Twisted Stomachs in Huntaways

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.