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Bloat (swollen belly) in a dog


  • Bloat (a swollen belly) is a medical emergency that is often caused by life threatening condition called GDV.
  • Call your vet immediately if your dog has developed bloat, especially if they are also trying to be sick.

What to do if your pet has a swollen tummy

  1. Keep them calm
    • Make sure your pet is in a cool, safe area and try to keep them calm and quiet.
    • If they have stopped breathing, call your vet using the loudspeaker so you are hands-free to start giving CPR.
  2. Call your vets
    • Call your vet immediately if your dog has developed bloat. Your vet will be able to tell you if an emergency appointment is needed.
    • If your pet is acting normally, or you are not sure if their tummy is swollen, call your vet for advice.
Published: March 2020

Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only. Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst.