The Dangers of Bloat

Gastric Dilation and Volvulus, commonly referred to as bloat, can kill your dog.  Happening mostly with large, deep chested dogs, it causes a dog’s stomach to twist due to excess gas, putting pressure on the organs and diaphragm and harming your dog’s breathing.  Though the exact cause of bloat is still uncertain, it can easily develop into a life-threatening situation.

Dogs that are more susceptible to bloat include the Great Dane, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Standard Poodle, Labrador Retriever, Mastiff, Bulldog, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Blood Hound, Chow Chow, Setters, St. Bernard, and more.

Signs of Bloat

Bloat often happens after your dog has eaten and then exercised or has eaten too quickly.  His stomach might look enlarged and he could also have heavy panting, restlessness, drooling, being sensitive when his belly is touched, trying but unable to vomit, weak pulse, and pale nose and mouth.

If you think that your dog might have bloat, bring him to a veterinarian right away!

How to Prevent it

  • Never exercise your dog before or after a meal.
  • Don’t give your dog all of his food at once; break it up into smaller meals to be given 2-3 times a day.
  • Never allow your dog to wolf his food or water down.  If your dog is a quick eater, place a large rock or tennis ball in his bowl.  He will have to eat around the obstruction, making the process slower.
  • Don’t feed your dog table scraps.
  • Don’t let your large, deep-chested dog use a raised dog dish.  Not having to bend his neck over his food can cause him to swallow extra air, which could cause him to bloat.

Preventive Surgery

If you have a breed which is susceptible to bloat, your vet might suggest that he have surgery to prevent bloating.  Whether or not you do this is up to you, but it might be a thing to consider.  Bloat is highly dangerous when and if it happens.

Rosie’s Escape

Last weekend, the humans put Rosie in the fenced backyard for a potty break.  Then, after a while, they called her back in.  However, she didn’t come.  The gate had been left open, and Rosie had made an escape!  No golden pup appeared as my human yelled her name, and they started to go into panic mode.  One human was told to continue calling for Rosie in the backyard, while another went to the front.  Right at the front door, however, was Rosie, waiting to be let in like a good dog.  Thankfully, she hadn’t been in the mood for a stroll and had just wanted to be with her humans!

Fun With the KONG

Rosie’s favorite toy ever is her KONG.  She loves to carry it around the house, slobber all over it, and chase it.  Its bounces are high and unpredictable, which just adds to the fun.

Often, it’s hard to get good pictures of Rosie.  She jumps, wiggles, and is constantly on the move.  When one of our humans holds a toy, however, she is very attentive.  When told to sit, she does so; when commanded to stay, she freezes.

Using a toy to get a picture of her also gives her an expectant, happy look.

After the pictures of taken, the toy is thrown, and Rosie retrieves it.  Then, she gets petted and praised for a job well done.

 

The wind picked up, sending Rosie’s ear into the air!

She was a little confused.

A little wind can’t stop Rosie from being happy!

Then, Rosie started to roll and stretch across the grass, playing with her KONG.  She likes to pretend that she is a tough dog, able to conquer the “dangerous” toy!

Cold Weather Fun

According to Rosie, there is no such thing as bad weather!  Even when the weather is in the twenties, she still wants to go outside and play.  My humans try to exercise her as much as possible despite the cold, and I recently accompanied them.  Usually, it’s too cold outside for me to stay out long, but I felt very fit last week and wanted to run.

Here I am in my stylish, warm sweater.  The colors are just so me, and I love to wear it on cold days.

Squirrels, beware!  Sissy is on patrol, monitoring your suspicious activities.

It was time to go inside, so I raced back to the house!

The Dog Bed: A Story by Sissy

Once upon a time in a not far away land, my humans got Rosie a dog bed that was almost too small for her.  It was soft, however, so Rosie liked it.

I was very jealous of Rosie’s big dog bed.  I only had a little one, which the humans said was perfect for my size.  I knew, however, that I needed something BIG!  So, I stole Rosie’s bed.

Rosie was confused and started to think that the bed was actually mine.  I was so happy.

Then, my humans decided that we needed two beds.  They purchased the exact same type and size so we wouldn’t get jealous.  Finally, we were both happy.

Sometimes, though, I still like to hoard all of the beds!

Why Do my Dog’s Ears Have Pockets of Skin?

A cat’s Henry’s pocket

After Rosie’s bath, my human started to dry her hair with a hair dryer, lifting the double-layered coat with a comb to make sure all hairs got the warm air.  Lifting open an ear to dry a small clump of hair around it, my human noticed something strange: Rosie’s ear has a pocket of skin near the base.  You can put the tip of your finger in it or open it up like a book.  What in the world is this? my human wondered.

The answer is that it is a cutaneous marginal pouch, also known as Henry’s pocket.  Though no one knows for sure what use they are, these “pockets” of skin could help dogs hear high-pitched sounds or aid them in flattening their ears.  Henry’s pockets are commonly found on dogs who have longer hair or ears that stand up.  Rosie’s pockets cannot be seen unless you lift up her ears, but some dogs’ pockets are very visible.

Because it can be dark and damp in your dog’s pockets, it is a good idea of clean them out regularly to avoid infections and to check them often for hidden fleas or ticks.