General Health

Stick House

Bernese

BMD Breeders

Since 2002

Information and links about health issues seen in larger breed dogs

Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (Bloat):

GDV stands for Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus. It is also commonly referred to as bloat or gastric torsion. GDV is a life-threatening condition of dogs in which their stomach twists and distends with gas (torsion).  

 

A dog with simple bloat can relieve himself through belching. Puppies, for example, tend to eat their food very quickly and swallow lots of air in the process. Their tummies become bloated and they belch to relieve the pressure. Sometimes they even throw up. Their stomachs return to a normal size as they expel all that excess air and gas.  If your dog has full GDV, it means both the entry to and exit from the stomach have been pinched off by the torsion. There’s no way your pet can expel the air built up in his belly.  

Risk factors vary and are hotly debated in the vet community.  One factor that seems fairly agreed upon is how fast your dog eats. If they wolf down their meals and swallows lots of air in the process, it can be a significant contributing factor to the development of GDV.  

 

Some methods to prevent bloat:

1.  Prevent Berners from eating too fast, by:

  • Avoid single, large meals.  They associate this as the only meal they will get, and eat it faster.

  • Avoid competition at mealtime between dogs.

  • Avoid exercise immediately after meals. 

  • Using feeders that facilitate slower eating.  

The following guide is a great resource for identifying causes, symptoms and treatment for bloat:

 

Bloat Reference Guide