Last year around this time there was an article floating around social media eluding to the idea that giving ice cubes to your dog was dangerous and could cause bloat.
Lets start with the basics...
There are essentially two parts of bloat; the first is gastric dilatation and the second is the more serious and life threatening condition known as Volvulus or torsion of the stomach.
When the stomach fills with air, it puts pressure on the organs and diaphragm making it difficult for the dog to breath. Once the stomach has filled with air it's much easier for it to flip on itself resulting in Volvulus. Once torsion or Volvulus occurs it cuts off blood supply to the stomach and causes the tissue and muscle of the stomach to die.
So who's most at risk for GDV or Gastric Dilation Volvulus? While any dog, of any age, and stature can suffer from GDV, it is more common in deep chested dogs such as:
But there is plenty you can do to help prevent GDV from happening:
If your dog presents with a distended abdomen, non-productive heaving or retching, shallow breathing, abdominal pain and is foaming at the mouth, it's time to get them to a veterinary office ASAP. Once GDV presents, it's fast moving and there isn't a lot of time to work with before the dog is in serious danger of dying.
Treatment for GDV is gastric decompression where a tube is inserted into the dogs stomach to release air or by puncturing the stomach with a large needle. Depending on the condition of the dog and severity of the case, the dog may need to be treated for shock and undergo surgery to correct the stomach twist. In some dogs they may choose to tack the stomach in place to prevent GDV from happening again in the future.
Now that you know what bloat is and how it happens, I hope it's clear that giving your dog ice cubes does not or will not cause bloat. In fact, most dogs enjoy a cool drink on a hot summer day. There are even treats and toys that are recommend for freezing for entertainment and refreshment purposes!
With over 10 years of experience through ownership and rescue work, I hope to share my knowledge and insight to happier, healthier fur kids. Have a question, feel free to ask!