Q. I read somewhere that mineral oil can be used as an interim remedy for bloat. Because it’s an emergency situation, is this something that can be helpful while getting access to a vet?
A. Please, please, please, never give mineral oil to your dog if you think its stomach looks bloated!
Mineral oil can be effective in horses if they have colic due to some kind of intestinal obstruction.
Dogs that are bloated either have food bloat (they overate big time) or life-threatening GDV, gastric dilatation and volvulus, in which the stomach twists on its axis.
It’s not possible to tell the difference between the two conditions without taking X-rays, so please always take your dog immediately to the veterinarian if you think its stomach looks bloated. It’s not unusual for us to get a call at our emergency clinic from someone who had been watching their dog at home after its stomach looked bloated, only to find the dog dead in the yard.
Luckily, dogs that weigh less than 25 pounds rarely have GDV, but it does occasionally happen. Deep-chested dogs, such as Great Danes, Rottweilers and Afghan Hounds, are particularly at risk.
Jon Geller, DVM