Bloating is never a fun experience for anyone, but for dogs, it can be fatal. Bloating is a much more sinister condition, so you need to know if your dog is prone to bloating.
Cavapoos are prone to bloating. This could be due to their diet, another health issue, or exercise levels. You’ll need to talk to your vet about how you can manage your Cavapoos bloat and keep an eye on their other symptoms to make sure it isn’t posing a threat.
Today we’ll be looking at why Cavapoos are prone to bloating, why it can be so worrying for dog owners, and what you can do to help your dog. Let’s get started.
What Is Bloating In Dogs?
As humans, many of us experience bloating. It can be annoying and uncomfortable, sure – but it’s not often life-threatening. So, when you see that your dog is looking a little bloated, you might think that it’s no big deal, right? Wrong.
Bloating is one of the most serious symptoms that vets see in dogs, and it should be looked at right away. Without treatment, bloating can kill any dog within mere hours.
However, severe bloating is relatively rare in dogs – with around three dogs needing surgery for bloating every year.
So, what is bloating in Cavapoos? Bloating occurs when the stomach fills with gas. This itself isn’t serious, but the added pressure on the stomach can cause it to twist when bloated.
This can then cut off the blood supply to the gut, making it impossible for the gas or food to be expelled from the stomach.
The spleen might also twist as well, losing circulation and blocking veins from taking blood back to the heart.
Not only is it life-threatening, but bloating is also very painful for dogs. It can kill them within hours if a vet is not seen, so you’ll need to get an emergency appointment as soon as you spot any of the symptoms leading to bloat.
Symptoms Of Bloating In Cavapoos
Bloating symptoms can appear quickly, but you’ll often see at least two symptoms straight away. This means that there shouldn’t be much doubt in your mind as to whether your dog could be ill enough to see a vet right away.
Here are the symptoms to look out for:
- A distended stomach that is hard to the touch and feels swollen
- Excessive drooling
- Retching without vomiting
- Signs of pain when you touch the stomach, such as whining, growling, or biting
- Other signs of stress and pain, like panting or writhing
If your dog has any of these symptoms, and especially if they have more than one, contact your vet right away. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and wasting valuable time debating whether to call a vet won’t help your dog.
What Causes Bloating In Cavapoos?
The best way to prevent bloating from harming your Cavapoo is to know the causes and prevent them as much as possible. Bear in mind that there might be other causes than the ones we’ve listed here, as scientists are still researching bloating in dogs.
Let’s look at the most common causes of bloating in Cavapoos.
How Your Dog Is Eating
Many studies have suggested that the way your dog eats their food is a common cause of bloating. Eating from a raised food bowl might increase the risk of bloating as your dog can eat the food quicker, putting more stress on the stomach.
In the same vein, feeding your dog one large meal a day might cause the stomach to stretch and have more room to fill with gas.
Some dogs, like Cavapoos, don’t know when to stop eating and are, therefore, prone to overeating. This can greatly increase the chances of bloating.
If your Cavapoo eats its meal quickly and then jets off into a sprint right away, this might increase the chances of bloating. Try to keep your dog relaxed for half an hour after meal times to allow their food to digest before exercising again.
For more tips on how to feed your Cavapoo, check out our blog!
Existing Health Conditions
Your dog might be more prone to bloating due to a preexisting health condition. These might have bloating as one of their symptoms, or the extent of the illness might make bloating more likely.
The pressure that the illness is putting on your Cavapoos body might be taking energy away from the stomach, which is also silently suffering from bloat.
Your vet should be able to tell you if any existing health conditions your dog is suffering from have a side effect of bloating or not.
Your dog’s current diet might be all wrong for them. Some dogs need more fat than others, but as a rule, your Cavapoo should be eating mostly protein, with smaller amounts of healthy fats and carbohydrates mixed in.
Food sensitivities might also increase the chances of bloating. A diet with too many filler ingredients, such as wheat or soy, can leave air pockets in your dog’s stomach, which can increase the risk of bloating.
Make sure your dog is on a diet of premium quality kibble or wet food, with plenty of water available whenever they want it. For more information on dog nutrition, see our essential dietary tips for dogs.
What Health Conditions Can Increase The Risk Of Bloating?
We mentioned earlier that some preexisting health conditions could make your dog more likely to bloat, but what exactly are these? Are there any health issues that greatly increase the risk of bloating in Cavapoos?
Let’s look at these now.
Peritonitis is a common health concern to cause bloating, and it is an infection caused by a rupture of the stomach or intestine. This could be down to the splintered bone if they’ve suffered a fracture, a tumor, or an ulcer.
While less common, Peritonitis could also occur if the bladder or gallbladder ruptures due to the same causes.
Peritonitis is very painful and can cause other debilitating symptoms, such as limpness, swollen stomach, vomiting, and refusal to move. The Cavapoo might also suffer from shock at the immense pain, so getting them to the vet as soon as possible is very important.
Treatment will include intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and pain medication. They will also need surgery if the puncture needs repairing, which it most likely will.
During this surgery, the vet will also remove the infection as much as possible and flush out the belly.
2. Cushing’s Syndrome
Cavapoos might be prone to Cushing’s Syndrome if either parent has had it, as it can be passed genetically. The tell-tale sign of Cushing’s Syndrome is a swollen stomach that looks like a pot belly.
Cushing’s Syndrome is a condition where too much cortisol is produced in the body. This hormone is otherwise known as the ‘stress hormone’.
It surges when danger is present, prompting the fight-or-flight response. Too much cortisol continuously can be dangerous for a Cavapoo.
Symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome include:
- Being over six years old
- Hair loss
- Overeating and drinking
- Swollen stomach
- Going to the bathroom more frequently
- Panting excessively.
The most common cause of Cushing’s Disease is the pituitary gland producing too much cortisol. However, another cause could be a tumor on one of the adrenal glands.
Treatment for Cushing’s includes either medication or surgery to remove the tumor.
Ascites is another way of saying a buildup of fluid in the stomach, which can lead to swelling. The fluid needs to be removed as soon as possible to avoid the bloating from creating even more issues for your dog.
There are many health concerns that can cause Ascites, including liver disease, heart failure, kidney issues, and severe intestinal diseases.
The treatment for Ascites depends on the root cause of this issue. However, the majority of treatments will include medication or surgery in extreme cases.
How Bloated Cavapoos Will Be Treated
The way your Cavapoo is treated will depend on the reason why they are experiencing bloating.
A scan will be done to determine what has caused the bloating so that the vet can treat the other causes as well as the bloating. Treatment will begin immediately after this to give your dog the best chance.
The first step of treatment is to release the trapped gas in the stomach. This will take the pressure off the other internal organs around the stomach and prevent any more of the stomach tissue from dying due to blood flow blockages.
This will be done with a stomach pump through the mouth, although surgery might be needed in more difficult cases. The vet will also try to untwist the gut at this point, although this isn’t always possible.
While the stomach is being emptied, your Cavapoo will be given intravenous fluids to help reverse the effects of shock. The vet will also slow down the heart rate to prevent heart failure. They’ll get painkillers, antibiotics, and other medications.
The vet will then try and make your Cavapoo stable and ready for surgery. They will then be taken into surgery to repair the damage done to the stomach. This includes removing any dead tissue from the loss of blood supply.
Once your dog has experienced bloating once, it’s likely that they’ll have repeated attacks. To avoid this, your vet might try fixing the stomach wall so it can’t twist again. This is otherwise known as gastropexy.
If your dog isn’t stable enough for surgery after the stomach pumping, the vet might keep them sedated until their vitals perk back up. This shouldn’t take longer than 24 hours.
How To Avoid Bloating In Cavapoos
Now that you know all about bloating in dogs, it’s no surprise that you want to avoid it as much as possible! Here are some of the ways that you can avoid this stressful situation for your Cavapoo.
1. Keep On Top Of Your Dog’s Health Conditions
Your dog might have preexisting health conditions that increase the chances of bloating. Any symptoms that you spot in your Cavapoo should be checked out by a professional vet as soon as possible.
While bloating is not a common symptom of many health conditions, it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry!
If your Cavapoo is diagnosed with an illness, ask your vet if bloating is a common symptom of this. Knowing if your dog is more prone to bloating than others can help you prepare should something happen.
2. Feed Your Dog Smaller Meals
Dogs that have a large bowl of food placed in front of them sometimes get a little carried away and gulp their food down. This can cause them to suck in lots of air while eating, increasing the chances of bloating.
To avoid this, feed them smaller meals throughout the day. Make sure they’re still getting the same amount of food, but break up the meal so that they’re less hungry throughout the day.
For recommendations, check out our top 5 best dog food bowls for Cavapoos.
3. Use A Puzzle Bowl
Following on from tip number two, a puzzle bowl is a good way to get your dog to eat slower. The puzzle makes it trickier for your dog to get their food, so they have to work before eating.
This allows them to enjoy their meal at a slower pace, preventing it from being gulped down.
Cavapoos will also benefit from a puzzle bowl as it offers mental stimulation, one of the most important activities for these dogs.
Thanks for reading our guide on Cavapoos and bloating. Bloating might not seem like a big deal to humans, but it can be life-threatening to dogs. Cavapoos might be more prone to bloating if their parents suffered from it or suffered from one of the diseases that have bloating as a symptom.
These include Cushing’s Syndrome and Peritonitis. If you notice that your dog is bloated or is exhibiting other symptoms pointing to bloating, you need to get them seen by your vet as soon as possible.
They will need their stomach pumped and maybe even surgery to untwist the stomach.