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Gastric Dilatation - Volvulus

Diseases

GASTRIC-DILATATION-VOLVULUS

(Twisted Stomach Syndrome)

GDV is a syndrome that mostly affects the Large and Giant Breeds (e.g. Irish Wolfhound,
St Bernard, Dobermans etc) although smaller breeds can be affected.
GDV is a Life-threatening condition that needs immediate veterinary attention

Causes: there are multiple environmental and hereditary factors that all combine to precipitate the clinical syndrome. Examples are: Over-eating at a single meal, Eating abnormal items, drinking excess water after eating, activity soon after eating, certain foods, “deep” chested dogs, breed predisposition

Signs: most often the signs occur after an evening meal, there is restlessness and pacing around; swelling of the abdomen (‘drum-like’ tension) shallow breathing, attempts at vomiting and retching – progressing to inability to walk and total collapse.

Treatment: rapid evaluation with shock therapy and deflation of the stomach – this may need to be done under anaesthesia (which has it’s risks) – once the initial crisis has been staved-off then some form of repositioning of the stomach, evaluation of the stomach lining and continuous monitoring for various complications is undertaken.
Complications that can occur are: shock induced death, rupture of the stomach with resultant worsening of the shock and peritonitis; recurrence of the “bloat”; various toxins are released by the intestinal lining – even a few days after the event and these can cause heart irregularities and other effects in the body (endotoxaemia) which can be fatal.

Surgery: there is an 80% chance of recurrence of this condition and surgical correction of the “twisted” stomach may be needed and also some form of surgical stabilization of the stomach can be recommended to reduce the chances of twisting again.

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