What is GDV?
Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) is a life threatening disorder most commonly seen in large, deep-chested dogs. In its early stage, the stomach fills with gas, causing a simple gastric dilatation or bloat. Sometimes, the condition progresses no further than a bloat. A GDV is a progression of the bloat into a volvulus, in which the huge, gas-filled stomach twists upon itself so that both the entrance and exit of the stomach become occluded. This is a life-threatening emergency that requires surgery to correct.
What causes the condition?
The exact cause is still unknown. The condition is seen most commonly in large breed dogs that eat or drink rapidly and then exercise vigorously.
“Stress may be a contributing factor to GDV…”
Stress may be a contributing factor to GDV – in recent studies, dogs that were more relaxed and calm were at less risk of developing GDV than dogs described as “hyper” or “fearful”.
Is GDV serious?
Yes. This is probably one of the most serious non-traumatic conditions seen in dogs. Immediate veterinary attention is required to save the dog’s life.
Are some dogs more prone than others?
Yes, statistically we know that large, deep-chested breeds are more prone to GDV. These include Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Weimaraners, Irish Setters, Gordon Setters, Standard Poodles, Basset Hounds, Doberman Pinschers, and Old English Sheepdogs. It must be noted that any dog can bloat, even dachshunds and Chihuahuas. The condition usually occurs two to three hours after eating a large meal.