Gastric Torsion (GDV) - Bloat And How To Recognise It
We urge you to read this page so that 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
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 to internal 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
Do not feed one large meal but feed small amounts of food frequently, two or three times daily.
Avoid any exercise 1 hour before and 2 hours after any meal.
Do not allow your dog to drink large amounts of water immediately before or after eating a meal or after
exercise andtry to restrict your dog to very small amounts of water only.
If possible, feed at a time when after-feeding behaviour can be observed and if you have two or more
dogs, feed them separately to avoid any stressful eating.
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 to get to a vet quickly enough to save them.
Below is an email that we received by someone who had read this page, saved the chart below and was
able to act when
BLOAT” did occur and 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
As You Can See From This Email, Being Aware May Save Your Dogs Life!
Please Copy And Save The Chart