|Great Danes are susceptible to Bloat.|
Photo via NJClicks
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of articles about bloat prevention. Were you aware that there is actually a surgical procedure for bloat prevention in dogs? It’s called a “gastropexy”. But first, let’s make sure you’re aware of what bloat is. Bloat or Gastric Dilatation/Volvulus (GDV), is a life-threatening condition with a very quick onset. It’s considered a medical emergency.
During an episode of bloat, a dog’ stomach distends with gas and fluid during dilatation. During volvulus, the stomach rotates on itself. The junction at the stomach and esophagus is pinched off as well as the pylorus. This makes it impossible for the gas and fluid in the stomach to escape from either end. All the contents of the stomach begin to ferment and build up pressure. Also, since the stomach is twisted at both ends this cuts off blood circulation causing necrosis.
Which Breeds Are Most at Risk for Bloat?
Typically, large breed dogs with a deep chest are most at risk for bloat. Some smaller breeds are also at risk too, but there are not as many small breed dogs that have deep chests. Here’s a list of dogs that are considered high risk for bloat:
· Great Dane
· Doberman Pinschers
· Rhodesian Ridgeback
· Old English Sheepdog
· German Shepard
· Labrador Retriever
· Irish Wolfhound
· Great Pyrenees
· St. Bernard
· Irish Setter
· Standard Poodle
· Basset Hound
Surgical Bloat Prevention in Dogs
So, now on to the gastropexy. What is a gastropexy? Gastropexy is a surgical procedure in which the stomach is permanently sutured to the abdominal wall. In dogs, the stomach can be sutured to the right side of the abdomen to prevent bloat.
This doesn’t mean that you should rush out and have this surgery performed on your dog. So when do veterinarians perform this type of surgery on dogs? Well, there are a few reasons why a vet might do a gastropexy for bloat prevention in dogs.
· Gastropexy during spay or neuter. Some vets will perform a gastropexy in high risk breeds at the time of their spay or neuter. For a female, this isn’t much extra work because the abdomen is already open for the spay surgery. Males will have to go “under the knife” a little bit more, though. It’s an easy way to ensure bloat prevention in dogs and you shouldn’t have to worry about GDV for the rest of your dog’s life.
· Gastropexy during bloat treatment. This surgery is becoming more popular when dogs are first spayed and neutered. Unfortunately, not all dogs have this procedure performed when they are young and may experience an episode (or more) later on in life. If a dog has to have surgical intervention during a bloat episode, it’s likely that the veterinarian will also perform a gastropexy at this time.
I’m sure it would be possible to have a gastropexy performed in a dog just to be on the safe side. Especially if the dog were a very high risk breed like a Great Dane.
|Photo via jedidiegogreen|