Meet Jessie

Jessie is a gorgeous 13-year-old mini Groodle. Her lovely owner found her one afternoon vomiting in the back yard and noticed she had a very bloated stomach.

Jessie was immediately brought to our Nobby Beach clinic to visit Dr Ali. After a full examination and some important blood tests and X-rays, it was confirmed that Jessie had GDV – Gastro Dilated Volvuls (or, as we know it, Bloat). Jessie was rushed into surgery to untwist her stomach and remove all the gas that was causing her to go into shock. The viability of the stomach wall, the spleen, and all other organs were also checked. Once the stomach was returned to the normal position in the abdomen, it was permanently fixed to the abdominal wall (gastropexy).

The purpose of this procedure is to prevent volvulus (rotation) if GDV should occur again. After surgery, Jessie spent the night under the careful watch of the Animal Emergency Service at Carrara. This is the most critical stage for recovery.

Signs of Gastro Dilated Volvulus

  • An enlargement of the dog’s tummy (abdomen)
  • Retching/vomiting
  • Consistent salivating
  • Restlessness/pacing/distress/whining
  • An affected dog will feel pain and might whine if you press on their belly

Jessie is a smaller dog but is crossed with a larger poodle. GDV is more prevalent in larger breeds of dogs with deep, narrow chests like Great Danes, Weimaraners, Saint Bernards, Dobermans, Setters, Poodles, German shepherds and Rottweilers.

Without treatment, Jessie would have gone into shock. Her heart rate would then rise, and her pulse would get weaker, leading to death. This was a medical emergency. It has now been three weeks since her surgery and she has fully recovered, back to her normal self at home. It was her owner’s quick response in bringing her to the vet clinic that helped save her life.

Risk Factors

  • Eating rapidly, swallowing more air than food
  • Being thin or underweight
  • Having a fearful, anxious or nervous temperament
  • Anxious pet, having a history of aggression toward people or other animals
  • Males are more likely to bloat than females
  • Older dogs (7-12 years of age)
  • Moistening dry food
  • Hereditary (i.e. a parent or sibling that has suffered from GDV)

How to decrease the risk of Bloat

  • Eating two or more smaller meals per day
  • Adding canned dog food to the diet so food is less dry
  • Having a relaxed temperament
  • Don’t walk immediately after dinner (at least one hour after)
  • Avoid lots of water before and after a walk – small amounts often

GDV, (Bloat) is a medical emergency and knowing the signs can save lives.

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