Gastric Torsion - GDV or
and how to recognise it.
Reading this page and being aware could save your dog's life!
Gastric Torsion or
is a very serious health risk for many large and medium sized, deep chested breeds (i.e. boxers) and yet many dog
owners are unaware of this condition which can lead to death within hours if not recognised and treated immediately.
It makes no difference if it is a dog or a bitch, young or old, but it can occur suddenly in a perfectly healthy dog.
The scientific term is
but most people just refer to it as
It is characterised by a rapid and abnormal stomach expansion with air, fluid and/or foam followed by a stomach rotationwhich closes both
the entry and exit, blocking the veins to the abdomen leading to low blood pressure, shock, damage tointernal organs and, unless treated in
less than 20 minutes, can end in an extremely painful death.
should always be treated as a medical emergency because it can kill a dog within hours after the onset and althoughthe cause is
unknown, boxers are one of the breeds susceptible to it.
How To Help The Prevention Of
The following guidelines could help to prevent the occurrence of bloat and these suggestions are based on suspected risk factors but are not
guaranteed to prevent the onset of
1. Do not feed one large meal every day but feed small amounts of food frequently, two or three times daily.
2. Avoid any exercise 1 hour before and 2 hours after any meal.
3. Do not allow your dog to drink large amounts of water immediately before and after eating a meal or after exercise.
4. Try to restrict your dog to very small amounts of water only.
5. If you have two or more dogs, feed them separately to avoid any stressful eating.
6. If possible, feed at a time when after-feeding behaviour can be observed.
7. Try to avoid any abrupt changes of diet.
Another recommendation is frequent feeding of a good quality, highly digestible food with normal fibre levels.
Feeding management offers the best method available for reducing risk until the exact cause of
can be identified.
Although not 100% effective, the above measures can reduce the number of dogs
that face this serious, life threatening condition.
We have had 4 of our own dogs with this condition - we saved two but two died very painful deaths because we were unable toget to the vet
quickly enough to save them.
Below is an email from someone who, having read this page and saved the chart below, was able to act when
occurred and so saved
her boxer from a certain painful death.
Dear Jackie & Pete,
I don't know if you remember me, the crazy Belgian doctor who gave up her job for her rescue boxer, but now I'm sending this
email to sincerely thank you. After reading your bloat flow chart, I printed it and put it in my wallet. Yesterday evening Watson
had his usual dinner and afterwards I took him to play with his Jack Russell friends which are a 25 minute drive. He started
playing as usual and afterwards my friend and I were having a drink (thank god I didn't have my usual glass of wine) and
Watson was happy and relaxed at my feet, panting, but that wasn't a surprise after a vigorous playing session. Watson gained a
bit of weight and the vet commented on it and as I was telling this to my friend I looked at him and laughingly told her: "look, his
harness is becoming a bit tight". Thanks to your flow chart alarm bells started ringing, I felt his pulse and his heart was racing,
then he vomited. I could literally see my dog swell. So, I called the vet, put him in the car and drove like a madwoman. When we
arrived, she had everything prepared for emergency surgery, but we were just in time, so he got away with gastric
decompression and a night on an IV drip with stomach protection etc. I cannot thank you enough as I'm sure that, if I had never
seen your scheme I would never had recognised the symptoms this fast. I was a bit ashamed that my vet had everything ready
for emergency surgery, but she said it was a close call, minutes could have made the difference between surgery and if I hadn't
been aware and put him to bed (it is not the first time he vomits some white foam), he would surely have passed away during
the night. THANK YOU! Apart from all this, at the moment Watson is showing "normal boxer behaviour" and I do think people
sometimes give up too soon, not to mention my doubts about some reasons for putting them up for rehoming. Although boxers
really need a loving and understanding home, I assume they're better off with somebody who really wants them.
Katrien & Watson
(right click on the chart, select
save picture as
and then select