Highlighting The Danger Of GDV

Notice the visibly enlarged stomach in this dog

GDV stands for Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (Dilatation – swelling, Volvulus – twisting).

The bit that swells and twists is the stomach.

This is a disease of large dogs – Labradors, Great Danes, German Shepherds, etc.

No one knows exactly how in works but it seems to be caused by the dog eating a large meal and then doing exercise.

First the stomach, swells up, then sometimes it twists around.

This is very painful – the dog is uncomfortable, salivating, agitated, in pain. Usually you can see with a naked eye that the stomach is enlarged.

GDV is a life threatening emergency. Many of the dogs (as much as 50% in some studies) will not survive. For those that do survive the key element is getting to the Veterinarian quickly.

How to prevent it? You guessed it – small meals frequently and no running around after eating.

A GDV repair involved rotating the stomach back to normal position and then stitching it in place so it can’t rotate back. A stomach repaired in that way could still become dilated (a GD without the V).


About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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