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Flatulence

Poodle Flatulence

Overview

While it has several silly terms like tooting, farts, and passing wind, and many people may joke about a dog passing gas, excessive flatulence is no laughing matter. 

Here, we'll take a look at signs of excessive gas, why a Poodle puppy or dog may develop issues with flatulence, steps you can take to fix the problem, and red flag signs of more serious issues. 

Signs of Excessive Gas

All dogs, big and small, pass gas each day around the clock. This can happen both when they are awake and when they are sleeping.  It is natural body process. 

However, these are some signs that it has developed into an issue that should be assessed: 
  • Burping - When there is extra air in a dog's stomach, he may belch before it travels through his system to then manifest as flatulence
  • Bad odors - Farts can be silent. So, if a Poodle is passing a lot of gas but owners do not hear anything, it can be a bit of a mystery at first as to why the dog smells so bad. 
The smells and odors may linger around the puppy or dog and/or seem to permeate into the dog's bed and other areas where he rests or sleeps.

If the odor of a Poodle's tooting has become exceptionally strong, this is a sign that there is an overabundance of air and/or gasses. 

Abdominal bloating - In cases of extreme amounts of gas or very rapidly developing internal gas, a dog's stomach may appear bloated. It will be important to make the distinctive between this and killer bloat.
  • Passing gas more than normal and/or increased smell. Canines will normally pass gas anywhere from 10 to 50 times per day. You'll know that your Poodle has a gas problem if you've notice an increase in how much he is tooting.
  • Gurgling sounds - You may hear rumbling and gurgling sounds coming from your Poodle's stomach. 

What Causes Normal Flatulence 

Flatulence in general means that gas in the digestive system is released from the anus. There are two different ways that air and gas can get there: 

1. Air gets swallowed when a dog eats. Typically a small amount of air is swallowed each time a dog eats; if a Poodle is ingesting a lot of air along with his food this can lead to excess gas. 

2. Excess gas develops during the digestion process. During digestion, food particles pass from the stomach to the small intestine. A good amount of it is absorbed there. What is not digested then passes to the large intestine and the colon. There is bacteria that then gets to work to break it down.

This process of breaking it down is called bacterial fermentation, and this eventually leads to smelly gas being expelled. 

Reasons a Poodle May Have Excessive Gas

Though some tooting is normal, there are several reasons why a Poodle may have particular issues. 

1) Eating too quickly.  If a dog quickly  gulps down his food, he is going to be swallowing both air and kibble. 

This in itself is dangerous, particularly for standard sized Poodles due to the danger of killer bloat.  

Also known as GDV (gastric dilation and volvulus), this is more common with large breeds. 
2) Eating inferior dog food. 
The other cause of excessive farting is the issue of too much undigested food passing from the small to large intestine.  So, if a Poodle is eating a diet that contains too many ingredients that are hard to digest, this will cause gas. 

In this regard there are quite a few ingredients that cause this problem:
  • Fillers - Fillers are cheap ingredients that are added to dog foods to bulk them up; however, they offer no nutritional value, are not digested since they hold no nutrients for the body to absorb. 
Look out for any ingredient  with the word 'hull': rice hulls, oat hulls, peanut hulls. And also anything with 'husk'.
  • Cheap grains - Another culprit of flatulence is heavy amount of cheap grains. This includes dog food with high levels of corn, bran, oats, wheat, and soy. It is hard for canines to digest these ingredients. 
3) Eating off-limit foods.  If a Poodle is fed from his human's plate, such things as high-fat foods and greasy foods can cause issues like upset stomach and flatulence. 

Also, dairy products can cause problems as well. Most dogs can do well with cottage cheese, plain white yogurt, and quality cheese flavor dog treats. Any other milk based products should be avoided. 
4) Malabsorption of food. There can be a host of reasons why a dog's body may have issues with properly absorbing food including inflammatory bowel disease, viral infections, and gastric tumors. Though, it can just be a matter of good Vs bad bacteria in the GI tract. 

When there is a balance (symbiosis), toxins are broken down, nutrients are absorbed, fiber is fermented, and harmful bacteria is kept at bay.

When there is an imbalance (dysbiosis), issues including flatulence, loose stools, and even weight loss can manifest. 

Some things that can throw off the normal health of the GI tract including certain diseases, but also a round of certain medications including antibiotics and steroid -based anit-inflammatory meds, and even some low-quality dog foods due to high levels of artificial preservatives, coloring and flavoring which can destroy healthy enzymes in the GI tract. 
5) More serious health issues. In most cases of a Poodle passing too much gas, it is indeed a matter of one or more of the above causes. However, there are other more serious reasons including:
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disease
  • Parasitic infection, and more 

The Difference Between Flatulence and Bloat (GDV)

Normal gas:  No or very little abdominal bloating, gas is expelled, the Poodle is feeling and behaving as normal

Killer bloat: Noticeable abdominal swelling, the dog is acting oddly (hunched over, panicked, trying to vomit or wretch). This is a life-or-death emergency situation. 

Flatulence Red Flag Signs

Normal case of excess gas can be resolved relatively easily (more ahead); however, if there are more serious underlying issues, that is another matter.

Some red flags that point to more serious conditions include:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry heaving
  • Extended stomach
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fever
  • Abnormal behavior

How to Stop a Poodle from Passing Excessive Gas

As we touched on, the expulsion of gasses from the anus is a normal bodily function. So, it is impossible to stop a Poodle from passing normal levels of gas. However, these steps will help stop excessive gas problems, as long as there are no other underlying conditions.

Here are the elements that can help:

1) Encourage slow eating.

There are two great options for this and these are also recommended  if a Poodle tends to drink fast as well.

1- Use a slow feeding bowl.  It is always recommended to have stainless-steel bowls, and for Poodle that gulp down their meals too fast, a properly sized stainless-steel slow feeder bowl will distribute the food (or  water) which encourages a slower, more healthier eating pace. A bowl like the DuraPet Slow Feed Premium Stainless Steel Dog Bowl is a great option and comes in 3 sizes: small, medium, and large.
2- Use a portion pacer. This is a great option if your Poodle already has a bowl that he loves and you do not want to swap it out. This is placed into the bowl, and as a puppy or dog eats, this moves around and displaces the food. You'll find that the Omega Paw Portion Pacer is a popular choice and comes in two sizes, both small and large. 
2) Offer a high quality food.

This should be done for all Poodles, not just those with gas problems. The goal will be to offer a food with no fillers, and no wheat, corn, or soy. You'll also want to stay away from any artificial additives (coloring, flavoring, or preservatives). 

A high quality brand like Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free meets all of these requirements. It comes in great varieties including Ocean Whitefish, Herring & Salmon, Turkey & Chicken, Wild Game Duck, and Turkey, Boar & Rabbit. 

There is a Small Breed variety that is perfect for toy and miniature Poodles, a puppy formula, and even a Reduced Fat option. It is made in the USA.  
3) Keep your Poodle exercising regularly.  

Poodles should be walked twice per day for a minimum of 20 minutes and at a pace that is brisk for the particular puppy or dog. Regular exercise promotes digestion and can help to prevent flatulence.
4) Speak to your vet about adding an enzyme supplement.  

A supplement like Pet Ultimates Probiotics for Dogs - Powder can can dramatically cut down on flatulence.  It also covers a wide range of digestive issues and is also good for coat and skin health. 

It is a powder, which makes it very easy to add to meals, and is made int he USA. 

A Final Note

Some gas is normal, excessive gas should be noted and changes should be made when applicable, and any red flag symptoms that appear alongside flatulence should be reported to the veterinarian asap. 
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