A very stressful day yesterday. Wotan, almost 14 years old, spent the night in the animal hospital after bloating late in the afternoon. We were very lucky as I immediately recognized the signs of bloat and rushed him to the emergency vet before his stomach torsioned. The x-ray showed a tremendous amount of gas and a procedure was done to remove the gas. He is comfortable but very dehydrated and will need to spend another day getting IV fluids. Hopefully, he can come home tomorrow. I will go visit him later today.
If you are not familiar with bloat and own a large chested breed such as a Weimaraner, you need to be familiar with the symptoms because this can occur very quickly and if not treated immediately can be deadly. From the WCA website:
Gastric Torsion or GDV, bloat/torsion, twisted stomach:
Bloat is a disease common to deep-chested dogs that can involve twisting or torsion of the stomach with a subsequent blockage of the esophagus at one end and the intestine at the other. Bloat happens quickly and is often fatal without immediate veterinary attention.
Its symptoms include retching with no vomiting, extreme salivation, obvious discomfort, and distention of the abdomen. Gulping food can bring on an attack of bloat, so Weimaraners should be fed twice daily to avoid the hunger pangs that lead to eating too fast. Some breeders believe that foods containing soybeans shouldn't be fed to breeds that are susceptible to bloat because the beans can produce gas.
Many cases of bloat occur in the evening, after the dog has perhaps shared the family snack of pizza or some other highly-spiced food and then exercised. Treatment is expensive and not always successful. Feeding moistened dog food and postponing exercise for a couple of hours after the meal may help prevent bloat. You can also visit the The Great Dane Bloat Book for more info.