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Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a condition that is centered initially in the stomach, but eventually can affect the entire body. Some problems that can result are:

  • Shock and cardiovascular complications
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Injured spleen
  • Secondary infection
  • Heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats). The arrhythmias are caused by poor oxygenation to the heart (myocardial ischemia), release of toxins, electrolyte abnormalities, acid-base abnormalities, and gastric receptor stimulation.
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Gastric necrosis
  • Gastric ulceration
  • Recurrence of dilation and/or volvulus

    These problems can persist even as the GDV is successfully resolved. Other medical problems can lead to symptoms similar to those encountered in GDV, and it is important to exclude these conditions before establishing a definite diagnosis. They are:

  • Gastric dilation without volvulus
  • Gluttony bloat (gastric distention from overeating)
  • Aerophagia, which is swallowing air due to difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
  • Ascites, or fluid accumulation in the abdomen
  • Torsion of the spleen
  • Diaphragmatic hernia with stomach herniation

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