The gastric torsion in dogs is a typical syndrome of large breeds (German Shepherd, Great Dane, Giant Schnauzer, Saint Bernard, Dobermann, etc.) in which there is a major strain and torsion of the stomach, a consequence of the accumulation of gases, liquids or foods .

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The ligaments of the stomach can not withstand stomach dilation, causing the stomach to twist on the shaft. Under normal conditions, the dog’s stomach empties its contents by its own physiological mechanisms, but in this case, the animal can not empty the contents and the stomach begins to dilate. As a result, the dog tries to vomit to expel the contents of the stomach and this ends up turning on itself, completely obstructing the orifices that connect it with the esophagus and the intestine. By twisting, the arteries, veins, and blood vessels in the digestive tract are compressed and, as a result, the bloodstream is interrupted and some organs cease to function. It is a serious disease that if not treated in time can cause the death of the animal.

Continue reading this YourCatCareguide article to know all about gastric twisting in dogs , their symptoms and treatment.

Causes of Gastric Torsion in Dogs

Although gastric twitches can occur in any race, they are the largest who are more likely to suffer from it, and also those with a deep chest, such as the medium Poodle and the Boxer . It is also one of the most common diseases of Weimaraner .

The causes of this problem are as follows:

  • Large intake of food or liquids : the animal ingests a lot of food or liquids quickly and after performing physical exercise. It is typical of young, large breed dogs. In older dogs it is usually caused by an accumulation of air that can not be excreted physiologically.
  • Stress : can occur in dogs that are easily stressed due to changes in their routine, coupling, excessive excitement, etc.
  • Family history of gastric twist .

Symptoms of Gastric Torsion in Dogs

Since this disease can occur in any dog ​​and should receive the necessary care as soon as possible, it is important to know the symptoms to be able to act on time. In this way, the most common signs that indicate that a dog may be suffering from a stomach dilatation or gastric torsion are:

  • Attempts to vomit unsuccessfully and nausea : The animal tries to vomit but can not do so.
  • Anxiety and restlessness : The dog moves constantly and becomes restless.
  • Abundant salivation .
  • Dilated abdomen : A dilatation of the abdomen is observed.
  • Difficulty breathing .
  • Weakness, depression and lack of appetite .

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms you should immediately take him to the vet as he may be suffering from an episode of gastric dilatation and twisting.


The veterinarian makes the diagnosis of twisting or gastric dilatation in function of the clinical symptoms that the dog presents and some additional characteristics. The breed and history of the dog may support the diagnosis, since, as we mentioned before, this disease is more frequent in some breeds of dogs and in dogs that have suffered from it before.

X-rays are also usually used to confirm this diagnosis. The radiograph allows you to see clearly whether the stomach is distended or not. In addition, if the stomach has rotated, the pylorus (orifice that connects the stomach to the intestine) is displaced from its normal position.


There are no home remedies or tricks you can apply, before the dog’s gastric twist you should go to the vet immediately as it is an urgency in which the dog’s life is at risk.

Try to tinker with care until you get to the veterinarian you trust, as well as you should stop him from messing too much. The veterinarian will sedate the animal and will give you fluids and antibiotics. A procedure will be performed in order to extract the contents of the stomach with a gastric tube that will be placed in the mouth of the animal and the stomach will be washed. Finally, a surgery will be performed, in which the stomach will be fixed to the abdominal wall (gastropexy), to reduce the risk of another twist.

The prognosis varies depending on the severity of the disease. When dilation and torsion is treated early, the prognosis is usually favorable. However, if necrosis has started to occur, the mortality rate is high even after surgery. Dogs that are more than 48 hours after the operation usually have a good chance of surviving. Therefore, it is essential to consult a veterinary medical center as soon as possible, failing which your pet may die in a few hours.


Especially in the summer it is very important to be prepared and informed in order to avoid a possible gastric torsion, here are some advices:

  • Divide the food : this is to prevent our pet ingesting large quantities of food. The goal is to spread the food throughout the day.
  • Avoid drinking lots of water followed : especially after meals.
  • Restrict exercise : Prevent heavy physical activity before and after meals, giving a 2-hour margin.
  • Do not provide food in the late evening .
  • Do not stress the animal while eating : we must let the animal eat calmly and without stress.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles similar to gastric torsion in dogs – Symptoms and treatment , we recommend you to come into our section of other health problems .

    Emily Harris

    Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-pI am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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