Animal Doctor provides gastropexy surgery (stomach tacking). We accept referrals and provide second opinions.

Description: GASTROPEXY is a surgical procedure performed in large and giant breed dogs that tacks the stomach to the right side of the body wall, preventing the stomach from twisting and leading to GDV (gastric
dilatation-volvulus). This procedure can be performed prophylactically at the time of a spay or neuter, or it is performed on an emergency basis when a dog develops GDV to prevent further episodes.

Symptoms & What to look for: Acute abdominal distention or pain after eating / drinking, retching without vomiting, abdominal discomfort, excessive salivation.

How does it happen? GDV (gastric dilatation-volvulus) is an acute life-threatening condition most common in deep chested large or giant breed dogs, where the stomach fills with large amounts of air then twists around, cutting off the entrance (esophagus) and exit (intestine) to the stomach. This compromises the blood supply leading to necrosis (death) of the gastrointestinal tissues. The spleen can also become entrapped. This
leads to significant detrimental effects on blood pressure and overall health status. Without emergency treatment, GDV is fatal. Common breeds effected: Akita, Collie, Irish Setter, Rottweiler, Standard Poodle,
Blood Hound, Weimaraner, Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Newfoundland.

What questions do we ask?

  • Is your pet a deep chested large or giant breed dog?
  • Is there a history of prior bloat or GDV?
  • Is there a history of a first order relative (parent or sibling) with GDV?
  • Are you planning on spaying or neutering?

How do we arrive at a diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan?

  • We evaluate each case and patient separately based on breed, genetic history, size, and prior medical

Animal Doctor Gastropexy surgery potential treatment plans?

  • Schedule a spay or neuter at one year of age to include the prophylactic gastropexy. This does involve
    general anesthesia and a midline abdominal incision in a male dog, and extended abdominal incision in
    female dogs.
    • Rest and exercise restriction for 7 to 10 days postoperatively.
    • Oral anti-inflammatory medications (Gabapentin, Tramadol), and often oral antibiotics and oral
      antianxiety medications as well.
    • E-collar is dispensed to prevent licking of the abdominal incision.

What are the risks if prophylactic gastropexy surgery is not performed?

Particularly with large or giant breed, deep chested dogs, increasing age (younger for giant breeds),
show an increased risk of GDV. Other risk factors include feeding one meal daily, feeding from an
elevated bowl, limiting water intake before and after meals, and those dogs that are more stressed,
anxious, or hyperactive. Also at increased risk are those dogs that have experienced a previous dilatation
and/or volvulus of the stomach, or have a parent or sibling that has experienced GDV.