Hidden Valley Animal Clinic

100 Oakhurst Drive
McMurray, PA 15317



Bloat (gastric dilation and volvulus/GDV)

Bloat is a serious sudden medical emergency in large breed dogs.  Bloat is caused by too much gas and fluid in the stomach.  This gas dilates or expands the stomach like a large balloon.  The gas-filled stomach then twists.  The twisting of the stomach is called volvulus or torsion.  The torsion/volvulus cuts off the blood supply to the abdominal organs and releases toxic chemicals which are immediately life threatening.

The common signs of Bloat are:

  • Abdominal distension
    The abdomen may be visibly distended just behind the ribcage and feel tight like a drum.
  • Restlessness – whining, pacing, hiding
    The animal may refuse to sit or lie down.
  • Vomiting/Defecating – or attempts to vomit or defecate
  • Unproductive gagging/hacking and heavy drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rapid breathing and heart rate
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale/cold gums
  • Weakness or collapse.

Any dog suspected of Bloat needs to be seen immediately. Bloat is rapidly fatal if untreated.