Cooper: Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Survival Story and a Warning

Those who own a large, deep-chested breed and don't know what gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), aka bloat, is, go stand in a corner and don't come out for the rest of the day. After that, please go read up on it.

I am sure, or at least hope, that does not include you. You are familiar with this horrible emergency and take every precaution to prevent it, right?

There is a little clarity about what causes GDV, though.

The body conformation is a risk factor. Other things that can contribute might be age, stress levels, feeding habits as well as some ingredients. In general, bloat is being connected to eating one large meal of kibble a day, how fast is eaten, and what time before and after the meal the dog exercises or plays.

Cooper had his meal early in the morning, long enough before his afternoon playtime.

It was a hot day, and Cooper and his buddies had a great time playing with a hose.

You've seen dogs having fun this way before. Attacking the water, bouncing around barking. The perfect activity for hot weather.

Everybody was having a great time until Cooper suddenly look like he was not feeling so well. Perhaps he just overdid the play?

All the fun and games became a deadly situation quickly. 

Cooper drank swallowed too much water too fast and was too active that is caused his stomach to twist.

When this happens, the stomach expands, and twists up and starts to cut off blood flow to neighboring organs. It is one of the most deadly things that can happen to a dog.

GDV kills on average 40,000 dogs a year. 33% of dogs who get this injury do not survive.

This can happen with eating too fast, too much water, activity after eating & drinking and so many more things that dogs do on an everyday basis.

If your dog becomes restless, starts dry heaving, pacing, or has a distended stomach to start packing up the car.

Understanding the significance of these signs saved Cooper's life. Cooper's mom knew something was wrong and they rushed him to the only vet open.

If they waited any longer, Cooper would have died or had permanent damage to his organs.

Time is of the essence when it comes to bloat

There is no treatment at home! If you suspect bloat, rush to a vet. It will save your dog's life. 75 % of dogs who get to the vet within the first hour or two survive.

But prepare for a big bill as the average cost of bloat surgery is $2500-$5000 depending on location and how bad of damage has been done.

Don't forget Cooper's story. Bloat can happen any timeime! Know the signs so you can save your dog's life should this happen to them.

Cooper had the life-saving surgery and is recovering well.

Read Cooper's original story here.

Related articles:
Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV): What Causes It?
Gastric dilatation and volvulus: Rip Barbie

Do you have a story to share?
Your story can help others, maybe even save a life!

What were the first signs you noticed? How did your dog get diagnosed? What treatment did/didn't work for you? What was your experience with your vet(s)? How did you cope with the challenges?

Email me, I'll be happy to hear from you.

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Do you know what your dog is telling you about their health?

Learn how to detect and interpret the signs of a potential problem.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is an award-winning guide to help you better understand what your dog is telling you about their health and how to best advocate for them. 

Learn how to see and how to think about changes in your dog’s appearance, habits, and behavior. Some signs that might not trigger your concern can be important indicators that your dog needs to see a veterinarian right away. Other symptoms, while hard to miss, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or limping, are easy to spot but can have a laundry list of potential causes, some of them serious or even life-threatening. 

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog is a dog health advocacy guide 101. It covers a variety of common symptoms, including when each of them might be an emergency. 

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