Registered Standard Poodles with Bloat (GDV - gastric dilation and volvulus)

mode of inheritance: unknown

Bloat (GDV - gastric dilation and volvulus)

Bloat and torsion, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is the second most common killer of large and giant breed dogs, after cancer. In gastric dilatation, the stomach fills with air which, for some unknown reason, the dog is unable to expel. As the stomach expands, it often twists (torsion), presenting a surgical emergency. When the stomach bloats, the expansion compresses the blood supply to other organs, including the heart, and the bloating dog can go into shock as a result of low blood pressure and compromised blood supply. In torsion, or volvulus, the twisting of the stomach causes necrosis of internal organs and organ death from the lack of blood supply, resulting in the death of the dog, if not treated promptly.

Bloat can occur without torsion, and, less commonly, torsion can occur without bloat. Dogs bloat with empty stomachs as well as with full stomachs and, rather than the stomach being filled with gas, it is room air that has been found in the stomachs of bloating dogs.

Treatment of bloat, with or without torsion, consists of decompressing the stomach and performing a gastropexy, a surgical procedure in which the stomach is attached to the abdominal wall or to a rib to prevent future torsion. A gastropexy will not prevent future episodes of bloat. There are several gastropexy methods, and some of them hold better than others in future episodes of bloat. The following articles describe the different gastropexy procedures:

Prophylactic Gastropexy and Procedures
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat)

After an episode of bloat or bloat and torsion, dogs should have their hearts monitored for several days, since abnormal heart rhythms often result from bloat and torsion, causing death.

No dog will experience all the symptoms of bloat, and some symptoms may be very subtle. Dogs who are bloating are almost always very restless and uncomfortable, unable to find a comfortable position, and often pacing. They may try, usually unsuccessfully, to vomit or defecate and may drool excessively. They often pant. The normal borborygmi, or stomach sounds, will not be present during an episode of bloat. You may or may not see the stomach expand like a balloon. Anyone who suspects that her/his dog may be bloating should get the dog to a veterinarian immediately. It is not a "wait and see" disease, but a true surgical emergency. The survival of the dog depends on rapid treatment and a strong element of luck.

A large prospective GDV study was begun at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1994, headed by Larry Glickman, DVM. Although there have been many theories about the causes of bloat in Standard Poodles and other breeds--which include vaccinations, extruded kibble, kibble fermenting, exercise after meals, drinking large quantities of water, nasal mites, genetics, genetic predisposition, and physical structure--none of them has been proven to be the cause. Many of the early and later findings of the Purdue research team have not withstood their own longer-term scrutiny. Some of the theories which they have come up with that are still in place in the late summer of 2004 are that feeding from raised food bowls, eating one large meal rather than more frequent smaller meals, eating quickly, and having a nervous temperament may contribute to bloat. These findings may not stand the test of time, either.

The late John Armstrong, PhD, professor of genetics at the University of Ottawa, believed that much of the bloat seen in Standard Poodles was caused by a dominant gene and that 50% of standards who had one parent who had bloated would themselves bloat. Dr. Armstrong put up a bloat pedigree analysis of Wycliffe dogs at

Many Standard Poodle owners are having prophylactic gastropexies done on their dogs at the same time the dogs are spayed and neutered. A veterinarian and Great Dane (the breed on the top of the bloat list) breeder recommends the following procedure for a belt loop gastropexy that is unlikely to tear away in a future bloat episode:

"The easiest and most effective ’pexy procedure to prevent GDV for a lone surgeon to accomplish is to incise the outer muscle layer of the stomach in the antrum (when it is in the normal anatomical position), incise a corresponding layer of muscle on the belly wall 2 or 3 cm. to the right of midline, and suture the layers together with a continuous PDS suture, making the two incisions ‘kiss.’ A 2 to 3 cm. incision in the stomach and belly wall is about the right length. I have done this numerous times in the last 10 years with no GDV occurring post-surgery and without experiencing any adhesion breakdown. Using this method I have had no recurrences of bloat in dogs which had come for emergency surgery with GDV either (about 20 cases). The "around the rib" muscle pedicle surgery is difficult for a single surgeon and takes too much time IMHO."

Registered Standard Poodles:

Ch Trelarken's Jammin' To Jenaco (Ch. Lake Cove That's My Boy X Ch. Trelarken's Antarctica)
Ch CanTif's Dark Wind (Ch Wessex Celebration x Ch CanTif Glowing In The Wind)
Ch Dacha Helen (Ch Eaton Deryabar Dynamic x Ch Dacha Gypsy)
Woola of Barsoom, OA AXJ TD (Ch Peckerwood's Man From Larmarka x Ch Peckerwood's Victoria Secret)
Galeforce Gilded Lily (Ch Landmark Country Spellbound x Landmark Country Classic)
Bay Breeze Bob Dylan (Ch Wycliffe Herald x Bay Breeze's Paloma)
Nevermore Foss (Ch Nevermore Douglas x Ch Nevermore Vaughan)
Blue Skies Theodore (Ch Eaton Affirmed x Ch Gorgis On The Road Again CD)

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