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Gastric dilation and torsion

This condition preferentially affects the large deep-chested breeds of dog such as Bassett Hounds, German Shepherd dogs, St. Bernard, Irish Setters, Great Danes and Dobermans but Dachshunds may also be affected. There may be a predilection for young male dogs, but torsion has been observed in dogs from 2 to 10 years of age. The cause is not known but predisposing factors include; breed, use of dry cereal-based diets, overeating or drinking, stress, exercise and aerophagia (Table Predisposing causes for gastric torsion). Cereal-based diets fed as one large meal per day result in larger and heavier stomachs than those found in dogs fed tinned meat and biscuit. This predisposes the dog to gastric dilation and torsion (). It is also possible that disordered gastric motility may be involved. Torsions most often occur to the left or clockwise effectively sealing off the oesophagus and pylorus (). In our experience the mortality rate can exceed 68%. Table Predisposing causes for gastric torsion Breed Diet Overeating Stress, excitement Gastric stasis Aerophagia Motility disorder Lax gastric ligaments Normally the pylorus is held in position on the right of the abdomen by Read more […]