Interview with Dr. Danielle Dugat
Stomach torsion, or gastric dilatation with volvulus, can be a potentially fatal condition in dogs where the stomach twists on itself, requiring immediate surgical intervention. It occurs more commonly in large and giant breed, deep chested dogs. Risk factors for a dog developing a stomach torsion include having a familial relative with the condition, eating large meals infrequently, running after a meal, aggression, or anxiety. Many surgical techniques have been developed to prevent this condition. One technique that requires smaller incisions and shorter recovery time is the laparoscopic assisted gastropexy, which is usually performed in younger, large breed, deep-chested dogs that may be at risk. With this technique, two very small incisions allow insertion of the laparoscope, or camera, to assist it securing the stomach to the body wall. This procedure does not alter the function of the stomach to move digesting food into the intestines, but prevents it from rotating on itself, and is usually done as an outpatient procedure. Talk to your veterinarian to determine if your dog might be at risk for stomach torsion and would benefit from gastropexy.