GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome)
Unfortunately, this is an extremely common cause of loss of working dogs, especially Huntaways. Warning signs a dog is developing a twisted stomach are discomfort, panting, bloating, and reluctance to work or even walk around.
Dogs with a twisted stomach require emergency surgery to untwist the stomach and 'fix' it back in the correct location to prevent re-occurrence. The faster you get a dog with a twisted gut to the vets, the more likely it can be saved! The chance of survival reduces dramatically as hours pass. The prognosis for younger dogs that survive a twisted gut is really good for getting back into work.
Reducing the Risk:
- Feed dogs smaller meals, twice daily. Big meals and engorgements are risk factors.
- Avoid workings dogs too soon after feeding. Morning feeding may not be practical if dogs are working early.
- Avoid stress during feeding - feed dogs separately.
- Do not use an elevated feed bowl.
- Avoid breeding from dogs with a first degree relative that has a history of the condition.
- For high risk huntaways, surgery to 'fix' the stomach in place can be considered as a preventative measure. Contact the Veterinary Centre if you wish to discuss this option further.