Bloat is a serious, life threatening condition of dogs whereby the stomach fills with gas and twists upon itself. With bloat the stomach becomes over distended with gas and twists so the entrance from the oesophagus and exit to the small intestine are blocked nothing can leave the stomach and there is rapid swelling. This is known as dilation which is due to an accumulation of gas formed from digestive and bacterial process.
This condition is very very serious and it is essential to get to a vet at once. If neglected the dog will go into shock and death can occur very quickly.
If treatment is not started immediately, the dog will begin to show signs of shock.
Despite much research into the causes there is still nothing definite known.
Depending on the severity of the condition treatment will vary, if the stomach has not twisted some relief can be obtained by passing a catheter into the stomach thereby removing some of the gas and stomach contents, usually by the time you get the dog to the surgery, the stomach has already twisted upon itself, the dog is stabilized with fluids to lessen shock, followed by emergency surgery to return the stomach to its normal position.
It is fairly common today for the stomach to be attached to the wall of the abdomen to prevent it from twisting again.
If your dog gets bloat, you will know, the signs are very obvious:-