Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

:Commonly called bloat and stomach torsion, this is a potentially fatal condition in which a dog's stomach distends with gas, food or fluid and then rotates and twists. The twisting action blocks both the entrance to and the extit from the stomach. Distention and twisting can occur independently of one another. But when both take place, rapid veterinary intervention is absolutely critical. Signs of GDV may include: - Abdominal swelling and tenderness - Unsuccessful attempts to vomit - Excessive drooling - Restlessness - Panting or labored breathing GDV requires immediate surgery. This entails possible removal of dead stomach tissue, repositioning of the stomach followed by stomach attachment (gastropexy) to prevent the risk of future volvulus. There are several types of stomach tacks. A popular procedure today is the belt-loop gastropexy in which a portion of the stomach is attached to a belt loop flap created in the abdominal wall. Like many other large, deep-chested breeds, Swissys are definitely prone to GDV. While the condition occurs more frequently in dogs over 5 years, it can happen at any age. To date, research on the condition has remained inconclusive, it seems to be multifactorial in nature, i.e. no single food type, ingredient or feeding method has been shown to cause GDV. Indeed, some Swissys have bloated on entirely empty stomachs. Stress may be the triggering factor under certain conditions. And while heredity is suspected by some researchers, no conclusive evidence has been produced to date. At present there are no clear cut preventives for bloat. The most important tool to prevent a fatal ending to GDV is to recognize the signs and get immediate veterinary care.