CSU Veterinarians Seek Big Dogs to Undergo Stomach Surgery and Digestive Evaluation

FORT COLLINS – Colorado State University veterinarians want to learn about stomach function in large-breed dogs that have undergone laparoscopic gastropexy, a minimally invasive surgery in which the stomach is attached to the abdominal wall to prevent dangerous bloating.

To investigate, a veterinary team is launching a clinical study in big dogs – those weighing more than 80 pounds.

Gastric dilatation volvulus, when the stomach flips and expands, is both potentially fatal and fairly common in large-breed dogs, said Dr. Eric Monnet, a veterinarian in Soft Tissue Surgery Service at CSU’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Continue reading CSU Veterinarians Seek Big Dogs to Undergo Stomach Surgery and Digestive Evaluation

Understanding canine bloat for better treatment

Assistant Professor Laura Nelson awarded grant by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation to research causes of bloat in dogs.

Laura Nelson, assistant professor in the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences (SCS), has been awarded a 2-year, $233,774 grant to fund research on the causes of Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in dogs. The grant was awarded by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (CHF) on October 4, 2013.

GDV, or bloat, is one of the leading causes of death in dogs, second only to cancer for some breeds, and the number one killer of Great Danes. Despite its prevalence, the cause of bloat is unknown. …

Nelson’s team is investigating the relationship of motility—contractions responsible for the digestion of food—with increased GDV risk, and hopes to define the biochemical and genetic alterations that may be associated with hypomotility—abnormally weak contractions. A new diagnostic tool, SmartPill®, makes possible noninvasive assessment of motility. The SmartPill® is an ingestible capsule with an instrument inside that measures acidity and pressure. The team will measure the time it takes the capsule to pass through the dog’s system and the pressure spikes along the way.

In addition to investigating gastric motility as a predictor of GDV, researchers will evaluate the expression of the hormones motilin and ghrelin—regulators of GI motility—as a predictor of predisposition to GDV. This information will support an investigation of the disease’s genetic foundations.
Nelson, the primary investigator of the project, is joined by a team of co-investigators from the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine: John C. Fyfe, DVM, PhD; Dr. Joe Hauptman, DVM, DACVS; Kent Refsal, DVM, PhD; William Horne, DVM, PhD, DACVA; Bryden J. Stanley, BSc, BVMS, MACVSc, MVetSc, DACVS; Michele Fritz, LVT; and James Galligan, PhD.

bloat in dogs: AVMA podcast

Influence of barometric pressure on GDV (bloat)


Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a life-threatening condition in dogs and other species in which the stomach dilates and rotates on itself. The etiology of the disease is multi-factorial, but explicit precipitating causes are unknown. This study sought to determine if there was a significant association between changes in hourly-measured temperature and/or atmospheric pressure and the occurrence of GDV in the population of high-risk working dogs in Texas. The odds of a day being a GDV day, given certain temperature and atmospheric pressure conditions for that day or the day before, was estimated using logistic regression models. There were 57 days in which GDV(s) occurred, representing 2.60% of the days in the 6-year study period. The months of November, December, and January collectively accounted for almost half (47%) of all cases. Disease risk was negatively associated with daily maximum temperature. An increased risk of GDV was weakly associated with the occurrence of large hourly drops in temperature that day and of higher minimum barometric pressure that day and the day before GDV occurrence, but extreme changes were not
predictive of the disease.


Breed related risks for bloat


Incidence and Breed Related Risk Factors for Gastric Dilation-Volvulus in Dogs
5-year prospective study by Larry Glickman, VMD, Ph.D., Purdue University

Participating breed clubs Akita, Bloodhound, Collie, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Standard Poodle, Weimaraner and the AKC/CHF.

Investigator measured dogs at dog shows and the owners completed a detailed questionnaire concerning the dogs medical history, genetic background, husbandry and eating practices, personality and diet.

Five years later, the investigator called and conducted a follow-up on each the dog.
The incidence of bloat (GDV) was calculated for each breed.
Risk factors were compared to dog measurements and questionnaire responses to determine any correlation.   Results: Continue reading Breed related risks for bloat



Finding on use of gastropexy for dog owners:

In a study of 1,920 dogs at risk the following recommendations can be made regarding prophylaxis for bloat:

1 – with prophylactic gastropexy; after an episode of bloat, gastropexy decreased GDV recurrence by 95%. We would consider it to be just as effective as a preventive measure on dogs at risk for GDV (ie; all deep- chested dogs, dogs with first degree relatives with GDV) You should go to a veterinary surgeon to perform the surgery as many vets do this procedure regularly. Also these dogs should be sterilized to prevent passing on bloat risk to their progeny.

2 -Add Simethicone to each feeding (adult human dose)

I believe if the risk of GDV developing in a dog’s lifetime is high, then it is appropriate for owners and veterinarians to consider performing a prophylactic gastropexy (a surgical procedure to prevent the stomach from rotating) in order to prevent a first episode of GDV from occurring. However, I would not recommend that prophylactic gastropexy be done unless the dog were surgically neutered, so as not to increase the pool of dogs in a breed that are prone to develop GDV. Persons considering prophylactic gastropexy for their dog should discuss the procedure with their veterinarian and with owners of dogs that have had this procedure.

To find a veterinarian in your state who performs this surgery I would search for : Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon (your state). Unfortunately, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons does not at this time have a complete listing of Certified surgeons by state.

Diet related risks for bloat

GDV (Bloat) and diet
Summary: Dogs at risk for bloat (deep chested dogs) should not be fed on raised food bowls, or a food that has FAT as one of the 1st four ingredients, or fed foods with citric acid that are moistened. They should be fed food that has a rendered meat with bone in the first four ingredients. We   recommend that you evaluate the food choices by reviewing several sources such as ; Your dog’s nutritional needs.,
WDJ dog food recommendations.
Dietary Risk Factors for Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat) in 11 Large and Giant Dog Breeds: A Nested Case-Control Study
ABSTRACT *Malathi Raghavan, DVM, MS; Lawrence T. Glickman, VMD, DrPH; Nita W. Glickman, MS, MPH; Diana B. Schellenberg, MS.
Dietary risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in dogs were identified using a nested case-control study. Of 1,991 dogs from 11 large- and giant-breeds in a previous prospective study of GDV, 106 dogs that developed GDV were selected as cases while 212 remaining dogs were randomly selected as controls. A complete profile of nutrient intake was constructed for each dog based on owner-reported information, published references and nutrient databases. Potential risk factors were examined for a significant (p<0.05) relationship with GDV risk using unconditional logistic regression. Continue reading Diet related risks for bloat