How does twisted stomach happen in dogs? Essential Tips

Are there dogs predisposed to GDV?

Any dog can develop GDV, but it is more common in some breeds than others. Large dog breeds with deep, narrow chests, like Great Danes, Shepards, Weimeraners and Dobermans, are more likely to develop GDV. The problem can occur in small dogs, but only rarely.

Interestingly, male dogs are twice as likely to develop gastric dilatation and volvulus as females. Dogs over seven years of age are more than twice as likely to develop GDV than those who are two to four years of age.

It’s not just dogs who can develop GDV, we’ve also treated guinea pigs in our hospitals with the condition.

X-rays of a guinea pigs bloat resolutionX-rays of Dafney the guinea pig showing her bloat resolving after treatment at Animal Emergency Service

What causes twisted stomach in dogs?

The exact reason why GDV occurs is still unknown. However, there are a number of factors that increase a dog’s risk. These include:

  • Ingesting bones which can block the outflow of food, fluid and gas from the stomach
  • Foreign body obstruction (ingesting toys, corn cobs, for example)
  • Having one large meal a day
  • Eating quickly
  • Eating or drinking too much
  • Vigorous exercise after eating
  • Genetic predispositions (see below)
  • There are currently several studies looking into what happens physiologically in dogs that develop GDV to help us understand the condition more.

    What Dog Breeds Are More Susceptible to GDV?

    Statistics show that GDV is more common in large dogs with a deep chest and broad shoulders. These include Basset Hounds, Boxers, Akitas, Great Dane, Weimaraner, and German Shepherds.

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    Even with treatment, GDV has a 10-60 percent mortality rate. Surgery decreases this mortality rate to 15-33 percent.

    Bloat in a dog. How to diagnose GDV, and why an acutely distended abdomen might be an emergency. Co

    The word “Bloat” strikes horror in the hearts of many dog lovers – particularly those who have had to deal with it, and maybe even lost a good friend to it.

    However, “Bloat” is a bit of a misnomer – the problem is not so much that the stomach filled up with gas, as that it flopped over and twisted itself about its own axis.