Preparing for medical emergencies such as poodle bloat can be challenging at times, especially when it comes to health conditions such as bloating where many owners are often left confused as to what poodle bloating exactly is. Hopefully, this read will ease some of that burden off your shoulders.

Bloating in poodles is a life-threatening health condition that causes the stomach to stretch due to the accumulation of air, food, or liquid. It is extremely painful and is the second leading health condition that results in death.

To learn more about poodle bloating, how to identify signs of poodle bloat, and how to prevent poodle bloat in the first place, keep reading.

What Is Poodle Bloat?

Bloating in dogs is considered the mother of veterinary emergencies.

Veterinary Professionals

But what exactly is bloating?

To put it in simple terms..

Bloating in poodles is when your dog’s stomach is filled up with gas or liquid which causes the belly to expand and feel firm like a ballon. This stretching of the stomach causes a lot of pain and can also result in death if not treated in time.

Bloat is also known as Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (GDV) or Gastric Torsion.

Stretching of the stomach isn’t the only thing to worry about in case of when it comes to bloat. Oftentimes, bloating is accompanied by “volvulus” or twisting of the stomach by 90° to 360° between the fixed attachments at the food pipe and the upper intestine.

This twisting of the stomach traps the food, liquid, or gas present and obstructs the veins leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to other abdominal organs.

There are two reasons why bloating is considered a serious health condtion:

  1. The number of resulting deaths due to bloating is only second to cancer.
  2. The rate of progression is really fast and has the potential to kill a dog in under 15 minutes if left untreated.

Studies conducted on GDV (bloat) show that the mortality rate in recent years has seen a decline from a range between 33% to 68% down to 10% to 26.8%.

Even though the mortality rates have decreased, bloat still remains a life-threatening health problem.

This is especially true for breeds such as poodles that are more likely to have a bloat episode.

Standard Poodles are among one of the top breeds that are at a significantly higher risk of bloating.

This does not mean that medium poodles, miniature poodles, and toy poodles will not bloat. Every dog breed regardless of their size is at risk of bloating but larger breed dogs with deep chests such as the standard poodle are more likely to bloat.

Bloating is a serious medical condition as it happens at a fast rate and has the potential to severely damage a lot of abdominals organs at once.

Now, that you’re aware of what bloat is, let me walk you through symptoms of bloating (GDV).

What are the Symptoms Of Poodle Bloat?

Now that you’re fully aware of what poodle bloat really is, let me tell you about some of the most common symptoms of poodle bloat.

Due to the severity of this condition, you won’t have much time from the onset of the first symptoms, at times it may be minutes, and other times it may be hours to get medical supervision.

With that said, let me explain to you the symptoms of Poodle Bloat.

Primary Symptoms

  1. Unsuccessful attempts to vomit every five to thirty minutes (most common symptom), oftentimes sounds like a repeated cough
  2. Changes in behavior/temperament (does not act like their usual self). One of the earliest signs and one that almost always occurs
  3. Overly anxious behavior
  4. Standing up with the back hunched up
  5. A swollen abdomen that may feel firm (like a balloon)

Secondary Symptoms

  1. Pale gums
  2. Coughing
  3. Dry Heaving
  4. Whining
  5. Pacing
  6. Weakness to the point that your dog is not able to stand
  7. Weak pulse
  8. Unable to defecate after trying multiple times
  9. Foamy mucous around the mouth
  10. Vomiting yellow/foamy mucous-like substance

These are the typical symptoms that were observed in dogs that had bloat. If your dog shows such symptoms, please take them to a vet as quickly as you can.

Poodle Bloat Symtoms
Common Poodle Bloat Symptoms

Knowing how your dog behaves normally is crucial to identify bloat. You might instantly be able to tell something is not right

Standard Poodle’s First Signs of Poodle Bloat (Via Sego, YouTube)

This is my standard poodle, Vienna. Her full littermate bloated with torsion so I knew she could be in danger of bloat as well. Notice the arched back, C like posture, tail and head down, and she was shaking and licking her lips. I administered simethicone, and since her stomach hadn’t twisted the gas was relieved and she was back to normal not long after this video. She also received veterinarian attention after this video, she’s totally fine now. If you feel like your animal is bloating, give simethicone (gas-x or gas relief) and get them to the vet ASAP! Time is of the essence!

Sego

What Causes Bloat In Poodles?

Okay, so by now you’re aware of what bloat in poodle as well as the symptoms. Now, let’s try and understand what are the causes of bloat in poodles.

Stress

Although this is not always necessary there have been many cases where a dog bloated because of stress.

Some of the most common causes of stress in poodles are excessive exercise, mating, whelping, sudden change in routine, dog shows, the introduction of a new dog, etc.

Eating and Drinking Habits

Eating and drinking too fast or too much is considered to be one of the factors that may result in poodle bloat.

You can purchase a slow feeder (Click to open link) from Amazon to stop your dog from eating too fast.

Earlier it was believed that elevating the level of the feeding bowl decreases the chances of bloat.

However, according to a study published by Purdue University, it was found that raising the height of the feeding bowl actually doubles the chances of bloat.

Approximately 20 and 52% of cases of GDV among the large breed and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised feed bowl.

Purdue University

Exercise

Exercising your poodle before and after eating may cause bloat.

This is especially true when a dog is being exercised right after feeding them as the food hasn’t even started digesting.

Make sure you pick a time when your dog does not have to eat after exercising and keep in mind not to exercise your dog immediately after feeding them.

Hereditary

Is dog bloating hereditary?

Dog bloating is hereditary especially if a first-degree relative has bloated in the past.

This is another thing to ask your breeder when you’re getting a new poodle pup. Poodles are especially prone to bloat so make sure you investigate if your dog’s relatives had bloat or not.

Build and Physical Characteristics

Dogs that are old, deep chested and big are especially at a higher risk to bloat then other dogs.

Standard poodles have a deep check and are big dogs, hence they are more susceptible to bloat.

Older poodles are also at a higher risk than the rest as their digestive system may not function the same way it once did. Make sure you research more about senior poodle nutrition to give them food that their body needs and can digest without putting too much stress on their digestive system.

Dogs that are overweight have a 20% more chance of bloating, so make sure you keep your poodle’s weight in check.

Different Stages of Poodle Bloat

Different Stages of Poodle Bloat

How To Prevent Bloat In Poodles?

There are a lot of things you as a poodle owner can do to help prevent bloat. Let us go over some of the most important ones.

In a lot of cases, it has been noticed that the cause of bloat was heavy exercise after feeding your dog a large meal.

To avoid this, feed your dog two to three times in smaller chunks and avoid exercising your poodle right after feeding them.

Stop using elevated bowls!

I have seen a lot of people recommending elevated bowls to prevent bloating but it’s plainly wrong. A study conducted by Purdue university clearly shows that using elevated bowls DOUBLES the risk of bloating. So make sure you stop using those elevated bowls now.

If your dog has a habit of eating fast, don’t let them. You can purchase a slow feeder from Amazon that prevents your dog from eating too fast.

Do not make sudden changes to your poodle’s diet. When introducing a new dog food make sure you mix the new one with the old dog food in small portions in the beginning and then gradually build your way up.

On average changing dog foods takes around a week but different dog foods have different specifications so make sure you read the packaging properly.

Avoid feeding your dog dry food exclusively.

Be aware of your dog’s nature, enough to take notice when they are not behaving like they normally would.

Gastropexy is also an excellent preventive measure for bloat as poodles are at a higher risk of bloating.

Gastropexy in essence is a surgery that helps prevent bloat in poodles and is successful in doing so 95% of the time.

Study up the symptoms mentioned above to better diagnose your poodle and take action if your dog exhibits those signs. You can learn more about gastropexy by clicking here.

These were some of the key preventive measures to keep mind and apply in your dog’s day to day routine to ensure a healthy and a bloat-free poodle!

Frequently Asked Poodle Bloat Questions

Can poodles get bloat?

Poodles are one of the top breeds that are at a higher risk of getting bloat. Deep-chested and larger dogs such as the standard poodle are at a much higher risk to bloat.

How long does poodle bloat last for?

Bloat in poodles can last for hours and even days before the stomach gets twisted. However, this does not mean that you should wait around for the bloat to go away on its own. Please seek medical help if your poodle shows signs of bloating.

Can bloat in dogs resolve on its own?

If your dog has simple bloating which means that there is no twisting of the stomach involved then it may resolve on its own. With that being said, it is essential for you to understand that bloat progresses fast and you should be ready to act as soon as you notice any of the symptoms that may suggest bloat.

Will a dog with bloat poop?

A dog with bloat may try several times to defecate but is unsuccessful in doing so as the stomach is most probably twisted which makes it difficult to poop for the dog.

How is poodle bloat treated?

A case of poodle bloat is to be attended rapidly if the dog is to be saved. Your vet may first try to decompress the trapped gas, liquid or food that is trapped due to the stomach flipping.
Shock therapy may follow afterwards.

Over To You

Share Your Experience: Have you ever had to deal with poodle bloating issues or a twisted stomach?

Please share your valuable experience and insight in the comments down below to help spread awareness about this serious health condition.

Conclusion

GDV is a serious and a life threatening situation. Being well informed and prepared ensures your dog’s wellbeing.

This article covers all the essentials of poodle bloat from symptoms, prevention to causes, and progression. Since poodle bloat is one of the most common health conditions in poodles, make sure you share this article with everyone you know that has or is planning to get a poodle.

Even though the information provided in this article is thoroughly researched, it is not intended to replace advice or guidance from veterinarians or pet health care professionals.

I am simply sharing the information to make you aware of this life-threatening condition and provide assistance to your research.

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