Canine gastropexy is a surgical procedure designed to prevent the occurrence of gastric dilatation-volvulus (“GDV”), more commonly known as bloat. This surgery is most commonly performed in large breed dogs or “deep chested” breeds such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, and Mastiffs.
Bloat is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach flips over and expands, trapping air and gases in the stomach. Circulation to the stomach and spleen is subsequently interrupted resulting in shock which can be fatal. Widespread tissue damage and kidney failure develop and death from respiratory and cardiac arrest soon follow. This condition often develops quite suddenly in otherwise healthy dogs.
In a gastropexy procedure, the stomach is surgically connected to the right side of the abdominal wall, so it cannot shift or twist. In a recent report in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (May/June 2013) they found that when dogs had an incisional gastropexy performed, it nearly eliminated the risk of GDV and bloat.
Some of the breeds affected by this dangerous condition include:
- Great Danes
- Irish Wolf Hounds
- German Shepherds
- Blood Hounds
- Gordon Setters
- St. Bernards
- Irish Setters
- Standard Poodles
- Doberman Pinschers
Other large, deep/barrel-chested breeds and their mixes can be at risk as well. GDV is a rapidly progressive and life-threatening condition which requires immediate emergency surgery and veterinary care that can cost thousands of dollars. It is much safer, as well as cost-effective for you, to perform the preventive surgery (Gastropexy) on a healthy, stable dog than during a life-threatening emergency.