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Bloat, Torsion. Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).
This is a serious, life-threatening condition of large breed dogs. While the diagnosis is simple, the pathological changes in the dog's body make treatment complicated, expensive, and not always successful. A typical scenario starts with a large, deep-chest dog, usually fed once daily. Typical breeds affected are Akita, Great Dane, German Shepherd, St. Bernard, Irish Wolfhound, and Irish Setter. Sight hounds, Doberman Pinschers, Weimaraners, Bloodhounds, other similar breeds, and large, deep-chest mixed breeds are also affected. The bad habit of bolting food, gulping air, or drinking large amounts of water immediately after eating to the feeding schedule and body type are important factors. Vigorous exercise after a full meal is frequently associated with the deadly GDV.
In some cases exercise is not needed for the GVD to affect your dog. The treatment is very expensive and in many cases the loved family member will die anyway a few days later.
A number of procedures designed to permanently adhere the stomach to the body wall have been experimented in veterinary medicine. The main clinical application of this surgical procedure is the prevention of GDV (gastric dilation-volvulus syndrome) relapses in the dog. Recently, several authors have indicated laparoscopic surgery as an alternative to the conventional surgical abdominal approach to this disease in the dog.
This procedure will soon be performed at Tama Veterinary Hospital . It is very simple and involves the placement of 2 small laparoscope ports or trocars in the abdomen. Instruments are introduced through this ports and a small 3 cm attachment is created between the serosa-muscularis of the stomach antrum and the area caudal to the last rib in the abdominal muscle. We use an ultrasonic device (harmonic scalpel) to create the incisions in the stomach and body wall. This instrument prevents any bleeding that could lead to postoperative complications (excessive bleeding and later adhesions). The small openings in the skin are closed with minimal post op pain. The pet is able to go home the same day and it can resume eating within a few hours of the procedure. This is very affordable alternative to prevent GVD and an awful death on a loved family member. The laparoscopic gastropexy doesn’t prevent the distention of the stomach but effectively eliminates the possibility of the deadly stomach torsion.
Soon we will be perfoming laparoscopic gastropexy as an alternative to prevent the deadly GVD in dogs. Please call us for more inquiries if you are interested in this new modality of minimally invasive surgery.