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Canine Gastropexy: How to Prevent Dog Bloat

March 27th, 2017 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

Jamie talks to AJ, her rottie, in a field. Deep-chested dogs, like rottweilers, are prone to dog bloat.

When chatting with other pet parents, you may hear of dogs that have battled “dog bloat”

Dog bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach rotates inside its abdomen.

The twist cuts off the blood and oxygen supply to the dog’s stomach and spleen. Your dog’s stomach fills with gases.

As you can imagine, it’s very serious.

Our Castle Rock veterinarians have created this article to share an option for preventing dog bloat.

It’s a procedure called canine gastropexy.

Essentially, we attach your dog’s stomach to the side of his or her body well, so it can’t flip.

It prevents a “twisted stomach” (known as gastro dilatation volvulus — or GDV, for short).

Is canine gastropexy right for your dog?

It depends how proactive you like to be with your dog’s health.

Here are the key things to consider, so you can decide whether it’s right for your pet family.

Frisco, Dillon and Aspen all had canine gastropexy. Now they can go on dog adventures without worry!

Which dogs are at higher risk for dog bloat?

Deep-chested dog breeds and large dogs tend to be at higher risk.

We’ve seen dog bloat in breeds such as:

  • Great Danes
  • Dobermans
  • German Shepherds
  • Swiss Mountain Dogs
  • Rottweilers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers

Dog bloat isn’t solely size-dependent, though.

It’s also common in breeds such as:

  • Bulldogs
  • Basset Hounds

How does preventive care compare to emergency surgery?

Typically, a preventive procedure costs two to three times less than emergency surgery.

With a preventive procedure, recovery is very similar to recovering from a spay or neuter.

Your dog will be back to his or her normal energy level within a day or two.

With emergency surgery, there tends to be more post-operation care required — often, a two- to three-day hospital stay.

There also can be complications.

If you choose our veterinarians for emergency surgery, we’ll likely perform the surgery and then send your dog to a 24-hour animal hospital for around-the-clock monitoring.

Madeline hugs two golden retriever puppies.

Should my dog get a canine gastropexy?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question.

It depends on how much risk you want to take on and your budget.

If you have a high-risk breed, our veterinarians may recommend canine gastropexy as a preventive procedure.

It’s something that can be done at the same time your dog is spayed or neutered.

If you like to be proactive with your dog’s health and the thought of your dog’s stomach flipping scares you, it’s something you may want to consider.

If you’re very in tune with your dog’s health and prefer to react when something happens, it may not be the right fit for you.

 Let’s chat about your dog

Want to discuss whether this preventive procedure makes sense for your pup? If you live in Castle Rock or the Denver area, call us at 303-688-3757 or:

Book your visit here 

What are signs of dog bloat?

If you see any of the following signs of dog bloat, call a veterinarian immediately:

  • Retching (your dog is going through the movement of vomiting, but nothing is coming up)
  • Excessive salivation
  • A bloated abdomen (it’s filling full of gas)

If left untreated, your dog will collapse, go into shock and die.

Depending on the degree of the twist, this can happen in as little as an hour or two.

While there are different theories on what contributes to dog bloat (such as stress or eating too quickly), veterinary researchers don’t know the exact causes for dog bloat.

For more on canine gastropexy and dog bloat…

Ask our Castle Rock veterinarians on your next visit or check out this article from Vet Street: Should I worry about bloat in my dog?


Tips from a Castle Rock veterinarian: 8 tips to keep your dog safe & happy in Castle Rock


Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on whether to consider a canine gastropexy to prevent dog bloat. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)

© 2017, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

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