With Bloat, parts of the intestine and stomach can die. This can lead to Sepsis, especially if there has been any rupture of the stomach or intestines. Sepsis can lead to death in as little as several hours or may occur days after.
Bloat is treated by a Vet treating the shock. When the dog stabilizes, surgery is performed in two procedures. First they deflate the stomach and turn it back to its correct position and removed any damaged tissue. Then a procedure called Gastropexy is done where the stomach is attached to the abdominal wall so it doesn't twist again. Without it, up to 90% of dogs will have this condition again.
Julien - Bloat
Julien, as many know, is our mascot and the face of ALPRAS. A sanctuary dog who had several mental health issues, Julien was prone to severe anxiety and OCD. While this is not the case for every dog, most large dogs are at risk for this extremely life threatening emergency. Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) complex, is ALWAYS a medical and surgical emergency.
As the stomach fills with air, pressure builds, stopping blood from the hind legs and abdomen from returning to the heart. Blood pools at the back end of the body, reducing the working blood volume and sending the dog into shock.
When the stomach flips, it pulls both the spleen and pancreas as well cutting off blood flow. The pancreas, now having little to no oxygen can produce toxic hormones. One of these hormones can actually stop the heart; even after successful treatment/surgery.
Symptoms of Bloat
The most obvious sign is when the belly expands with air as Julien's X-Ray shows here. Other symptoms include Drooling, Restlessness/Pacing, Retching/Vomiting fluids-but not food, Pain from any pressure on the abdomen.