GDV – What is it, Symptoms and Treatment

by Melissa Keen
gdv in dogs

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome, or GDV, is a disease in which the tummy twists and bloats. It can be life-threatening and it’s important to know the symptoms in order to get the vital help should your dog suffer from it.

What is GDV?

GDV is known as gastric torsion and is when the stomach of the dog dilates and twists. This can cause a host of different problems including damage to the cardiovascular system, progressive distention of the stomach and pressure within the abdomen.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms include:

  • A change in behaviour
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Depression
  • Abdominal pain
  • Collapsing
  • Going off food
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Laboured breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale mucus membrane (the tissue inside the mouth and nose)

Causes of GDV

While the exact causes of GDV are unknown, some things are thought to exacerbate it.

Genetics, anatomy and environment can all have a part. Larger breeds may also be at higher risk, as are older dogs.

There are some things you can do to try and prevent GDV. Firstly, don’t allow your dog to wolf down their food or water. Eating quickly, or exercising straight after a big meal, are thought to be factors.

It is vital to take your dog to the vet if they showcase signs of GDV, as it is easier to treat and potentially less fatal the sooner it is caught. Don’t forget to call ahead so they know to expect you.

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