Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat, is a life-threatening condition in dogs. GDV happens when the stomach expands well past its normal size because of trapped gas or fluid. Afterwards, the stomach begins to twist around itself. This can cause major damage to the stomach and surrounding organs. GDV is a life-threatening event that, if left untreated, can kill. Below are some symptoms to watch out for.

Dogs with GDV are often anxious. They may try to stand and stretch to loosen the stomach. They could also nip at their abdomens. Their stomachs will be visibly distended. They will have abdominal pain that could interfere with movement. Shallow, rapid breathing and pale gums may occur as well. Most dogs with GDV will decline rapidly.

GDV can quickly become serious as it does damage to the stomach and surrounding organs. It can interfere with blood circulation and breathing. It’s difficult to tell the difference between GDV or it’s less severe cousin gastric dilation. If you suspect your dog has GDV, or bloating of any kind, get them to an animal hospital immediately.

Large breeds with deep chests have the highest risk for developing GDV. Also, older dogs are more at risk. However, any breed and size of dog can develop GDV at any age.

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