Meet Winston, an 11-year old black Dachshund. He presented to Miami Veterinary Specialists last Friday with an acute abdominal distention (enlarged belly). Abdominal distention occurs in dogs when gases or fluids accumulate and cause an abnormal expansion of the stomach. According to his owners, he was perfectly fine on Thursday night before going to sleep. However, on Friday morning he had become very lethargic and had a swollen stomach. They were very worried about him and were not able to figure out what could possibly have happened.
Winston was seen by Dr. Laura D’Amico, one of our board-certified surgeons, who diagnosed him with a Gastric Dilatation-Volvus (GDV). GDV (also known as a bloat) is a rapidly progressive life-threatening condition in canines where the stomach dilates and starts to expand, making it turn on itself. The increased pressure and size of the stomach could lead to fatal consequences, including the rupture of the stomach wall.
Dr. D’Amico carefully discussed the seriousness of his condition with Winston’s owners. An emergency surgery was suggested. A successful gastropexy was performed by Dr. D’Amico with the help of Dr. Samson Daniel. A gastropexy is a surgical procedure in which the stomach is sutured to the abdominal wall to prevent the stomach from turning on itself again. The stomach was also decompressed and lavaged before placing it back to its normal position.
Just 3 days after surgery, Winston was able to go back home to his family! He is already on an excellent path to recovery and was sent home with pain medication and strict orders of cage rest.