Monday, September 12, 2011

Pet Product of the Month

Does your dog eat too fast? Inhaling their food in one or two gulps is not healthy and increases the risk of bloat. Bloat is not only an extremely painful condition but a serious life-threatening condition.

"In the bloated stomach, gas and/or food stretches the stomach many times its normal size, causing tremendous abdominal pain. For reasons we do not fully understand, this grossly distended stomach has a tendency to rotate, thus twisting off not only its own blood supply but the only exit routes for the gas inside. Not only is this condition extremely painful but it is also rapidly life-threatening. A dog with a bloated, twisted stomach (more scientifically called gastric dilatation and volvulus) will die in pain in a matter of hours unless drastic steps are taken."

If you ever see your dog show these symptoms take them to the vet immediately: 
              distended stomach
         vomiting; the pet appears highly nauseated and is retching but little is coming up 

Emergency surgery is needed within a matter of hours or they will die. Be sure you know where the closest emergency clinic is that is open during the night and weekends. 

Although the Great Dane, St. Bernard and Weimaraners have the highest risks of bloat according to one study, any dog can get it, especially those dogs with deep, narrow chests. I had a client who's wire-haired dachshund developed bloat and had emergency surgery. To prevent this from happening, avoid exercising your dog after a large meal. If you only feed once a day, start feeding them twice a day, it's better for them any way. If your dog eats too fast, there are slow-eat bowls available now in several different designs. I have several clients and family members who use them and report they really do help them to eat slower. You can find several different styles on-line at various pet supply retailers. Just do a search for slow eat dog bowls. I prefer stainless steel to plastic but unfortunately there are more styles available in plastic than stainless steel.