Hey there fellow dog lovers!
We’ve got a friendly reminder and a bit of education for you today, courtesy of one of our team members who happens to be a vet. We want to talk about something called GDV, which stands for Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, but most of us just call it “Bloat.” It’s a serious condition where your dog’s stomach fills up with gas, expands, and then twists on itself. Sounds uncomfortable, right?
This condition tends to affect our larger canine companions like Great Danes, German Shepherds, Labradors, Rottweilers, Standard Poodles, Golden Retrievers, Mastiffs, and more. But don’t be fooled, all breeds can be at risk, and it can even happen to younger dogs.
So, why does it happen? Well, it’s often tied to mealtime. GDV can rear its ugly head, especially after a big meal, or when dogs gobble down their dry food like it’s the last kibble on Earth.
Here are some signs to watch out for:
- Swollen Belly: If your dog’s tummy suddenly looks like a balloon, take note.
- Tender Belly: If your pup winces or seems in pain when you touch their belly, something might be wrong.
- Unproductive Retching: If they’re retching but nothing comes up except maybe a bit of froth, it’s a red flag.
- Drooling and Restlessness: Restlessness and drooling are common since their belly hurts.
- Thirst: They might be trying to drink more water than usual.
- Attempts to Poop: Some dogs try to empty their gut by pooping, but it won’t help.
- General Distress: They may seem anxious, agitated, or just plain uncomfortable.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to act fast. GDV is a veterinary emergency, and it often happens outside regular clinic hours, so don’t hesitate to go straight to an emergency vet clinic. Waiting won’t help – this condition won’t resolve on its own, and it can be fatal, even with early intervention. The sooner you seek help, the better the chances of a positive outcome.
Treatment: Typically, your vet will attempt to pass a stomach tube, but if the stomach is twisted, this might not work. Surgery is usually necessary to save your beloved pup. It’s a major procedure, but when done early, it can be successful. After addressing the bloating and twisting, your surgeon may perform a Gastropexy, where the stomach wall is attached to the abdominal wall to help prevent future occurrences. If you have a breed prone to GDV, consider discussing Gastropexy with your vet as a preventative measure.
- Mealtime Management: Avoid feeding your dog (especially larger breeds) a big meal right before exercise, especially dry food.
- Slow Feeding: Dogs often gobble their food down, so consider splitting their meal into smaller portions and use slow-feeding bowls.
And before we wrap up, here’s a gentle suggestion to consider: pet insurance. It might not have crossed your mind, but having pet insurance can be incredibly beneficial in situations like GDV. It can help ease the financial burden of emergency veterinary care, ensuring that you can make the best decisions for your furry family member without worrying about the cost.
One last thing – if you ever find yourself unsure about anything concerning your pet, please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to your pet’s veterinarian. They’re there to help and provide guidance, and they know your furry friend better than anyone else. Your pet’s health and happiness are their top priorities, so don’t be shy about seeking their expert advice whenever you need it. Your veterinarian is your trusted partner in ensuring your pet leads a long and healthy life. ????❤️