The word strikes fear into the heart of ever large dog owner.  Bloat/Torsion is the common term for Gastric Dilatation/Volvulus.  It literally is when the stomach of a large, deepchested dog fills with air and then because of the way the stomach swings in the body cavity (as if in a hammock) the ligaments stretch and the stomach flips over on itself and rotates in the abdomen.  When the stomach fills with air, you get a very short amount of time to seek treatment or start first aid for Bloat.  Once Torsion or Volvulus occurs your dog is going to die within minutes of the shock from the blood supply being cut off unless immediate veterinary intervention is available.  Please go the the links below to learn everything you can about the symptoms, first aid, and procedures you will be faced with, should your dog bloat. 



And then go on for more:

The Bloat Book MUST READ Purdue Research Recent Studies Purdue Can Nutrition be a Factor?

The following are some posts on this subject which I wrote and sent to the Swissy-L:

Bloat Symptoms/ theories/diet Recent AAHA Journal Article    

There will be more info trickling into this page, some editing required

I strongly suggest that all owners of large breed dogs, read and print out a copy of the Bloat Book at the site above and make sure that all family members and all dog babysitters/caregivers/etc. read and UNDERSTAND the urgency of these symptoms.   Familiarize yourself with them and talk to your vet about Bloat and the procedures they use to surgically intervene if Bloat happens.  Understand the benefits/risks/ethics regarding prophylactic gastroplexy and discuss these things with your vet when your puppy is still young and long before you might need help in an emergency.  Knowledge and preparedness are the most effective weapons against this killer!!!!

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