Gastric torsion in dogs

Gastric torsion in dogs

Gastric torsion in dogs is a problem that affects the stomach of the animal, and to a greater extent occurs in large breeds. Due to its seriousness and consequences, it is important to treat it immediately. How to recognize the presence of this syndrome in our pet and react in time?

How is gastric torsion in dogs

It is a syndrome caused by acute dilation of the stomach, due to the accumulation of food, gases or liquids. When this happens, the organ twists on itself and makes it impossible for food to flow into the intestine. There is also a lack of irrigation to the stomach and spleen, and this seriously compromises circulation.

Breeds such as the German Shepherd, the Boxer, the Great Dane or the Doberman, are some of the most prone to suffer this condition due to its physical characteristics.

Why it happens?

It can occur for several reasons. Among the most common, because the dog has eaten too much and at high speed, because it goes out to exercise immediately after eating or drinking water after exercising.

The canine stomach is supported on two ligaments that, at times, may not be strong enough to hold it. And it is there when it acquires postures that are not natural, twisting on its axis.

Under normal conditions, the stomach empties from usual physiological mechanisms. When this syndrome occurs, the stomach fails to empty and begins to relax. When trying to vomit to empty it, it ends up turning on itself and twists. The resulting torsion causes the blood circulation to be interrupted, and this affects the other organs.

If it occurs, It is a serious condition that must be treated urgently to save the life of our pet.

The causes

As we have said, it can occur due to one of these circumstances:

  • Uncontrolled food or fluid intake. When the dog ingests large quantities quickly. The process can get worse if you have exercised moments before.
  • Stress can also cause gastric torsion in dogs. Either due to routine changes or situations that affect the dog and face a state of anxiety.

The symptoms to consider

Some of the signs that can give us a red alert, are the following:

  • Abdominal distention: remember that it is a problem in which the pet can not evacuate the contents of his stomach, which causes unusual swelling. In this case, the distension is usually accompanied by an unusual hardness in the abdominal area.
  • Nausea and vomiting attempts without results.
  • Change in behavior: we can notice that he is upset, restless or anxious.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Weakness, lack of appetite, depression.
  • Excessive salivation

It is essential to know and deal with the presence of these symptoms to go to the veterinarian immediately. This can make the difference between saving or not the life of our pet. Remember that this is a very serious problem that we can not deal with by our own means.

If our pet is many years old or suffers from another pathology (previous or triggered as a result of distension), the picture may be even more serious.


East depend on the situation that the animal presents, as well as your medical history.

Taking into account that there are races that are more likely to suffer from this problem, this will also be taken into consideration when supporting the diagnosis.

You are likely to go to the help of x-rays to see more clearly the situation, the state of the stomach and its degree of distension and torsion.


The transfer must be done with extreme care, avoiding the dog to move too much.

Once the diagnosis has been made, the animal will be sedated for a gastric cleaning using a gastric tube. In this way the stomach is decompressed. Possibly, to solve the torsion, it is necessary to resort to a surgical intervention and fix the stomach to the walls.

After 48 hours of operation, the evolution is usually successful.

How to care for our pet of gastric torsion in dogs

You have to bear in mind that the pet that has suffered gastric torsion, is more prone to suffer again. Therefore, and for better care, we will take these precautions:

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