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!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday:
Walk Ins: Check-in starts at 9:45am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)


Saturday Hours

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM


24 Hour Emergency Care:


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA



4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA

VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA

Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue

North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd



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