Gastric Dilation Volvulus in Great Danes aka Bloat or Torsion

If you have done any research on the Great Dane breed, you have heard a lot about a problem commonly called bloat and/or torsion.

Gastric Dilation Volvulus, also referred to as GDV, is a serious disease that can dramatically affect a great dane’s life. In this article, we will focus on the causes and treatment of this frightening disease which can cause your Great Dane much pain and discomfort.

GDV occurs when air compresses the stomach of the dog and during dilation the stomach twists on itself. This leads to the stoppage of blood flowing to the stomach and other body organs. The drastic effect of increasing blood pressure makes it impossible for the dog to stay calm. This discomfort is usually accompanied by sharp screeches from the animal, who may display a warranted ’panicky’ state. Unfortunately, most of these symptoms are shrugged off. The results may be fatal, as most great danes die in a few hours if GDV isn’t treated.

Not every breed of dog is susceptible to the risk of experiencing GDV. Usually, large and deep-chested breed dogs like great danes are vulnerable to such a disease as GDV. The most important factors increasing the risk of GDV are overeating, single and rapid daily eating, stress and abnormal water consumption.

According to the foundations of scientists specialized in dog diseases, almost one third of untreated dogs experiencing GDV die. Despite this information, it’s important for people to listen to their pet when he/she is in pain, as GDV is treatable if caught in time. A dog treated for GDV can continue to live a long healthy life.

Two major techniques are used in the treatment of GDV. First, the stomach tube is used to extract the gas from the stomach. Secondly, the stomach is returned to its normal shape through the practice of a surgical procedure. In order to prevent the recurrence of GDV, veterinarian should assess the extent of damage by careful observation. Damage differs from great dane to great dane. Factors that may contribute to excessive damage are: the amount of time the dog suffered, your great dane’s overall health condition, and the age of your great dane.

There are preventive steps that you can take to ensure your great dane maintains a healthy GDV-free life. Be certain to feed your great dane 2-3 times daily. Leave a sufficient amount of water out for your dog(s) while you’re away or at work. Daylight and ‘play time’ is very beneficial for your great dane. Your great dane should follow a strict routine, as you and the members of your family do.

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