What Is Gastric Dilation Volvulus?
Canine GDV, commonly referred to as “Bloat” or “stomach torsion” occurs when the Pylorus (the bottom of the stomach) rotates or flips from its normal position. This twists off the blood supply to the stomach and does not allow anything in or out of the stomach. Because of the compromised blood supply to the stomach, this condition is often fatal unless surgically corrected within 5 hours. Our goal at Whittaker Road Animal Clinic is to educate all dog owners about Gastric Dilation Volvulus. We feel that prevention via Gastropexy, by far, is the best approach to this disease.
What Causes Gastric Dilation Volvulus?
The exact causes of Bloating in pets are not fully understood, but there are several factors that have been identified as increasing the risk of the condition. These include:
- Large and deep-chested breeds: Breeds such as Great Danes, Weimaraners, and Boxers are at higher risk for developing Bloat due to their body shape.
- Eating habits: Dogs that eat quickly or eat one large meal a day are at higher risk for Bloat.
- Exercise: Dogs that engage in vigorous exercise after eating are at higher risk for Bloat.
- Age: Dogs that are middle-aged or older are at higher risk for Bloat.
- Genetics: There may be a genetic component to the development of Bloat.
Gastic Dilation Volvulus Prevention
Gastropexy is the best preventative to protect your pet from Gastric Dilation Volvulus. This is a surgical procedure where the stomach is “tacked”, or sutured, into its natural position against the body wall- thus securing the stomach and preventing it from moving or twisting. Our laparoscopic technique is minimally
invasive and accomplishes this through a tiny, 1 cm. incision, which has less post-operative pain and has a much quicker recovery time than previous surgical techniques commonly used. The ideal time to have a laparoscopic gastropexy done is at the time of your dog’s spay or neuter, but it can be done at any age in combination with the spay or neuter or as a separate procedure.
Other Preventative Measures Can Include:
- Feed multiple smaller meals throughout the day instead of one large meal.
- Use a slow-feed bowl to slow down eating.
- Avoid feeding immediately before or after exercise.
- Monitor water intake and discourage excessive drinking.
- Consider prophylactic gastropexy surgery in high-risk breeds, which involves surgically attaching the stomach to the abdominal wall to prevent twisting.
- Be aware of the symptoms of GDV, including a distended abdomen, restlessness, vomiting, and panting, and seek veterinary attention immediately if these symptoms are obsered.
Overall, GDV is a serious condition that requires prompt veterinary attention. By taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of GDV, pet owners can help keep their dogs healthy and avoid this potentially life-threatening condition.