Dogs who are bloated may be suffering from a condition called bloat, which can be very serious and cause death, warns petMD. Irritable bowel syndrome in dogs is linked to chronic inflammation and discomfort and can lead to bloating, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, tenderness of the abdominal area.
While bloat occurs with any breed of dog, those with deep chests, such as large Setters, are more prone to the condition, notes petMD. Bloat occurs when the stomach expands due to gas, putting pressure on the diaphragm and making it difficult for the dog to breathe. It also causes the stomach to twist, which can quickly lead to shock and death. In addition to bloating, dog owners may see labored breathing, excessive drooling and paleness around the nose and mouth of dogs suffering from bloat. Owners who observe these symptoms should take their dogs to veterinarians immediately.
As of 2015, veterinarians do not know what causes irritable bowel syndrome in dogs, but they believe it is related to dietary intolerance, food allergies, mental distress and the inability of food to pass through the gastrointestinal tract, states petMD. People whose dogs have received a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome should feed them foods that are high in fiber and easily digestible and remove any stressors in their dogs' environments.