Can a Dog's Stomach Turn Upside Down?

by Susan Paretts Google
    Bloat typically affects large dogs more than small ones.

    Bloat typically affects large dogs more than small ones.

    Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

    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.

    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.

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    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.

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