Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastric Dilatation/Volvulus

Animals Affected – Dog

(Bloat, Gastric Torsion)

General Information

Gastric dilatation/volvulus is a life-threatening disease characterized by a tremendous ballooning (dilatation) of the stomach with gas and frothy material. Dilatation may be followed by twisting of the stomach (volvulus) that closes both the inlet and outlet of the stomach. As swelling continues, shock develops as the swollen stomach blocks return of blood from the abdomen to the heart. Widespread tissue damage and kidney failure occur and death from respiratory and cardiac arrest soon follows.

While most cases occur in large, deep-chested dogs, small dogs are occasionally affected. The disorder appears suddenly in apparently healthy dogs. The cause is unknown, but the condition is complex and multiple causes are suspected.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Prompt treatment is essential to a successful outcome. Irreversible damage can occur in a surprisingly short time. For this reason, many affected dogs die before treatment can be given.
2. Surgery is necessary in all cases of gastric volvulus  and must be done very quickly.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

  • Upon arrival, owners can call us from the curb in front of the clinic and we will have a technician assistant come to your car and bring your pet inside.
  • From here, your pet will be examined and the doctor will develop a treatment plan which he will then communicate via phone with the owner.
  • At the end of the visit, an invoice will be brought out to your car and payment can be taken via phone.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.