Getting your dog out of the kennel in the morning and finding it not wanting to move and bloated is an EMERGENCY. You may also notice retching, gut pain and depression which can lead to collapse. This condition can occur suddenly and should not be ignored. You must get the dog to the Vet as soon as possible.
GDV (Gastric dilation and volvulus) occurs when the stomach dilates with gas and twists (i.e. twisted gut). This is serious as blood supply to organs becomes compromised, which also affects the heart, reducing its ability to pump properly. Combined this can lead to tissue death and shock.
GDV is something we see commonly in working dogs/deep-chested dogs. The cause is unknown and there are many predisposing factors which may or may not increase the risk of this occurring. Some of the proposed predisposing factors include:
Eating a large volume during a meal; eating once a day; eating rapidly; being underweight; being male; advanced age.
Treatment for this condition is immediate surgery. Gastropexy (suturing the stomach to the side of the body wall) is performed to minimise the chances of this happening again in the future. In some cases, areas of the stomach and potentially the spleen may also need to be removed. The dog will need to remain hospitalised for several days following the surgery. The prognosis of this condition is variable, but ranges from 50-80% chance of recovery. Early therapy helps improve the prognosis with a delay of more than 5 hours decrease chances of survival.