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GSD German Shepherd Health – Bloat

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV)*

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) is a condition caused by a twisting of the stomach and thus trapping the stomach contents and gases resulting in a rapid swelling of the abdomen accompanied by pain and eventual death if untreated. It is an emergency, requiring immediate veterinary action. This condition is most often found in large, deep chested dog breeds. Anyone owning a deep chested breed, susceptible to Bloat should be prepared to handle the emergency procedures necessary, including having readily available the name and phone number of emergency clinics and/or after-hours Veterinarians.

Breeds with a deeper and narrower chest are most susceptible, including but not limited to, the Great Dane, St. Bernard, Weimaraner, Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Borzoi, Bloodhound, Gordon Setter, and Standard Poodle. Within such a breed, dogs with the deepest, narrowest chests are the most vulnerable.

Symptoms can be subtle. You should learn to recognize them:

  • Acting agitated
  • Unproductive vomiting or retching (may produce frothy foamy vomit in small quantities)
  • Excessive drooling, usually accompanied by retching noises
  • Swelling in abdominal area (may or may not be noticeable)
  • Continuous pacing and/or lying down in odd places
  • Salivating, panting, whining
  • Unable to get comfortable

If ANY combination of these symptoms are noticed, CALL YOUR VET and get the dog there as fast as possible.  Bloat is LIFE-THREATENING!

Additional Information:
Bloat – Canine Inherited Disorders Database

Note: This section of Summerview German Shepherds is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.

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