Stomach torsion is an acute and life-threatening disease that primarily affects larger breeds of dogs. In this comprehensive guide you will learn everything you need to know about causes, symptoms and preventative measures as well as the necessary steps to act correctly in an emergency.
What is gastric torsion?
Gastric torsion, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a condition in which the stomach rotates on its own axis, thereby pinching off blood vessels. This can cause a rapid increase in stomach pressure and severely affect blood circulation.
Recognize signs and symptoms
Symptoms can appear suddenly and get worse quickly. Signs include a swollen and hard abdominal wall, restlessness, excessive salivation, ineffective retching, and shortness of breath. If any of these symptoms are noted, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.
Understand risk factors
While all dogs can suffer gastric torsion, large breeds with deep chests such as Great Danes, Weimaraners and Setters are particularly susceptible. Risk factors include age, a history of family stomach upset, stressful eating behavior and single large meals per day.
The importance of prevention and early detection
Regular check-ups and awareness of the signs can be life-saving. This includes adapted feeding methods to prevent rapid eating, as well as rest periods after eating to minimize the risk of gastric torsion.
Emergency procedures and veterinary treatment
If stomach torsion is suspected, immediate action is required. The veterinarian will usually perform immediate surgical intervention to reposition and fix the stomach, which significantly increases the chances of survival.
Long-term follow-up care and lifestyle changes
After surviving gastric torsion, an adapted diet and feeding routine as well as regular veterinary checks are essential to avoid a recurrence. Easily digestible, small and frequent meals as well as a stress-free environment support recovery.
Stomach torsion is more common in large breed dogs and requires immediate veterinary attention.
- The first signs are swollen abdominal wall, restlessness, and unsuccessful gagging.
- Large meals, rapid eating, and heavy exercise after eating are known risk factors.
- Preventative measures include split meals, eating slowly, and resting after eating.
- If gastric torsion is suspected, immediate action must be taken and a veterinarian consulted.
- After surgery, adjusting lifestyle habits is crucial to preventing further incidents.
If you have further questions about gastric torsion in dogs or need support with prevention, alphazoo is here to help. Together we ensure the well-being and health of your animal friend.