My Dog Is Bloated. What to Do From Expert Vet – GDV & Signs of Bloat in Dogs

What to do if My Dog is Bloated?

Bloat in Dogs Information, Emergency Treatment, & Prevention. 

By Expert Veterinarian: Dr. Philip Allen with Mission Veterinary Emergency & Specialty

Signs & How to Prevent Bloat in Your Dogs

What to do when you notice bloating in your dog.

Your 6-year-old Great Dane, Luna, just finished dinner and is lying on the couch watching TV with you. She gets up suddenly &  begins pacing the kitchen. Despite your best efforts, you can’t get her to settle down. She retches, trying to vomit, but nothing comes out. You become worried because she seems agitated.

You notice her stomach seems bloated. Growing concerned, you bring her to your nearest emergency hospital where she is diagnosed with gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Luna requires emergency surgery to save her life.

What is Bloat in Dogs?

GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus) is a common and catastrophic disease that primarily affects large and giant breed dogs.

GDV - My dog is bloated what do I do?

Great Danes, German Shepherds, and Labradors are particularly at risk, but the disease has been reported in almost every breed. Of the smaller breeds, it is most common in Bassett Hounds.

Dogs having a direct relative with a history of GDV appear to be at increased risk as well. Though not consistently supported by research, additional possible risk factors include eating fewer meals rapidly, aggressive or fearful temperament, or having a history of spleen removal (abdominal organ).

What does Bloating in Dogs Mean?

In this disease process, the stomach twists on itself. Because of the new position, the stomach begins to swell rapidly with gas.

This distension causes a number of severe and life-threatening complications including decreased blood flow back to the heart, dysfunction of the heart, and death of the stomach wall. Because these complications are life-threatening, emergency surgery is required to decompress the stomach. The vet will then rotate the stomach into its normal position. However, emergency surgery is only required in bloated dogs that are found to have GDV.

Signs of Bloating in Dogs:

Signs to watch for at home that could indicate your dog has GDV include:

  • Unable to get comfortable or rest
  • Retching without production of stomach contents
  • A firm, bloated stomach

If any of these are noted, it is necessary to bring your dog to a veterinarian immediately. After a thorough physical examination, the veterinarian will likely recommend radiographs (x-rays), which often have a classic appearance associated with the twisting and gas distension of the stomach.

If GDV is suspected, your veterinarian will recommend immediate stabilization and surgery. Surgery includes an incision into the abdomen, evaluation of all abdominal organs, rotating the stomach back to its normal position, and a ‘gastropexy’.

In order to prevent reoccurrence, gastropexy is used to securely adhere the stomach inside the abdomen to the body wall. Surgery without gastropexy has a recurrence rate as high as 80%, while intervention with gastropexy decreases recurrence to less than 3%.

What to do for Your Bloated Dog?

The great news is there is something we can do to prevent this potentially fatal occurrence.

If you have a large or giant breed dog, you may consider having a prophylactic gastropexy performed. This procedure essentially eliminates the risk of your dog developing GDV in the future.

Traditionally, this is performed through a large incision into the abdomen. Some specialty veterinary hospitals, including Mission Veterinary Emergency and Specialty, offer laparoscopic gastropexy. This procedure allows for a surgeon to perform a gastropexy through a very small incision with the use of cameras and specialized equipment.

This significantly reduces the invasive nature of the procedure and has been proven to be as effective as the more traditional methods of surgery. Your dog can also be simultaneously spayed in a similarly minimally invasive way or neutered routinely. Multiple studies have shown that the strength of a laparoscopic gastropexy is as strong as any of the more traditional and more invasive techniques.

Should I Be Worried for My Dog?

While GDV is a life-threatening disease, it can be managed with a high rate of success if identified quickly. Additionally, prophylactic gastropexy should be considered in breeds that are predisposed, or for owners that want to eliminate risks of developing GDV in the future. Please consult with your primary care veterinarian or the specialists at MVES for more information.

If you see bloat in your dogs or need immediate medical treatment for your pets, Mission Vet Emergency & Specialty have a 24 HOUR Critical Care Line, just for you: (800) 790-7766, call any time!

If you have other questions, be sure to reach out to Philip Allen & the helpful staff at Mission Veterinary Emergency & Specialty.

What to do for Bloat in Dogs

You can also learn more about Animal Welfare and Humane Societies in Kansas City,  or dog bite prevention and what to do if it happens to you.

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Everything You Need to Know: Animal Welfare & Humane Education in Kansas City

Animal Welfare & Humane Education

No matter how big or small, impact is impact and affects what that child or teenager does from that point forward. –Ashley Stanley, Animal Welfare Education Manager

Animal welfare and humane animal education are important in today’s society. Animals have rights & should be treated with respect.

…but what school offers those kinds of classes?

How can you teach your kids the value of living beings & compassion?

Surprisingly, local animal shelters & your humane society offer many different animal education & handling classes. You can learn about a wide range of animal welfare topics including how to handle animals, pet safety, animal etiquette, dog safety, & what is similar between us and animals.

What is Humane Animal Education?

Humane education teaches the significance of treating all living beings with care. Often times, local animal shelters, like Wayside Waifs, use classes and programs to encourage an understanding of respect and compassion in children.

According to the ASPCA, animals have five freedoms that collectively makeup animal welfare. These are topics covered in animal welfare & humane education classes.

What are the 5 Animal Welfare Freedoms?

  1. Freedom from pain, injury, or sickness
  2. Freedom from personal discomfort
  3. Freedom from starvation & thirst
  4. Freedom to have normal behavior
  5. Freedom from fear & stress

At Wayside Waifs, their educational programs teach the importance of practicing five core values: Responsibility, Self-Control, Compassion, Integrity and being Humane. Animal welfare is a cornerstone of the Wayside Waifs’s mission. Over the last 74 years, their animal welfare classes & humane education programs have grown dramatically.

Find Specific Animal Humane Education Programs:

Wayside Waifs offers many different humane education programs to teach kids about animal welfare.  Their educational programs include:

  • PAW-etiquette for Pooches & People
  • Dog Safety
  • Activiting Em-PAW-thy: Exploring Similarities between Pets & Peoples
  • Once U-PAW-n A Time: Reading for Pets & People
  • Kids in Action
  • A variety of educational tours

In 2017, their humane education programs reached 14,000 people, nation-wide. If you are interested in this program for your kids or group outing, call Wayside Waifs or check it out on the web.

No More Bullying!® (a violence prevention curriculum) is extremely applicable in today’s society. The educational class teaches 3rd through 5th grade students the significance of treating things kindly and is now taught in 14 states!Companion Animals Aid Humane Education

Companion animals keep kids engaged in learning. 

Wayside Waif’s companion animals are the forefront of all Humane Education programs. Students understand, relate and have empathy towards the animal they see in front of them.

Currently, they have 13 companion animals. Each humane education animal must pass Companion Animal testing to be eligible. These dogs are extremely tolerant and do well in large groups & with children.

“With every Humane Education program we present, we see lightbulbs go on in the minds of the students,” said Ashley Stanley, Humane Education Manager. “No matter how big or small, an impact is impact and affects what that child or teenager does from that point forward.”

For information about Humane Education programs, including No More Bullying!®, visit the Wayside Waifs website.

 

Easy Tips for Firework Pet Safety: Make Your Pets Comfortable on 4th of July

We can all agree we love 4th of July.

…but do our pets feel the same?

In a recent survey*, 44% of pet parents said fireworks scare their pets.

So…

How can you make your pets feel safe and comfortable during the 4th of July festivities?

Pet Safety Tips for 4th of July

Our friends at Turner Animal Hospital gathered some tips & tricks for helping your pets cope with fireworks this season. Check it out below:

  1. Don’t wait to plan.  Consult your veterinarian about any changes you can make in the short term to help your pet. There are many steps you can take to help your pets feel safe during fireworks, but don’t wait till the last minute. Take action early.
  2. Build a safe space for your furry friend. Fill it with toys and other comfort objects that they can hang out with. This will help to increase their familiarity and reduce anxiety.
  3. Got ID? If you are planning to take your pets out of of the house this 4th of July, be sure they have proper identification. It is common for pets to dart away at loud noises. Don’t let them get lost. Make sure their collar is securely fastened with their name tag & microchip them if possible.
    1. It is better to leave your pets at home during the festivities. Even if you want them included in the fun, there are many ways they can be hurt. Be sure to consider fireworks safety for your pet.
  4. Don’t take pets out after dark. Obviously, fireworks displays start once the sun has gone down. Some neighborhoods allow fireworks to be done in streets as well. Walk your dog during the light hours to minimize the amount of fireworks they are exposed to.
  5. Ask your vet if there are options for reducing stress and anxiety with supplements. Some pets may not need this extreme of a solution, but many do. (One of our dogs is terrified and the other loves fireworks)
  6. Distractions work best. Personally, our dogs love Modern Family, but any TV show, music, or movie will do. You can also fill their safe space with new toys for them to explore. The noise & new toys will help to drown out the noise & commotion happening outside. Your pets will be focused on what’s happening inside rather than the loud noises.

If you think about your pets’ needs early, there are simple steps you can take to make a big difference. Then, your pets can enjoy 4th of July too! (Just maybe not the same way we do.)

If you want more tips or personalized advice, reach out to your local veterinarian to discuss options for your pets. The caring & friendly staff at Turner Animal Hospital is a great resource for your furry family!

*PDSA, Online Survey 2013

 

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Dog Bite Prevention & Pet Safety

Dog Bite Prevention Week

Dog Bite Prevention Week.

Dear Fellow Animal Lovers & Pet Parents,

Dog bites can pose a serious health risk to our communities. More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. More than 800,000 receive medical attention for their dog bite, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). At least half of those bitten are children. 

It’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week!

There are many things that can be done at home and within the community to help prevent a dog from biting someone. National Dog Bite Prevention Week® is celebrated the second full week of April each year. This year, the dates are April 8-14. During this time, we would like to remind pet owners & the public that the majority of dog bites are preventable.Turner Animal Hospital for Dog Bite TreatmentWhy do dogs bite?

Dogs bite for a variety of reasons, but bites occur most commonly as a reaction to something. It is important to remember that any dog can bite; big or small, male or female, young or old. Even the cuddliest, fuzziest, sweetest pet can bite, if provoked. It is not a dog’s breed that determines whether it will bite, but rather the dog’s individual history and behavior. It is important to remember responsible pet ownership to avoid your dog biting others.

How to Prevent Dog Bites:

  • Socialization is a good way to help prevent your dog from biting. Introducing your dog to other animals and people while it’s still a puppy will help your pet feel more comfortable in different situations. As it gets older, your dog will feel comfortable around others.
  • Responsible pet ownership builds a solid foundation for dog bite prevention. Basics of responsible dog ownership can help reduce the risk of dog bites. Carefully selecting the dog that’s right for your family is very important. Do you research before adopting a new pet. Proper training, regular exercise, and neutering or spaying your pet are also responsible habits for pet owners. It’s also recommended to use a leash in public to make sure that you are able to control your dog.
  • Educate yourself and your children about how – or whether – to approach a dog. This includes avoiding risky situations and understanding when you should certainly not interact with a dog. Instances where dogs should be left alone include: if it is not with its owner, if it is sleeping, or if it is growling or barking. (to name just a few scenarios)
  • Reading a dog’s body language can also be helpful. Just like people, dogs rely on body language, posture and vocalizations to express themselves. While we can’t always read a dog’s body language accurately, it can give us helpful clues as to whether a dog is feeling stressed, frightened, or threatened.

But, how can you be sure your pet is happy, healthy, and safe?

Get peace of mind about your pet’s environment & health with Turner Animal hospital. You don’t need to be a pet expert. Their amazing staff is here for you!

Veterinarians play a key role in educating and guiding the community about dog bites and other pet health prevention strategies. Contact your veterinarian for more information or visit Turner Animal Hospital on Facebook for more Dog Bite Prevention Tips and Info.

Sincerely,

Eric McConkey, DVM and Tara McConkey, CVPM

Co- Owners, Turner Animal Hospital

Meet Eric, Tara, and the loving Turner Animal Hospital staff! They are here to help your pets

Want to reserve your appointment now? You can book an appointment online. 🙂

 

Kansas City Pets Scoop

What to do When Your Pet Dies Unexpectedly

A good friend is hard to find, but each animal finds a special place in our heart. While the beginning chapters of Lady’s remain a mystery, we wanted to give her a well-deserved rest in peace. Lady wandered the streets until strangers picked her up as a stray and brought her to the local shelter where she lived long-term until my family adopted her in the Spring of 2017. That is where the final chapter of her tale begins…

what to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

Lady: The Final Chapter

We weren’t in a rush to bring another creature into our pack, but on Mother’s Day, Charlotte (my six-year-old daughter) and I took a trip to the local animal shelter. We previously discussed the possibility of adopting another dog when the ‘right one’ came along. We’d visited local shelters like Wayside Waiffs and Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, but hadn’t found the right fit for our family- until that day.

Lady hobbled inside from a walk with a volunteer when we met her- at that moment we knew she was special. There was a sweetness about her. A kindness in her eyes that instantly drew our hearts in. We knew we may only have a couple years together due to her age, but the instant connection made our hesitation disappear. Lady deserved a loving home and we were going to give it to her. After a few more visits and a meet-and-greet with Winnie, our 11-year old dog, we welcomed Lady into our wolf pack.

what to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

Given Lady’s condition (she had trouble walking & bad arthritis), we knew the transition into a new household would take time. But hope is a seemingly magical thing which made Lady’s transition much smoother than we anticipated.

What to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

The day we adopted Lady, she had limited movement. Even navigating stairs seemed like an impossible task. Each day I carried her up and down our stairs so she could relieve herself and enjoy time in our backyard with Winnie. I came to terms with the fact that Lady was going to need extra care– but she surprised me.

Within a couple of weeks, the dog that could barely walk was running (literally running) around the backyard and climbing the stairs on her own. I truly believe that Lady needed the hope, love, and encouragement that only a loving family can bring. Lady found her forever home and we found a piece of our hearts that we didn’t know was missing – and summertime was wonderful.

what to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

Summertime brought freedom for our dogs to explore outdoors and relax on the lawn. Together, they spent a few hours a day taking in the fresh air. When I opened the door to call them in, both would come running as fast as they could to greet us. Lady wasn’t just a cared for member of our pack, she became my friend.

I found myself looking forward to my favorite parts of the day, when Winnie and Lady would run towards the house. I never envisioned the possibility of Lady being active when we’d first met, but little did the dogs know that I cherished those joyful moments just as much as they did.

what to do when your pet dies unexpectedly

Over the span of a few months, Lady became an important part of our pack- part of our family. Fast forward to the night of October 21st, 2017.

As it started raining, I rushed to the backdoor to call the dogs in – expecting to see them both run in, excited to come inside. That didn’t happen. Lady got up to come towards me, but collapsed suddenly on the lawn. I ran down the yard and helped Lady get back to her feet. As we tried to get up the stairs, Lady collapsed again and that’s when it hit me – Lady was going to die.

I honestly can’t tell you how I knew, but I could sense it. I knew what to do. My job was to make sure that Lady, my friend, was comfortable and loved in her final moments. The progression happened so quickly, there wasn’t time to think much about keeping her comfortable. By the time we got inside, her back legs had stopped working all together and her body was shutting down.

I brought her inside my bedroom and we said our goodbyes. As I petted  and soothed her, Lady kept trying to inch closer to me – all she wanted was love. I finally moved her on top of me as I laid with my back on the floor. Nothing prepares you for having someone that you love die in your arms. It’s one of the most difficult things I have experienced but it was exactly as it was supposed to be.

Lady passed away in the comfort of my arms, surrounded by the love she experienced in her final months on Earth. I am grateful we were a part of her journey, no matter how difficult it was to lose her. I don’t know how her story started or what adventures her early chapters brought, but I know her final chapter was beautiful, and I’ll never forget her presence in our lives.

The aftermath of losing Lady was challenging because it’s something that I have never been through before. However, the experience is something I want to share with your family if you find yourself in a similar situation.

What to do When Your Pet Dies Unexpectedly

After Lady passed away, I knew we needed to have a plan of action in place. Given the fact that it was late at night and on a weekend, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the situation. When your pet dies unexpectedly, like ours did, here are some helpful steps:

-Evaluate the situation. Try to feel your dog’s heartbeat asses if they have passed. CPR on animals can revive them in instances where you are unsure.

-Call for help. This is not a situation you want to handle on your own. Call a friend or family member if you are alone- we all need support.

-Be Quick. It’s not fun to think about, but Rigor Mortius sets in 10 minutes to 3 hours after death. Taking the necessary steps as soon as possible is important.

-Wrap your pet up in a blanket, towel, or some type of cloth.

-If you have plastic bags to wrap around the bottom half of your pet, do it. They will sometimes release some of their bodily fluids after passing away.

-Place your pet in a box or container to transport them.

-Know your options. We utilized Pet Cremation Services, out of Martin City, who were wonderful to work with. We called early Sunday morning and brought Lady to their facility Sunday afternoon. Pet Cremation Services reviewed several options for our family and handled our delicate situation with special care. From group cremation, where they spread the ashes in their memorial garden, to options where you can keep your pet’s ashes after their gone, Pet Cremation will help your family find the right option for you. Your family can find details online or call 816-941-2009. Pet Cremation Services handled it amazingly- so gentle and kind. I cannot begin to tell you how comforting their support was in the aftermath of Lady’s passing.

My biggest piece of advice is to understand WHAT to do if this ever happens to you. It’s hard enough losing a beloved pet unexpectedly. Knowing the next steps will make it easier for you in moment. Knowing what I know now, would I decide to welcome Lady into our family again?! Absolutely.

Lady’s presence in our lives wasn’t just a gift to her, it was a gift to our family as well. She was a gentle, sweet, and kind soul that we are lucky to have known. Not only was she our family pet, but Lady was also our friend. We miss her every day. When you have the chance to love others, both people and pets, do it. You’ll never regret spreading kindness and love.

From my family to yours,

Holli

Halloween Safety Tips for your Furry Friends

Pet Halloween Safety
Great reminders & tips to keep your pets safe this Halloween.

Dress up Pup?

We all know that costumes for our pets are quite popular and absolutely adorable.  However, make sure that the costume is correctly sized and comfortable for Fido.  Avoid any pieces that may fall off and/or can be chewed on.  Small hair bows, clips, and hats can easily be taken off by their lonesome and often are small enough to become dangerous.  Attempt to make your pet familiar with the costume by having them wear it for a period of time before Halloween.  If it is obvious your pet is less than thrilled to be in a costume, it is best to call it quits on dressing up.  Never leave your pet unsupervised while her or she is dressed up for festivities.

Keep your fur-baby inside!

Dogs and (some) cats alike enjoy the fresh air of the great outdoors.  Once night falls and trick-or-treaters come out for candy, do not let your pup outside unsupervised.  Between the trick or treaters that may be cutting through backyards and the sidewalks being overrun with excited kiddos, opt to only take pets outside on leash with an adult for the night of the 31st.  We wouldn’t want any pets to be scared or uncomfortable when around some unfamiliar faces.  Always keep a collar and identification tag on your pets in case they do get out without an owner.

The front door: out of sight, out of mind

When it comes to the doorbell and lots of Halloween visitors, it is best to keep pets out of reach from the door where you’re handing out candy.  Put them in a room where they are comfortable and turn on the TV or radio to drown out at least some of the commotion for the few hours of trick-or-treating.  It is best to prevent the dog jumping on trick-or-treaters, or the kitty slipping out the door by having he or she entertained with a treat or toy in their secluded area.

Chocolate Labs can’t eat chocolate

In fact, it isn’t recommended for any dog to eat chocolate.  Do not share chocolate treats with any of your furry friends, and make sure your kiddos understand this too.  These sweet treats children are destined for on Halloween can be toxic to both dogs and cats and should never be in reach of their paws.  Keep candy on a high surface, and cover with a lid to minimize the smell.

Howl-o-ween Décor

It’s part of the fun to deck the house out in spider webs, pumpkins, and ghosts, oh my! But, be wary of decorations that include candles, long power cords, or glow-in-the-dark substances.  Candles and jack-o-lanterns are a Halloween tradition, however, keep them out of reach from wagging tails, sniffing noses, and stretching paws.  Avoid making the night even scarier by securing long power cords to avoid flying items and tripped pets.  Chemicals in glow sticks are poisonous to both humans and animals, so make sure they can’t be chewed on.

Happy Howl-o-ween! Enjoy and stay safe!

Brought to you by Isabelle Allen, iPetsKC team

Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays

Holidays can be a ton of fun, but they can also present quite a few dangers for our furry (and non-furry) friends.

So, we’ve got tips to keep your pets safe and happy this holiday season. Check it out:

4 Holiday Pets Safety Tips

The holidays can be a dangerous time of year for your pets.

Pet safety is important!

So, here are some tips to keep your furry loved ones safe this year.

Keep Your Eye on Food

Food is a huge part of the holidays.

Between baking gifts, hosting holiday parties. and receiving edible gifts from others- this is a yummy time of year.

All these holiday treats can be as tempting for your pets as they are for us. Be sure you keep any harmful foods out of reach.

Signs that your pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t have include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drinking, depression, lethargy, coordination issues, or tremors.

If your pet is acting funny and you think they’ve ingested something dangerous, Mission Med Vet is a 24/7 emergency vet hospital in KC.

Below is a list of holiday foods poisonous to dogs and cats:

Foods not suitable for pets include; Alcohol, avocado, chocolate (baking and dark chocolate are the most dangerous), caffeine, citrus, coconut, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, dairy, nuts, onions, garlics and chives, raw meat, raw bones or raw eggs, salt, xylitol and yeast dough.

Décor is Dangerous

Holiday decorations and pet safety = sparkly and festive decor becoming a menacing monster in plain sight…waiting to attack your fur babies when your back is turned.

Trees, tinsel, gift wrap, poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, and salt dough ornaments. These are the big hazards for choking, so try to keep them up high.

Christmas trees- Try to keep your pets out of them.

If you have a live tree, be sure to vacuum up any needles that fall so that no one eats them. Keep light cords tucked away.

Tinsel- If you still use tinsel, keep it high. It is bad if ingested. This goes for that tinsel like string popular for gift wrap too.

From personal experience I can tell you, if your cat swallows some, DO NOT pull it out! It can cut and damage their throats and intestines. Cut it close to their mouth if they haven’t had much and call Mission Med Vet immediately.

Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are all poisonous to animals so be sure to put them where your pets cannot get to them. Finally, salt is very bad for dogs. Be sure to keep those handmade salt dough ornaments way high on the tree, or elsewhere because they can be fatal if ingested.

Pet Hotels Can Help 

Whether you are hosting guests or you are the guest, you may want to consider boarding your pets.

With people coming and going from your home during the holidays, it can be easy for a pet to get out. Or, if your dog gets anxious with lots of people around or with a lot of noise.

Sometimes, it can be easier on them to stay the night at a doggy hotel. If you will not be able to get home to them, due to drinking (please don’t drive) consider boarding, or asking a neighbor to check in.

Weather

As the temperature goes down, it gets dangerous for pets to spend too much time outside.

Make sure you don’t leave your dog or their only source of water outdoors. If you don’t have a heated bowl it can freeze.

Leaving your pets, even in the garage is not a good option. Please make a plan for your pets when figuring out your holiday activities.

Pets are a special part of every family.

With a little planning, they can have a happy and safe holiday season with you and the rest of your family.

We at iPetsKC wish you and your pets a very happy holiday!