Gastric Dilatation Volvulus In Dogs Learn more about this disease and how to spot it.

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Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) is a potentially deadly condition that affects dogs of all ages, but is most commonly seen in large breed dogs that are middle-aged or older.

Gastric dilatation volvulus (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, or GDV) is a life-threatening condition in dogs that results when the stomach twists on itself. When this occurs, the blood supply to the stomach and intestines is cut off. As a result, oxygen and nutrients cannot be delivered to these organs. If left untreated, even with the right pet meds, it can quickly lead to shock and even death.

The stomach gets twisted by torsion or volvulus; this means one part of the organ twists around another, so it’s no longer possible for food to pass through normally. This can happen if your dog has been vomiting or eating too fast without chewing properly. These are two of the many reasons why an animal might develop GDV.

Most Commonly Occurs In Large-Breed Dogs

Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) is a life-threatening condition that affects dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. However, it most commonly occurs in large-breed dogs like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. Other breeds that are prone to GDV include German Shepherds, Great Danes, Basset Hounds, Doberman Pinschers, St. Bernards, and Irish Wolfhounds. Signs of GDV include vomiting, inability to eat or drink, lethargy, an unresponsive demeanor, and poor breathing.

Secondary Leading Cause Of Death 

Aspiration pneumonia, the second-leading cause of death after GDV, occurs when stomach contents enter a dog's lungs. This can occur when your dog vomits while lying on his side or due to complications from surgery.

When gastric fluid enters the bronchi or trachea and travels into the lungs, it causes inflammation and irritation, which leads to pneumonia. Treatment for aspiration pneumonia may include antibiotics for dogs and other pet medications to help manage swelling in your pet's airways, as well as oxygen therapy if needed.

If you suspect that your pet has developed this condition after suffering from GDV or any other medical condition that causes vomiting or excessive salivation (such as parvovirus), contact your vet immediately so they can provide treatment and pet medicine options to prevent further complications from developing.

Early Diagnosis Can Lead To Successful Treatment 

This is especially important if you are still not sure whether your dog's symptoms are caused by GDV. If you think your dog may have the condition, get them to a vet or pet pharmacy immediately. The sooner they can be treated, the better their chances of survival.

If you suspect that your pet has gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), do not wait until the next day to seek veterinary care. Without immediate treatment, there is a very high chance that they will die from GDV within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.

High Mortality Rate

The first step is surgery to remove the stomach. This is done as soon as possible after diagnosis so that any damage done by twisting can be repaired.

After surgery, your dog will receive antibiotics for dogs to prevent infection and pain medication for recovery from surgery. Your veterinarian may also recommend anti-nausea medication or an appetite stimulant if he or she has difficulty keeping food down after surgery.

Your veterinarian will monitor your dog carefully for signs of aspiration pneumonia (lungs filling up with fluid). He or she may want you to bring your dog in occasionally so they can take X-rays and monitor his breathing patterns at home until he's fully recovered from anesthesia and is able to breathe normally again without assistance from oxygen tanks or other equipment.

Know The Signs And Symptoms

It’s important to know the symptoms of a life-threatening condition in your pet, especially if you have a cat or dog. Knowing what to look for can save your pet's life.

You might wonder why you should care about a condition that almost exclusively affects cats and dogs. Well, the answer is simple: it could happen to any animal! Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) is a very serious medical emergency that can be fatal if not treated immediately. The best way to ensure early detection is by knowing what to look for when examining your pet’s abdomen every day.


If you suspect your dog has GDV, see your veterinarian immediately. With early diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring, many dogs can survive this devastating condition if caught in time.

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