Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), often referred to as “bloat,” is a serious condition caused by abnormal dilatation and twisting of the stomach. The condition is initiated by abnormal accumulation of air, fluid or foam in the stomach (gastric dilatation). The stomach then twists on its axis (gastric volvulus), obstructing emptying of the stomach or burping. The return of blood from the veins of the abdomen may also be obstructed, leading to low blood pressure, shock and associated complications.

GDV is most common in deep-chested or large to giant breed dogs. GDV can also occur in other breeds, but this is uncommon.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Gastric dilatation volvulus is diagnosed through physical examination and abdominal x-rays.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Initial treatment includes emergency care of shock with intravenous fluids, drug therapy and decompression of the stomach.  Surgery is the recommended treatment to untwist and stabilize the stomach. To prevent recurrence, the stomach must be attached to the abdominal wall, known as gastropexy. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.


What to Watch for*:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Abdominal distention
  • Nonproductive vomiting or retching
  • Weakness

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!