Features December 2018 Issue

Bloat: The Mother of All Canine Emergencies

Great Danes are kind of the poster dogs for GDV; about one in every three will experience this life-threatening emergency sometime in his or her lifetime, unless a prophylactic gastropexy surgery is performed.

Bloat: The Mother of All Canine Emergencies

Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of bloat, so you can act quickly enough to save your dog’s life.

Bloat is the nontechnical term for gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), a condition in which the stomach rotates around itself to become twisted. The stomach can twist halfway (a 180-degree torsion), all the way leading to a 360-degree torsion, or anywhere in between. Once twisted, the stomach becomes stuck, and fluid and gas cannot exit. A dog cannot vomit, as the entrance to the stomach (the cardia) is obstructed, and nothing can leave the stomach via the intestines, because the exit (pylorus) is also blocked.

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