Bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can affect dogs, including French bulldogs. This problem starts when the stomach gets full of gases and becomes distended, later twists on itself which disrupts blood flow to all the body organs. Bloat is a very serious problem in French bulldogs and it requires immediate veterinary attention and if it is left untreated for a long time it will result in organ damage, shock, and death. French bulldogs are more prone to developing bloat because of their unique body structure, and as a Frenchie owner, it’s necessary to know about the symptoms and preventive measures to decrease the risk of bloat. In this blog, we’ll discuss what bloat is and how to prevent it in French bulldogs.
What is bloat?
Bloat, also known as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), is a common problem and often very fatal. It mostly affects deep-chested breeds like French bulldogs. Bloat starts to develop when the stomach gets full of air food or fluid leading to its expansion and twisting and later cutting off blood supply to all the main organs.
The exact cause of bloat is not known yet, but many important factors increase the risk of bloats in dogs such as:
- Eating too quickly
- Exercise after eating
- Drinking large amounts of water immediately after eating
- Stress or anxiety
Symptoms of bloat include:
- Swollen or distended abdomen
- Excessive salivation
- Unsuccessful attempts to vomit
- Weakness or lethargy
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Collapse or shock
If you find out that your Frenchie is suffering from bloat, contact your veterinarian immediately. Basically, bloat is a medical emergency, and if the treatment is not done at the right time it will lead to a lot of complications and even death.
How to prevent bloat in French bulldogs?
Although the bloat is not completely preventable, you can take certain steps to decrease the chances of bloat in French bulldogs.
Feed your French bulldog a high-quality diet
A good quality diet with all the nutrients is essential for the overall health of French bulldogs. When selecting the dog food for your Frenchie, always go through the ingredient list and make sure that the formula is according to the age, breed, and activity level of your pup. Furthermore, make sure that the food has good quality ingredients, including whole grains, animal-based proteins, and healthy fats.
Avoid feeding your French bulldog table scraps or human food, as this can disrupt their digestive system and increase their risk of bloat.
Feed smaller meals more frequently
The next important thing that you can do is to feed your Frenchie small frequent meals as it can help in reducing the chances of bloat by preventing the air to enter the stomach. You can do this by feeding your Frenchie three to four small meals instead of two large meals per day.
Use a slow-feed bowl
If your Frenchie is an aggressive eater and eats his meals too quickly it increases the risk of bloat. In order to avoid this situation use a slow-feeding bowl or mat. They are designed in a way that they could decrease the speed of your dog while eating. Slow-feeding bowls provide more challenge to your pup while feeding so they don’t gulp down their food immediately.
The slow feeding bowl for French bulldogs is a revolutionary new product designed to help your dog eat at a slower pace. The design of the bowl keeps food inside it and prevents your dog from gulp-feeding, which can lead to bloat and other digestive issues. The slow-feeding bowl for French bulldogs is made of high-quality plastic and is dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean.
Limit water intake before and after meals
Water is an important component for maintaining the good health of your French bulldog but if they drink a large amount of water before or after every meal it increases the risk of bloat. In order to avoid this issue limit their water intake for at least an hour before and after a meal.
Avoid exercise immediately after eating
Exercising immediately after eating can increase your French bulldog’s risk of bloat. Instead, wait at least an hour after feeding your dog before engaging in any strenuous activities.
Reduce stress and anxiety
Anxiety and stress are not good for your French bulldog because they increase the risk of bloat. To decrease the stress in your French bulldog make sure they have a safe and comfortable space when they need rest. It is also necessary to provide your pup with a lot of mental stimulation and exercise to burn off excess energy and reduce stress.
Monitor your French bulldog for signs of bloat
Early detection is necessary when you want to treat bloats. Always keep an eye on your French bulldog for the sign of bloat, like restlessness, distended abdomen, and unsuccessful attempts to vomit. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately.
Consider a prophylactic gastropexy
A prophylactic gastropexy is a surgical procedure that can be done to prevent bloat in dogs, especially those at high risk, like French bulldogs. In this procedure, the vet will attach the stomach to the abdominal wall, as it will prevent it from twisting. Talk to your veterinarian about whether a prophylactic gastropexy is right for your French bulldog.
Bloat is a serious condition that can affect French bulldogs, but there are several steps you can take to reduce your dog’s risk. Feeding your dog a high-quality diet, feeding smaller meals more frequently, using a slow-feed bowl, limiting water intake before and after meals, avoiding exercise immediately after eating, reducing stress and anxiety, monitoring your dog for signs of bloat, and considering a prophylactic gastropexy are all effective ways to prevent bloat in French bulldogs. By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your French bulldog lives a healthy and happy life.