Gastric dilitation volvulus or “GDV” is a very serious and life threatening condition of large and giant breed dogs. Other smaller dogs may develop this condition but that is not as common. This condition is also known as “bloat”.
Conditions that contribute to the development of this emergency are as follows:
- Swallowing air into stomach
- The stomach not emptying properly
- Excessive exercise before and after meals and drinking water
- Feeding schedule
- Types of food being fed
These are just a few of the suspected causes of GDV. Because GDV is so life threatening and happens so quickly, dog owners are advised to focus on prevention. It is very easy for this condition to progress so rapidly that treatment may not come quick enough even with prompt attention.
GDV is a condition in which the stomach fills us with air and rotates or twists on its axis. When this happens, blood supply is abruptly stopped to the stomach as well as other abdominal organs such as the spleen. With this comes a build-up of toxins, necrotic tissue, shock, irregular heart rhythms, and/or death.
Signs to watch for are:
- Enlargement of the abdomen
- Pacing and uneasy
- Retching or dry heaves
- Excessive salivation
- Pale gums
- Pain on palpation of abdomen
The above signs are only a few but are the most common seen. These signs can mimic other conditions which can also be very serious. Because of this it is so important to seek veterinary help immediately. Treatment to correct this problem is very detailed and must be aggressive.
The staff at de la Houssaye Animal Hospital would be happy to discuss this condition with you further.