Meet Penny, our Pismo Beach Vet “Pet of the Week.”
Penny is a nearly ten and a half year old lab mix and a super sweet girl!
After picking her up from a boarding facility, Penny drank a huge amount of water and the owner’s noticed that soon after she became uncomfortable, was panting excessively, and had a distended belly. She was brought in to Pismo Beach Vet and diagnosed with gastrointestinal dilatation and volvulus (GDV) – basically bloating and twisting of the stomach.
This may seem like Deja-Vu as our technician Julie’s dog Brie had the same problem two weeks ago (link here). For those of you that have seen “Marley and Me,” you may recognize this condition. GDV is a life threatening emergency that requires immediate surgery (Marley actually may have been saved if they had done surgery on him).
Penny was taken immediately to surgery, where her stomach was rotated back into normal position and a procedure called a gastropexy was performed to attach her stomach to her body wall (thus preventing her from twisting again in the future). She was transferred to the Central Coast Pet ER for overnight care and monitoring and discharged the next day, doing much better. Penny continued to be somewhat weak for several days but now is back to her normal self!
GDV is a fairly common condition of large and deep chested breeds, especially those over 90 pounds, affecting as many as 20% at some point in their life. Standard Poodles, Great Danes, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Labrador Retrievers are some of the most commonly affected dogs. The good news is that it is possible to prevent GDV from happening with a simple procedure called a gastropexy that is often performed at the time of spay or neuter.