LAST UPDATE: 10/16/2004


(Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus)

If you've visited my other bloat webpages, then you know that bloat can be the most horrendous medical emergency that you and your dog may ever face. What follows are excerpts from an article in the October 2004 edition of the AKC's Gazette magazine discussing not-yet-published information from Purdue University's ongoing study of GDV. Even in you're familiar with bloat and with the conventional wisdom regarding bloat prevention, please read on. Purdue University's most recent research flies in the face of some of the more commonly accepted things to do to prevent bloat. (I've italicized that information to emphasize it.)

GDV is the second leading cause of death in large breed (50 to 90 pounds) and giant breed (100 pounds and over) dogs. Approximately one in four large breed dogs and one in five giant breed dogs may develop GDV during their linfetime, with some breeds at even higher lifetime risk. GDV strikes suddenly and has a mortality rate as high as 30 percent.

IN GDV there is a rapid accumulation of air in the stomach, causing distention and often rotation of the stomach, cutting off blood supply at both ends and causing the dog to into shock. GDV is an acute emergency and rushing the dog to immediate veterinay care is essential. The risk of a dog developing GDV increases with age. Other factors that increase a dog's risk are having a first-generation relative with a history of GDV, having a deep and narrow chest or abdomen, being thin, experiencing a major health problem before age 1, and having a fearful or nervous temperament.

Research primarily at Purdue University has identified a number of feeding management and dietary factors that increase the risk of GDV. These include eating only one meal a day, feeding only dry dog food, feeding food with only small particles , and feeding a large volume of food per meal. Other feeding factors found to INCREASE the risk of GDV were eating rapidly, increased physical activity before and after eating, restricting water intake before and after eating, moistening dry food before feeding and eating from a raised feeding bowl. Thus, some of the recommendations commonly made to prevent GDV were shown by research to actually increase the risk of GDV.


Recent research not yet published has shown an increased risk of GDV in dogs who consumed dry foods containing fat among the first four ingredients, and an increased risk in dogs who consumed dry foods listing citric acid as a preservative -- with this risk rising when foods with citric acid were moistened. Although not statistically significant, researchers found that a modest increase in risk of GDV was seen with the consumption of dry foods that listed more than one corn ingredient among the first four label ingredients, while in contrast, a pattern was observed of decreased GDV risk with an increasing number of protein ingredients of animal origin, including beef, poultry, lamb and fish among the first four ingredients.

Based on all of the GDV research to date, recommendations for owners of large and giant-breed dogs include:

Random thoughts that came to my mind after reading this new information: