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Gastric dilatation / Torsion

Common diseases - Gastric dilatation / Torsion

Stomach dilatation occurs when this organ distends excessively with air, liquid or food. The stomach can remain distended in its normal position or twist around itself.

torsion-gastrique-1.jpgThe exact cause for this condition is unknown. It seems that intense exercise following a meal could precipitate torsion. It has also been suggested that multiple dilatations could lead to torsion. Stress (hospitalization, pension, etc.) could also be a cause.

The problem is mostly encountered among large breed dogs with a deep thorax, but occasionally it can also be seen in small breeds.

This is a medical emergency!

Here are the clinical signs (symptoms) that you may notice:

  • Repeated non-productive efforts, excessive salivation
  • Abdominal distension, discomfort
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Weakness, depression
  • Weakness, depression

If you notice any of these signs, quickly consult your veterinarian!torsion-gastrique-2.jpg

Following the physical exam, an abdomen X-ray could confirm gastric dilatation/torsion suspicion. Afterwards, one must try to decompress the stomach with, for example, the help of the passing of a gastric tube. Analgesics, intravenous solutions, antibiotics will be started quickly. In the case of torsion, surgery must be done as soon as possible. The stomach will then be repositioned and fixed (gastropexy) to avoid torsion recurrence.

Your pet will remain hospitalized and will be closely monitored during the postoperative period. Then, gradually, it can begin to be fed again with frequent small meals. Ingestion of large amounts of water after a meal and exercise also after a meal have to be avoided.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to help you!