A medical condition called gastric dilation and volvulus syndrome can cause a dog's stomach to turn upside down. This condition typically affects older large and giant dog breeds and those with deep chests. While the cause of GVD can vary, it is always a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary care.
Can a Dog's Stomach Turn Upside Down?
Gastric Dilation and Volvulus
Gastric dilation and volvulus, more commonly referred to as bloat, occurs when a dog's stomach fills with gas or fluid, causing it to rotate anywhere from 90 to 360 degrees, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. Once this happens, blood circulation to the stomach and spleen is cut off, further causing the stomach to swell. The swollen, upside-down stomach then puts pressure on the dog's diaphragm, which prevents proper breathing. Without veterinary care your pooch can die of this condition in a matter of hours, and bloat is fatal in 25 to 33 percent of cases, warns PetEducation.com.
Causes and Treatment
Dogs who eat or drink rapidly, are fed only one large meal daily or are fed right before or after strenuous exercise may experience bloat, warns Dr. Ron Hines of the 2ndchance.info website. A pup with GVD will have a distended stomach, try to vomit, drool excessively or collapse. Your vet can stabilize your pup's condition, remove the trapped gas or fluid from his stomach and then perform surgery to position the stomach correctly, according to petMD. She may even surgically secure the stomach in place to prevent a relapse of GVD.
By Susan Paretts
2ndchance.info: Gastric Dilatation/Volvulus (GDV), Stomach Bloat and Torsion
Purdue University Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory: Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus in Dogs
petMD: Bloat or Stomach Dilatation in Dogs
The Merck Veterinary Manual: Gastric Dilation and Volvulus in Small Animals (Bloat)
PetEducation.com: Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) in Dogs
About the Author
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.