Bloating in dogs is common and one of the most soul-crushing conditions for dog owners to witness in their pets.

It can occur so suddenly that one minute you might be playing catch with your dog and the next, you are trapped in a battle between life and death. Even worse, the odds are, in most cases, not in your dog’s favor.

What is bloating in dogs?

Otherwise known as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), dog bloat refers to a condition where the dog’s stomach expands rapidly with fluid and gas. The stomach rotates on its own, causing both ends of the stomach to twist. With time, the fluid and gas ferment thus increasing pressure in the stomach. Consequently, blood supply to the stomach is cut off and this may lead to the death of a portion or all the stomach. If left untreated, this condition can lead to the death of your pet. And even with emergency treatment, up to 50% of dogs with GDV will still die.

Which dog breeds are most susceptible to GDV?

The most affected dog breeds include:

  • Rottweiler
  • Collie
  • Blood Hounds
  • Great Danes
  • Irish Wolfhounds
  • Shar-Pei
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Boxer
  • German Shepherds
  • Standard Poodles
  • Labrador Retriever

What are the signs and symptoms of bloating in dogs?

Bloating is a condition that occurs suddenly and develops at a very alarming rate. Middle-aged to older dogs are most susceptible to this condition. Signs and symptoms to look for include excessive drooling, unsuccessful attempts to vomit, swollen or tight stomach, whining or grunting, tiredness and constant groaning. At the slightest suspicion of GDV, you should rush your dog to the nearest animal clinic.

Laparoscopic gastropexy to prevent dog bloating

If your dog is one of those breeds that are susceptible to bloating, it pays to consider having preventative surgery. Gastropexy refers to a surgical procedure where the sides of the dog’s stomach are stitched to the abdominal wall. This helps to prevent the stomach from twisting when gas and fluids build up. The procedure is performed on healthy dogs to prevent bloating. Laparoscopic gastropexy is a fairly new type of gastronomy which is faster, minimally invasive and has more effective results. While it was initially only used on humans, it’s now used on dogs and yields results that are as good as any.

What are the benefits of laparoscopic gastropexy?
  • The surgery lasts for a shorter period of time
  • It’s less invasive as it only requires 0.5-1cm incisions
  • Less expensive compared to open surgery
  • More reliable compared to open surgery
  • Your dog can come home the next day, unlike other procedures that require time to heal
  • Recovery occurs within shorter time spans
  • There’s less pain involved
When should laparoscopy gastropexy be done?

The procedure is best performed during the same span of time that your dog is neutered or spayed. Stand-alone surgery can be performed for older dogs with effective results. As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved, hence there’s the need to talk to your veterinarian in Croton-on-Hudson, NY in full details.

It should be noted that the surgery only prevents the stomach from twisting, and consequently prevents death threatening symptoms. As such, bloating can still affect dogs that have undergone this procedure. It, however, buys you enough time to get to the vet and have it treated as soon as possible!