Occurring mostly in large dogs, gastric torsion is a fatal condition, with the affected animal dying within hours.
The gastric torsion in dogs or torsion/dilatation of the stomach is a syndrome in which the care veterinarian must be extremely fast. Without surgery performed as soon as possible, the dog is at risk of death. This shows the urgency of the situation and the need to recognize the symptoms as quickly as possible.
Gastric torsion in dogs: what is it?
Gastric torsion in dogs occurs predominantly in large and giant dog breeds. This ranges from Boxer to Saint Bernard, including German Shepherd Dogs, Great Dane, and Labrador Retriever.
Stomach torsion/dilation syndrome occurs when large amounts of gas and fluid accumulate in this part of the digestive tract along with the food consumed by the dog.
This accumulation causes the stomach to see its volume increase considerably, then becomes subject to a phenomenon of torsion – we also speak of overturning – preventing the passage of the matter (gases, liquids, and food) that it contains towards the intestines.
From then on, the dog’s vital prognosis is engaged. It must be taken care of by the veterinarian urgently because the animal then has only a handful of hours of life expectancy.
Knowing how to recognize the symptoms for rapid treatment
It is therefore essential to react quickly and therefore to identify the symptoms associated with gastric torsion in dogs. The following signs should alert you and prompt you to take your dog to the vet without further delay:
- Your dog is trying to vomit without success
- Hypersalivation (excessive salivation, characterized by foam)
- An increase in the volume of Its abdomen
- A reduction unexplained
- Manifestations of pain
Once again, we are dealing here with a very urgent situation. Contact your vet immediately, report any symptoms you observe, and lead the dog to his office without wasting a second.
Surgery is the only solution if the gastric torsion is confirmed. Note that one in two operations results in the rescue of the dog.
It consists of reducing the torsion and returning the stomach to a correct position. The veterinarian may also have to remove the spleen. In most cases, gastropexy is performed: it involves attaching the stomach to the abdominal wall, preventing possible later twists, and therefore recurrences.
Causes of stomach twisting/dilation
The underlying origins of gastric torsion syndrome in dogs are still unknown, but it is undeniable that there is a hereditary factor, certain breeds (especially the larger ones) being predisposed to it.
At the same time, there are events that trigger the crisis, such as the dog’s rapid ingestion of large quantities of food, the fact that it is under stress during a meal, or the absorption of a certain volume of food. air or liquid. Subjecting the dog to sustained physical exercise at the end of the meal also constitutes a danger for the animal.
Precautions to be taken
Some preventive measures can prevent such an attack from occurring, especially if your dog is one of the large or giant breeds.
- If It has used to quickly ingest meals, split – the: instead of a single daily meal, share the same portion into 2 or 3 doses.
- Wait for 2 to 3 hours after eating before taking your dog for a walk or making any effort.
- Make sure the meal is peaceful, without any source of stress or competition. If you have more than one dog, it would be best if they would eat separately.
- Prefer solid foods (croquettes) to wet preparations.
- Raise its food bowl and water bowl to reduce air absorption during meals.