Gastric Dilation-Torsion Syndrome, also known as GDV (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus), evolves dramatically within a few hours and puts our dogs at risk. Immediate recognition of the symptomatology by the owner, along with the urgent intervention of veterinarians are critical in this case.
GDV involves fast stomach distension, which can sometimes involve rotation (torsion) up to 180 degrees, inducing shock, hemorrhage, cardio-respiratory failure, rupture of the stomach wall and eventually death.
All breeds may be affected by this syndrome, but predominantly large or giant dogs, such as Great Danes, Weimaraner, Saint Bernard, Irish Setter, Gordon Setter, Dobermann, German Shepherd, Boxer, Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever. At the same time, advanced age, dry food given in large quantities once per day, playing immediately after the meal, or dogs that have previously suffered from gastric dilatation are predisposing factors.
So if you are the owner of a large-breed dog, it is good to be careful about the following signs you might show in the unfortunate case of a dilation:
-the animal seems to look towards the abdomen
– trying to vomit, but unsuccessfully
– drinks plenty of water
– accelerated respiration
A simple radiography is enough to confirm the diagnosis … and hence the baton is handed over to the veterinarian. Stabilizing the patient and remedying it as quickly as possible is critical. Different procedures can be used, depending on the severity of the situation. Gastric lavage under inhaled anesthesia often solves the problem, but in cases complicated by torsion, surgery remains the only solution. A sure method of avoiding recurrence is gastro-pexia, namely the stomach sutured to the abdominal wall.
Of course it is a struggle in the long run, and the owner’s observance of simple rules and careful monitoring of his companion can make the difference between life and death.
-don’t feed your dog before playing or before any intense physical activity
– buy an inteligent bowl, or feed it small and frequent meals
– the water should always be at room temperature rather than very cold
To avoid this syndrome, or to help your dog survive over such an experience, always keep an eye on it, and if something does not seem right to you, call us immediately to the number of emergencies. A quick call never hurt nowbody!