Understanding Bloat Or Gastric Dilation Volvulus in Dogs

Understanding Bloat Or Gastric Dilation Volvulus in Dogs

Gastric Dilation Volvulus or also known as bloat, GDV or gastric torsion is a life threatening condition that affects dogs. Deep chest breeds like Great Danes and Dobermans are commonly afflicted by this disease. This rarely occurs in smaller kind of dogs. Unfortunately despite treatment, one quarter to one third of dogs will not survive GDV. There are several causes of GDV but genes and feeding habits are two that play a huge role in which dogs can develop this condition.

GDV is characterized when gas can’t escape the stomach. Normal contractions in the stomach wall stops and the entire organs move in the abdomen. Because of this, blood supply is cut off by the twisting effect. Tissues are starved with oxygen. The stomach will become enlarged therefore putting pressure in the diaphragm that causes respiratory problems. The dog might undergo cardiac arrest because of the restrictions found in the abdominal arteries. The dog might undergo shock and if not treated immediately it would cause death.

There are factors that can contribute to GDV. This includes over eating, once a day feeding and energetic activity after meals. Older male dogs are the ones that most likely can develop this problem compared to other dogs. Dogs that are undergoing GDV may experience pain in the abdomen. If you observe vomiting, hyper salivating, gasping for breath or worst undergo comatose then immediately bring the dog to the hospital. An x-ray can show gas that is trapped in the stomach. The vet would most likely place rapid IV fluid and oxygen supplement. If your dog is comatose, artificial respirations are necessary. A Stomach tube will be inserted to deflate the stomach and restore blood circulation.

There are medical treatments that are performed along the way if necessary. These include heart rhythm abnormalities, electrolyte imbalance, and sepsis. If the dog is ready for anesthesia, surgical repair of damaged stomach tissue and gastropexy is the next process. It also includes tacking the stomach to the abdominal wall.

Watch out because there are complications that might occur after the surgery. This includes relapse of symptoms, cardiac arrhythmias, necrosis and perforation of damaged organs, and peritonitis or sepsis of the abdominal cavity. The diagnosis of a GDV patient is dependent on how soon the dog receives the treatment. Also the extent of damage in the tissues is often examined. There is follow up therapy the needs to be done. The dog should take antibiotics to prevent infections, IV fluids so the dog can eat normally and for pain control. GDV is a serious condition that would require immediate medical treatment. If you think that your dog is suffering from gastric bloat, always be cautious.