Weighing in at a healthy 50kg, Cooper, a lovely 2-year boy, visited Pride Veterinary Centre earlier this year to be castrated. At the same time, an elective gastropexy was also carried out. A gastropexy is a procedure where the stomach is sutured to the body wall.
Why was a gastropexy carried out? Given that Cooper is a large, deep chested cross breed, he was at risk of developing a condition called Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (GDV) – this term describes a very serious and life-threatening condition in which the stomach fills with gas and then twists. This then blocks the entrance and exit to the stomach and can compromise the blood vessels causing shock. Signs that can be seen with a GDV are a swollen abdomen, excessive drooling and trying to be sick but not bringing anything up, often leading to collapse. The only treatment for a GDV is surgery. This is to reposition the stomach to its normal place. Often, we are presented with very poorly and critical patients, so it is a very high-risk procedure and unfortunately some dogs don’t survive.
This is why Cooper underwent this preventative procedure at the same time as his castration. Although it meant a longer anaesthetic for Cooper, his owners felt it was important to try and prevent a life-threatening problem and him needing emergency surgery in the future. With Cooper being young, fit, healthy and closely monitored under his anaesthetic, it meant that he recovered quickly from his surgery and was able to go home the same day.
If you have a large breed dog, especially those that are deep chested and would like to discuss this procedure, please do not hesitate to contact Pride Veterinary Centre.