Is my dog at risk for bloat?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – I have a lab – is he at risk for bloat? I hear so much about it – it scares me.

Bob F. Fort Walton Beach, FL

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), often referred to as "bloat" or gastric torsion," is a serious condition caused by abnormal dilatation and twisting of the stomach. GDV is most common in deep-chested or large to giant breed dogs between two and ten years of age. GDV can also occur in other breeds, but this is comparably rare.

Pure breed dogs are at higher risk for bloat. The breeds most commonly affected include the Great Dane, standard poodle Saint Bernard, Gordon setter, Irish setter, Doberman pinscher, Old English sheepdog, Weimaraner, and the Basset hound.

GDV can sometimes be associated with eating or drinking before or after exercise. Risk factors may include once daily feeding and consumption of large amounts of food or water. For more information on risk factors, go to Is Your Dog at Risk for Bloat?

Labs can be at risk but are not one of the most common breeds. To be on the safe side – read the article about the risk factors and minimize those.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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