methods of avoiding bloat would be to use slow feeder bowls that encourage your dog to eat more slowly. Thanks to these simple bowls, your pup will ingest their food at a slower rate, putting them at less of a risk of getting bloat. There are plenty of options for dog owners to choose from, too, just in case finicky pups don’t like the first one they try:
Technically, any dog can have bloat, but there are certain breeds that experience it more often. Deep-chested, large breeds like Akitas, Boxers, Basset Hounds, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Weimaraners, and St. Bernards are all breeds that are high-risk for bloat.
If you think your dog might be at risk for bloat, make sure to try out one of these handy slow feeder bowls — you can view the best options currently in stock here. They’re a cost effective solution that will keep your beloved fur baby safe!
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Reverse Sneezing In Dogs – What to do…
Does this sound familiar? Your dog suddenly starts making loud snorting sounds—over and over again, in quick succession. Do you start wondering, did they swallow something they shouldn’t have? Can they breathe?! Chances are, you’re experiencing the infamous “reverse sneeze.” Veterinarians often see dogs whose owners rushed them in for an emergency appointment after finding them standing with their elbows apart, head pulled back, and eyes bulging as they snort or gasp repeatedly. Yet for the vast majority of these dogs, a vet visit was unnecessary.
Reverse sneezing looks and sounds scary the first time you encounter it. However, it’s a fairly common and harmless respiratory event for dogs.
Read on to learn how to identify reverse sneezing, what causes it, and how to tell the difference between a harmless reverse sneeze and something else.
What is reverse sneezing?
A reverse sneeze is pretty much what it sounds like: a sneeze that happens in reverse! The above video is a good example of what it looks and sounds like.
In a regular sneeze, air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is rapidly, and noisily, pulled in through the nose. It occurs in spasms lasting anywhere from a few seconds up to a minute and sounds like snorting, snuffling, and even gagging. See the above video for an example.
Because of the sounds their dogs make while reverse sneezing, many people mistakenly think their dog is choking. However, a reverse sneeze is almost as normal and harmless as a regular sneeze.
There’s no single cause for a reverse sneeze. Like regular sneezing, it’s often triggered by an irritation or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses. It often occurs when dogs wake up from a nap, or after eating, when their breathing pattern may have rapidly changed. It’s also caused by irritants in the airway—anything from dust to an inhaled hair!
Some dogs experience more frequent reverse sneezing in springtime when the air is full of pollen and other allergens. Others reverse sneeze more in the winter, when sudden temperature changes between outdoors and indoors cause the nasal passages to contract.
Another common cause of reverse sneezing is pressure on the throat and neck. A too-tight collar, or straining against the leash, can irritate the throat and lead to a reverse sneeze. That’s just one more reason to consider a harness for your dog.
Finally, some dogs reverse sneeze after exercise, or when they’re overexcited. This is particularly common among brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breeds like pugs and bulldogs. When they get worked up, they may inhale their elongated soft palates into the throat, triggering an episode of reverse sneezing.
Reverse sneezing is super-common, and it won’t hurt your dog. However, some dogs become anxious during a reverse sneezing episode, and a lengthy episode may be uncomfortable.
You can help your dog recover from a reverse sneezing episode by remaining calm yourself. If you get anxious, your dog’s anxiety will increase, too. So, stay calm, and show your dog there’s nothing to panic about.
If your dog is experiencing a particularly long episode of reverse sneezing, you may be able to ease or end the episode by:
Gently massaging your dog’s throat
Briefly covering their nostrils, which will cause them to swallow and potentially stop sneezing
Depressing their tongue with your hand to help open airways
Some vets suggest gently blowing in your dog’s face
In the vast majority of cases, there’s no need to intervene. Reverse sneezing doesn’t last long, and your dog will be perfectly normal after it stops.
When you should go to the vet
As mentioned, reverse sneezing rarely requires veterinary treatment. As soon as the sneezing episode stops, the situation is resolved. However, if episodes increase in frequency or duration, you should call the vet just in case. You should also seek treatment if your dog’s reverse sneezing is accompanied by other respiratory symptoms or if they have any unusual discharge from their nose.Occasionally, chronic reverse sneezing can be a symptom of more serious issues. These include nasal mites, foreign objects in the airway, respiratory infections, and tracheal collapse. If you’re concerned about the intensity of your dog’s reverse sneezing, take a video to show the vet. They’ll be able to determine potential causes.Most dogs experience episodes of reverse sneezing at some point in their lives. For the vast majority of dogs, it’s a common, temporary, harmless reaction with no lasting aftereffects. Of course, it still sounds unsettling to our human ears! But now that you know what reverse sneezing is, you’ll be less likely to make an unnecessary vet visit.