Stephen J. Birchard DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS

Friday, June 20, 2014

For Dog Owners: Ice cubes or ice water do NOT cause GDV (bloat) in dogs

Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) is a disorder of dogs characterized by extreme dilation and mal-position of the stomach. It is primarily seen in large breed dogs and is due to a number of predisposing factors. There is no scientific evidence supporting the claim that ingestion of ice cubes or ice water has any relationship to GDV in dogs, and I have never seen a case in which there was a correlation between the two.

On hot days if a large breed dog becomes overheated they will pant heavily in attempt to cool themselves down. This can lead to aerophagia (swallowing air) that can cause excessive gas in the stomach and lead to GDV if other contributing factors are present. Keep your dog cool by avoiding exercise during the hottest part of the day, avoid leaving them in a hot car in the sun in a parking lot, and give them access to plenty of cool, fresh water and a shady place to rest. Also, do not let your dog drink massive amounts of water all at once. After drinking a reasonable amount, take the bowl away and offer more after 15 to 30 minutes. A cool bath can also be helpful if you think your dog has become mildly overheated. Severe hyperthermia is an emergency situation requiring immediate care by a veterinarian.

For more information on GDV in dogs, search this blog for GDV, or contact your local veterinarian.

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