Bloat / Gastric Torsion / Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (GDV)
Bloat occurs when air, gases, food and liquid are trapped in the stomach, causing it to swell and twist over on itself. It is life-threatening because the stomach can be twisted so tightly that it cuts off the blood supply, causing death in a very short time.
There are multitude of factors responsible for the developing bloat: increased age, breed, having a deep and narrow chest, stress, eating foods such as kibble that expand in the stomach, overfeeding, and other causes of gastrointestinal disease and distress. Exercising immediately after meal may also cause the stomach to twist in some dogs. Giant Schnauzer or even Standard Schnauzer are breeds that are vunerable to bloat.
Your dog's belly is hard and swollen like a balloon. He may also be retching but without vomitting. He is also drooling heavily and showing signs of pain by arching his back.
How it works?
This is an emergency situation which calls for veterinarian treatment immediately. A stomach tube may be inserted down the throat of your Schnauzer to decompress the stomach and remove the gas. Emergency surgery may also be performed.
Breaking one large meal into 2 or 3 smaller meals daily for your Schnauzer helps reduce the chance of bloat. Some dogs gobble their food fearing that their food would be taken by other dogs or family members. It is essential to let your Schnauzer eat without pressure.
The damaging effects of intensively cooked or processed foods and food additives can affect digestive functioning and lead to a range of digestive problems. Some vets suggest switching to homemade diet or moistened dry food with all-natural ingredients may also lower the possibility of bloat.
Digestive enzymes are key substances in promoting digestive functioning. However, they are mostly destroyed in processed dog food, or homemade foods that are intensively cooked. Adding plain yogurt or enzymes in your Schnauzer's food will restore the digestive enzymes in his diet and can help improve digestion and thus reduces the chance of bloat. Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes & Probiotics is an all-natural supplement that is formulated to aid digestion and absorption of nutrients. Prozyme in another great choice which is also made of all natural ingredients.
Digestive SupportOnce a dog has an onset of bloat, it is almost certain that there will be recurring episodes. Fortifying the digestive system of your Schnauzer in the long run and preventing bloating and flatulence is as important as treating the condition. PetAlive Digestive Support helps maintain healthy digestive functioning and soothe stomach bloat & the gastrointestinal system. The product also supports routine absorption of nutrients and general energy levels of the dogs.
There are times when your Giant Schnauzer may experience gas buildup causing excessive flatulence. A pet homepathic product called Flatulence Preventer can be given to your dog to reduce the discomfort at the first sign of flatulence, bloating or abdominal cramps. Still, bloating is an emergency situation and you will need to rush your dog to the vet for a proper treatment.
Dogs respond to supplements and alternative treatments differently. Consult your vet before applying any of these remedies or making any dietary changes to your Schnauzer. Dogs known to have other medical conditions should only receive alternative treatments or supplements under the supervision of your vet. In any case, supplements should be introduced gradually and, preferably, only one new supplement at a time.