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What Should I Do if My Dog’s Stomach Becomes Hard and Swollen After Play?


Dear VetBabble: What To Do When Your Dog’s Stomach Gets Big and Hard After Play?

Recent increases in bloating issues among our canine friends have left many pet parents worried. Their concerns are warranted seeing that their furry friends may exhibit swelling in their bellies unexpectedly, causing panic and stress. One of our readers has reached out with a situation similar to this, asking “After my dog played, his stomach became big and hard. I suspect it’s bloat, what do I do? Due to personal circumstances, I am not able to immediately avail the services of a vet at this time. Are there any other symptoms I should be on the lookout for, such as unsuccessful retching or crying?”

Recognize Bloat and Its Warning Signs

Bloat, or Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV), is a serious medical condition in dogs where the stomach fills with gas and may twist. This is indeed imminently life-threatening, as our reader suspected. A dog with bloat may exhibit a hard and swollen stomach, as they have observed in their pet. However, more symptoms should be acknowledged. A dog suffering from bloat might also drool excessively, behave restlessly, have a rapid heartbeat, and yes, retch unproductively.

Learning to recognize these warning signs of bloat can help pet owners act quickly in these emergency situations.

Managing Emergency Situations & Financial Constraints

I understand the financial difficulties that come with unexpected pet emergencies. However, it is crucial to remember that bloat can kill a dog within hours if left untreated. When faced with such a situation, immediate veterinary care is required. Please reach out to local animal charities, friends, or family who may be able to provide assistance, temporary loans, or even suggest affordable veterinary clinics. If anyone is observing any hints of suspected bloat in their dog, time is of the essence.

I would also like to point out, having your dogs evaluated for their likelihood to develop bloat is a healthy practice. A preventive surgery called a gastropexy might be recommended and often performed alongside spaying or neutering. This procedure could potentially save your dog’s life in the future.

Bloating and Other Worrisome Symptoms

Bloat isn’t the only gut-related issue that can stir worry in pet parents. Owners may also see signs of diarrhea or vomiting in their dogs. Both of these could indicate serious conditions that demand quick interventions.

In conclusion, listening to your intuition as a pet parent is crucial. If their behavior or appearance is concerning, being aware and taking immediate action can make the difference in your pet’s life. Please remember, professional veterinary care is a necessity, not a luxury, no matter the situation. I hope this information is helpful and fosters a sense of urgency and awareness about these health issues.

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