Bloat in Goldendoodles: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

By Jeffrey Cheek
February 6, 2023

a goldendoodle laying on the carpet with a hurting tummy

Does your Goldendoodle have a big belly? Don’t be fooled - it might not just be puppy fat! Bloat, or Gastric Torsion, is unfortunately a common condition in Goldendoodles.

But don’t worry - there are ways to detect symptoms, prevent bloat from occurring and treat the condition if your pup does get it.

In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatments for bloat in Goldendoodles so that you can help keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy!

Bloat, also known as gastric torsion, is a serious and life-threatening condition that affects Goldendoodles.

Bloat happens when the stomach becomes distended with gas or fluid and then twists, cutting off the blood supply to the stomach and other organs. This can cause shock, organ failure, and even death if not treated immediately.

Bloat is most commonly seen in large, deep-chested dogs as the stomach is more likely to fill up with air, which can then twist on itself and cut off the blood supply.

What are the Symptoms of Bloat in Goldendoodles?

The most common symptom of bloat in Goldendoodles is an enlarged abdomen, which may be accompanied by labored breathing, circulation compromise, and systemic shock.

Other symptoms include restlessness, salivation, retching without vomiting, and an inability to settle down. If you press on your dog’s belly and they whine or yelp in pain, this could also be a sign of bloat.

Causes and Risk Factors of Pancreatitis in Goldendoodles

Doctors still don't know the exact cause of bloat (GDV).

However, Bloat often occurs when a Goldendoodle:

  • eats too quickly or swallows large amounts of air while eating;
  • drinks large amounts of water after exercise or in hot weather;
  • is overly stressed from loud noises, changes in routine, illness or injury.

Breeds with deep chests and narrow waists are particularly at risk, as their anatomy makes it easier for the stomach to twist on itself.

There are studies that show dogs with less anxiety are less likely to develop bloat. Any illness that slows down the digestion process can also lead to an increased risk of bloat. 

How is Pancreatitis Diagnosed in Goldendoodles?

To diagnose bloat in Goldendoodles, veterinarians typically conduct a physical examination and take X-rays.

It is important for veterinarians to distinguish between bloat and gastric dilatation (GD), as the two conditions have different treatments.

During the physical exam, the veterinarian will look for signs of abdominal distension, pain or tenderness in the abdomen, rapid heart rate and breathing rate, pale gums, and weakness.

X-rays are used to confirm the diagnosis of bloat and to determine if there is any twisting of the stomach or intestine. If so, this indicates that GDV (gastric dilatation volvulus) has occurred.

Factors Increasing/Decreasing the Risk of Bloat

The most common risk factor for bloat is feeding habits.

Eating one large meal per day increases the risk of bloat significantly, while eating two or more meals per day decreases the risk. Additionally, adding canned dog food to the diet can help reduce the chances of bloat.

The temperament of your dog can also play a role in its risk for bloat. Dogs who are relaxed and contented have a lower risk than those who are easily excited or anxious.

Age is another factor that affects the likelihood of developing bloat; younger dogs tend to be at higher risk than older dogs.

Finally, meal composition can also influence your dog's chances of developing bloat. Adding dry kibble to wet food has been found to increase the risk, while adding canned food has been shown to decrease it.

Mild exercise after eating has conflicting results; some studies show an increased risk while others show a decreased one.

What are the Treatment Options for Bloat in Goldendoodles?

Bloat is a life-threatening condition in Goldendoodles, so it is important to recognize the signs and seek veterinary help immediately.

Treatment for bloat in Goldendoodles includes stomach tube insertion to reduce pressure on the stomach wall and remove any gas or fluid from the stomach.

If it is not possible because the stomach is already twisted, a large bore needle or catheter may be inserted through the skin directly into the stomach to relieve pressure.

In order to prevent shock, intravenous fluids are typically administered and oxygen therapy may also be used. Pain management is also important when dealing with bloat and medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) may be used.

Once your goldendoodle is stable, surgery must be performed to correct the GDV. It may be necessary to delay this until the pet is able to undergo anaesthesia.

How Can You Prevent Bloat in Goldendoodles?

The best way to prevent bloat in Goldendoodles is to undergo preventive gastropexy surgery. This will help reduce the risk of twisting in the stomach, which is a major cause of bloat.

In addition to preventive surgery, it is important to modify your Goldendoodle's lifestyle to reduce its risk of developing bloat. 

Feeding two or more small meals per day instead of one large meal can help prevent an overly full stomach. Also, avoid exercising immediately after meals and try to spread out any strenuous activity throughout the day.

Finally, be mindful of your Goldendoodle's diet composition as dry kibble has been found to increase the risk for bloat while adding canned food has been shown to decrease it. 


In conclusion, bloat or Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (GDV) can be a life-threatening condition for Goldendoodles and it is important to know the symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Gastropexy surgery may be recommended by your veterinarian in order to prevent twisting of the stomach which can lead to GDV.

Additionally, modifying your Goldendoodles lifestyle such as feeding multiple small meals instead of one large meal and avoiding strenuous activity right after eating can help reduce the chances of bloat. 

Jeffrey Cheek

Jeffrey Cheek is the proud owner of a funny goldendoodle named Bailey. Jeffrey loves spending time with his family and friends, and he enjoys being active outdoors. He is a successful business owner, and he takes great pride in providing for his loved ones. Bailey is always by Jeffrey's side, and the two of them make everyone around them laugh with their silly antics.

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