Gastropexy? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Gastropexy?

None of my german shepherds have ever been tacked, I just don't see it ENOUGH in the breed to have it done unless they were in for another surgery.

However my surgical crew is telling me I should get it done on my pup laparoscopically so it's very invasive. It would be a board certified surgeon, very quick recovery time. The only reason I would do it is because I'm planning on competing in Schutzhund, possibly agility, and I feel with the level of activity and body contortion there is a higher chance then my couch potato older boy.

Any opinions from the schutzhund world? Do you see torsion as a problem in dogs that aren't tacked? Do you even know dogs that have had the procedure?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 09:19 AM
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I know of a few dogs that have had it done, but bloat is no more of a problem in the working dog world than in the breed as a whole.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 10:49 AM
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In another thread, "torsion" and "bloat" are two different things. I don't know the distinction.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 11:00 AM
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I've never done it but I am careful with food and water intake before/after lots of activity, flyball actually moreso than SchH because the dog is basically sprinting and tugging nonstop for 10 minutes or so (I also walk my dogs around to cool off before I put them up). I also keep Gas-X in my dog first aid kit (among LOTS of other stuff).
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Trotter View Post
In another thread, "torsion" and "bloat" are two different things. I don't know the distinction.

I think bloat is when the gas builds up (could be bad but can also resolve on its own) and torsion is when the stomach actually flips (very bad, potentially fatal, must be surgically corrected immediately).
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 11:02 AM
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Bloating is when the stomach fills with gas - torsion is when the gut flips and constricts therefore cutting off blood supply to vital organs. Torsion is when it gets serious and life threatening.

If you are worried, you could have a prophylactic gastropexy done. Dog can still bloat, but the stomach will not torsion which reduces the chances of complications after a bloating episode.

I have dogs in the sport, and I would not tack "just because". I worry more about bloat during shows when the dogs run for long periods in the hot sun and people can sometimes be foolish about giving water or not cooling the dog down properly after a heavy session.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 12:26 PM
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So then bloat is actually a symptom of torsion?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2013, 12:30 PM
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No they are 2 different events that occur - Gut fills with excessive gas that cannot be released or expressed and IF torsion occurs, the gut twists and then tissue starts to die off as necrosis sets in from lack of blood supply. Your dog can still bloat if you do a gastropexy, however you would simply have to give the dog gas-x or release the gas with a tube inserted into the gut. Without the gastropexy, bloat signals impending disaster because you will be racing to beat the torsion - might not happen, but you won't know until the dog is scanned.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Bloat is when the stomach fills with gas. Torsion is when the stomach flips. A stomach can flip whenever, however a dog that frequently bloats, or a bloated stomach will be predisposed to flip. And yes, bloating is also a symptom of torsion, when the stomach is flipped gas builds up and can not be released, therefor bloat.

You can have other kinds of bloat that ISN'T gas. Food bloat. For example, 30lb-ish lab puppy decided to eat the entire remainder of the bag of dog food. Came in bloated, xrays revealed a stomach full of food (kibble expands when wet. We made the dog vomit up the kibble, even though most vets will just leave is because despite being uncomfortable in most cases THAT is not life-threatening. When we weighed the vomit/kibble, it weighed 8 lbs!

Good reasons dogs eating a larger amount of kibble should be fed several smaller meals a day, and dogs shouldn't exercise right after eating.

~Emergency Vet Tech

Berlin vom Spartanville, BH, OB1 1/13/13
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2013, 12:21 PM
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Gastropexy?

My male, Odin, had the procedure done while we already had him under and opened up during an exploratory surgery last year. I had originally rushed him to emergency thinking he was bloating, but he ended up having a blockage instead.

Is it a surgery I would opt for on its own if my dog wasn't already having something done? Possibly. While I try to take every precaution I can to prevent the situation, it's not going to be 100%.


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