Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

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(Learn more about gastric dilatation-volvulus in dogs. Photo Credit: Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images)

Gastric dilatation-volvulus in dogs occurs when too much gas and food in the stomach causes it to bloat and twist. The state can be life threatening.

The condition is often called GDV. Note that the condition is also slightly different from bloat in dogs.

Large dog breeds are most at risk of developing the disease.

If you see signs of gastric dilatation-volvulus in your dog, see a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for the disease.

Symptoms of Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus in Dogs

The condition produces a range of symptoms. For example, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • to be restless
  • Drool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Acting retired

Causes of Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus in Dogs

(Photo credit: Sebastian Condrea/Getty Images)

The cause of the condition is unfortunately unknown. However, certain large dog breeds are most at risk of developing it. For example, some of the breeds most at risk to understand:

  • Irish Setter
  • German shepherd
  • Saint Bernard
  • Great Dane
  • Basset Hound
  • Weimaraner

Also, older dogs are more at risk of suffering from the disease than younger puppies.

Treatments for Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus in Dogs

First, your veterinarian will ask you about your dog’s symptoms. Second, your veterinarian will ask you about your dog’s medical history. This will include any breed specific issues.

Third, a complete physical examination will be performed.

Ultimately, an x-ray is used to confirm the condition. The twisted shape of a dog’s stomach will show up on an X-ray (and differentiate the condition from bloat).

Usually, surgery is needed to treat the condition. A tube will be inserted into the esophagus. This allows any gas buildup to escape.

Subsequently, surgery to untwist the stomach will be performed. Anesthesia will be used during this process.

During their recovery, most dogs will need pain medication. As always, if your vet prescribes medication for your dog, be sure to follow the correct dose and frequency instructions. Also, complete the full course of medicine.

Also, while recovering at home, your dog will only need to eat small meals. Your veterinarian will help you formulate an appropriate meal plan for your dog.

Have you ever cared for a dog that suffered from this disease? How did your vet help your dog recover? Let us know in the comments section below.


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