Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) is a rapid onset life-threating condition of dogs that involves the dilation and twisting of the stomach. This condition is most common in large or deep chested dogs, but has also been noted in dachshunds.

Clinical signs include non-productive retching, drooling, lethargy, firm-distended abdomen, collapse and if left untreated death.

Diagnosis is based on physical examination and radiographs, though further diagnostics such as bloodwork and electrocardiogram may be recommended to fully evaluate prognosis.

Treatment of GDV includes immediate stabilization and surgery as soon as possible in order to correct the situation and increase the rate of survival. Removal of the spleen may be indicated if involved in the torsion and is often times taken as a preventative measure to further complications.

Prognosis is dependent on many factors including how long clinical signs were present, any developed cardiac arrhythmias, blood supply loss to the stomach, etc. and should be discussed with your veterinarian prior to surgery.

As a preventative measure many veterinarians are recommending that a gastropexy (attaching a part of the stomach to the body wall) be performed on dogs that may be pre-disposed to GDV.  Many times this procedure can be performed at the time of spay/neuter or via laparoscope.