Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV)

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) is a multifactorial issue that can be caused by a combination of genetics, anatomy, and environmental factors. GDV is the twisting of the stomach in a way that cuts off blood supply, trapping gasses and creating a life-threatening circumstance. Typically, larger dog breeds or breeds with narrow, deep chests are at a higher risk for GDV, and that risk increases with age. Cats and small dogs can still develop GDV, though it is very rare.

GDV is a two part process in which the stomach first bloats or dilates, filling with air, then undergoes torsion or volvulus, spinning on its axis. In less severe cases, a pet suffers from bloat (gastric dilatation) alone. The actual twisting of the stomach (volvulus) is a life-threatening situation that can be fatal within a matter of minutes. When a pet suffers GDV it can then cause the following emergencies: 

  • Swollen stomach. 
  • Pressure on the abdomen. 
  • Damage to cardiovascular system. 
  • Decreased blood flow.

If your pet can burp or vomit it is probably not experiencing GDV. However, if your pet seems to be in excruciating pain, contact our office immediately and we can initiate tests to check for torsion.

Symptoms that could indicate Gastric Dilatation Volvulus:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Anxiousness. 
  • Depression. 
  • Difficulty breathing. 
  • Excessive salivation. 
  • Hardness developed in the stomach. 
  • Sudden collapse. 
  • Unexplainable weakness.
  • Vomiting or dry heaving.

Treatment options for bloat and Gastric Dilatation Volvulus

Gastric dilatation is considered an emergency situation. Once your pet arrives, we will assess their condition and administer any necessary pain relievers or antibiotics prior to gastric decompression. After relieving the bloat from the stomach, we will perform X-rays to determine if your pet is suffering from dilatation alone or if volvulus has also occurred.

If volvulus is present, surgical options will be discussed. Surgery is necessary to return internal organs to their normal positioning, and permanent gastropexy (surgically securing stomach in upright position) is often recommended. Once a volvulus has occurred, 75 to 80% of dogs develop it again; gastropexy can prevent future reoccurrences of GDV.

If you witness any of these changes in your pet, please contact our office immediately as it could indicate a serious health emergency.


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We took our 5 month old puppy in to get neutered today and had a great experience. They educate you on expenses without making you feel guilty if you decide against extra options. We were able to pick him up 5 hours after dropping him off which was also amazing. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a vet.

Chelsea G.'s

Dr. Genova has been my 4 legged daughter's doctor for her whole life (10 years). He is very personable, informative and kind. I seriously cannot say enough positive things about him.. Why else would I trust him to take care of my baby girl?

The rest of the staff is also very kind. Most of them have changed throughout the years but one thing that hasn't is that you can immediately tell how much they all love animals.

This is definitely one of this places that I wish I could give more than 5 stars to.

John L.

We had our first experience at Village at Main Veterinary Hospital today and I couldn't wait to write a review because of how pleased I was with the entire staff and environment. I arrived way early for my appointment but they took me anyway since it was open with no problem at all. As soon as we walked in the door my puppy and I were greeted with smiles and even staff that didn't run the counter came out and greeted and loved on my puppy as well which really put her at ease. Every staff member acknowledged our presence at some point. We were taken back to an exam room and we saw Dr. Tran who was warm and loving toward my puppy, she really took her time and you could easily see that she loves what she does. Dr. Tran covered all of my questions I had planned to ask as well as asked if I had any others. I would highly recommend this clinic to anybody who has had a bad experience at another clinic because it will totally make up for it as it did in our case. Thank you so much again for making us feel right at home and loving what you guys do, I will continue to drive 30 minutes just to have my pooch continue to see you guys :)

Tiffany B.

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