Gilroy Veterinary Hospital

9565 Monterey Hwy
Gilroy, CA 95020


Bloat (GDV) - By Roger W. Gfeller, DVM, DipACVECC, Michael W. Thomas, DVM, and Isaac Mayo

A life-threatening condition seen in dogs in which the stomach fills with air (dilatation) and, or twists upon itself (volvulus).

What to do: - Transport to a veterinary hospital or emergency facility immediately. This condition requires professional assistance in all cases.

What NOT to do: 

  • Do not attempt to relieve the gas from the stomach.
  • Do not give anything by mouth.

It is imperative that this condition be recognized early. Your pet may not have a bloated appearance.

Signs of bloat include:

  • drooling of saliva.
  • frequent retching and attempts to vomit (occasionally victims may be able to regurgitate a pool of foamy saliva).
  • anxiousness, restlessness, and pacing.
  • depression and shock.

Much has been learned about bloat in the past decade. Only a few years ago, a diagnosis of bloat was almost always a death sentence, as only 25% survived. Today the survival rate is better than 80%. Part of the reason for this is increased owner awareness. The earlier the veterinarian gets started with treatment, the better chance there is for survival. Extremely aggressive medical and surgical intervention early in the course of the disease has the most dramatic impact on overall treatment success.


Copyright 1994, by Roger W. Gfeller and Michael W. Thomas. All rights reserved.