Gastric Dilitation Volvulus (GDV, aka bloat)

  • GDV is the mother of all emergencies because the stomach has twisted upon itself, squeezing off the blood supply to the stomach and possibly spleen. If the surgery is not performed within minutes the patient will die.
  • The patient usually presents with a distended abdomen, difficulty breathing, pale mucous membranes, and a rapid heartbeat. Many times the dog is “trying to vomit”. The stomach becomes distended and then torsion occurs.
  • GDV occurs most frequently in deep-chested dogs: (Great Danes, St. Bernards, Weimaraners, Akitas, Standard Poodles, Malamutes, Irish Setters, etc. If you have one of these breeds, or another dog who has a very thin deep chest, a prophylactic gastropexy can be performed to prevent occurance. We can now perform the gastropexy through minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy) at the time of spay or neuter.

Client Handout on GDV

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