When It's Bloat

Oct 15, 2009
North Carolina
I know it's been a while since anyone has posted on this thread, but I am new to the forum and though I would share my experience with bloat.

Back in early January 2004, I had a then, 7 month old Rough Collie male bloat/torsion over night. I'd seen it in a couple other dogs, from working at a vet clinic. Anyway, I fed this boy late afternoon/early evening the day before. All went well.. all the dogs were in for the night. I had this puppy in a crate in my room. Early early the next morning (5-6am) several hours after he ate, the puppy started to get very uncomfortable, moving around a lot in his crate. I just assumed he wanted to get out, as this was no uncommon for him to want to go out early in the morning. By 7am I realized something wasn't right.

He never vomited or even tried to, no drooling.. the only symptoms he had was restlessness and a enlarged and tight abdomen. I knew it was bloat. It was a sunday, and I knew my vet, that I worked for, was out of town, though I did get hold of her on her cell... she wasn't anywhere close by, and really I don't think she could have done much for him anyway. So I took him to the emergency clinic 1 hr away, in Columbus, OH. I got him up there, he could still walk, but was going down hill fast. He had the surgery, and after he was out of surgery and recovering the surgeon came out to talk to me. He said all went well.. his stomach had twisted completely around, but it must have just happened, as the stomach was untwisted, it had not started to die, so none of his stomach had to be removed. They told me to go home, and they would call me tonight with an update. They told me I could stop by and see him tomorrow if I wanted to.

I was taking classes at a community college in Columbus at that time, so the next day, in between classes I called Med Vet, to see how he was doing. He was doing great. They said he was already starting to eat well (canine ID).. and acting very normal. They told me to stop by later that day to see him and they would talk about sending him home already, if he continued to do so well through the rest of the day.

After classes that evening I stopped by and they said he could go home. They sent home a bunch of meds for him, pain meds, anitibiotics, gas and stomach meds..etc..etc...

So he went home. He never had to be transferred to my regular vet, he just got to go home... though, for the first week after surgery I did leave him at work (vets office) the days I had classes, so he could get his meds when he was supposed to have them, and so he could be watched.. but I dropped him off in the morning and picked him up at night.

He was hospitalized only 36 hrs! and did so well, because he was young (SEVEN months old) and I caught it early enough. He is doing great to this day, never had another problem.

His treatment at the ER vet (Med Vet), was just roughly $1200 for everything. The low end of the estimate they gave me. My vet didn't charge me anything for boarding him the days I had classes and was away from home all day... It was surprising to see how fast he recovered from such a major surgery! With a 12 in incision, started from just below his ribs down to his lower belly area, stapled up.

Unfortunately almost exactly 1 yr later, his sire (who I co-owed but, he did not live with me) died of bloat. He bloated almost 24hrs after eating. So it was not caused by food!!!.... he was 6 yrs old.

Wow, sorry I haven't replied to these. (Blush)

Carlar, no it's not just large dogs that bloat. Primarly deep chested, larger breeds such as Great Danes, Irish Setters, Wolfhounds, Shepherds, etc are at the highest risk, but smaller dogs such as pugs, doxies, and beagles have been known to bloat as well.

The cause is still unknown. Some signs point to genetics, but no one knows for sure.
This is just my own personal opinion. But from my experience with bloat, I believe that MANY cases are genetic in nature. Certainly not all of them, but many are.

Collies for instance, I had a 7 month old bloat, then almost exactly 1 yr later his father bloated. This is not a rare occurrence. I do show and on occasion breed Collies. Because of these two bloats (the only 2 dogs I've had bloat in almost 16 yrs in the breed!), I have changed directions onto a different family of dogs. I do not currently own anything closely related to the two dogs that bloated. However I know certain pedigrees of Collies out there, that generation after generation after generation there are dogs that bloat. I can look at pedigrees and see this dog bloated.. so did its sire, and the sires mother..etc..etc..etc.. if one of the causes of bloat isn't partly genetic, I would be very surprised, but because it seems to run in certain bloodlines.

I know other breeders who have had MANY more dogs bloat, but still continue to breed the same pedigree and don't even seem to realize (or maybe they just ignore???) the fact that so many dogs in that pedigree have bloated? I refuse to breed something like that, because not only is in expensive to treat, I don't want to have a family who buys a puppy from me, to have to worry about not only is the dog a large, deep chested breed, that could bloat... it has generation after generation behind it that did bloat.

Snorzzz, I wouldn't be too concerned. Hannah now eats laying down on occasion. Honestly, in my experience, it's not the heighth that they eat from that is a contributing factor. Hannah bloated nearly 10 hours after her meal, so I don't really feel that how she ate played too much a part in her bloating. Gulping, and eating while stressed, however are big risk factors in my opinion.

I agree! I don't think it all has to do with food!

i just wanted to show this as well just in case it could be of any help because yoshi didn't show each phase. red is what yoshi showed

1. Pacing, restlessness, panting and salivating.
2. Unproductive attempts to vomit (every 10-20 minutes).
3. Abdomen exhibits fullness and beginning to enlarge.

Call Veterinarian to advise of bloat case enroute. Transport dog to Veterinarian immediately.

1. Very restless, whining, panting continuously, heavy salivating.
2. Unproductive attempts to vomit (every 2-3 minutes).
3. Dark red gums.
4. High heart rate (80 to 100 BPM).
5. Abdomen is enlarged and tight, emits hollow sound when thumped.

Apply first aid if Veterinarian care is more than 10 minutes away.
Then, transport dog to Veterinarian immediately.

1. Gums are white or blue (Could not tell on Hannah-dark gums)
2. Dog unable to stand or has a spread-legged, shaky stance.
3. Abdomen is very enlarged.
4. Extremely high heart rate (100 BPM or greater)and weak pulse.
I agree! This is all my dog showed as well!

Also the Collie Health Foundation sells bloat kits off their website -- www.colliehealth.org/promos.html

Anyone interested might want to check those out.


They said he was already starting to eat well (canine ID).. and acting very normal. They told me to stop by later that day to see him and they would talk about sending him home already, if he continued to do so well through the rest of the day.


New Member
Aug 4, 2005
It could very well be genetics and for some that may be the reason. For yoshi it may be genetics but once I started strict no exercise before and after eating and I constantly check to make sure her stomach is normal and keep gas x on hand and watch her diet super close I have only had one more scare. It takes a bit of work but that one time where she did get super bad makes me really cautious with her. I wish more people knew about bloat. No one around hear had heard of it before it happened to yoshi :/


New Member
Apr 23, 2012
Hanover, PA
We see many bloat cases at my hospital and we have a surprising number of smaller dogs that we see with it. It is more commonly known to happen in large, deep chested dogs, but any size dog can have it happen. We had a dachshund come in bloated once!

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