Keyhole Laparoscopic Procedure for Prevention of GDV (Bloat)


Keyhole Laparoscopic Procedure for Prevention of GDV (Bloat)

What is GDV?

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus Complex, more commonly known as ‘bloat’, is a life-threatening condition. Even if veterinary attention is sought immediately, up to 45% of animals die despite treatment. Without treatment, it is invariably fatal. Simply put – the stomach twists and rapidly fills with gas and fluid. As the stomach enlarges it compresses many major blood vessels in the abdomen, cutting off the blood supply to vital organs and sending the animal into severe shock. Treatment consists of stabilizing the animal and performing emergency surgery, followed by several days in hospital if successful. As well as having a high mortality rate, GDV is notoriously expensive to treat with many owners facing large veterinary bills.

What causes the stomach to twist?

The simple answer is that we don’t know, however, several possible risk factors have been identified. Being aware of the below factors is useful, however, the only way to eliminate the risk entirely is through a surgical procedure called gastropexy.

Large/Giant breed dogs are at higher risk, however, GDV has been reported in most small breeds, and even in cats. A list of high-risk breeds is below.

o Afghan Hounds
o Akita
o Alaskan Malamute
o Bernese Mountain Dog
o Blood Hound
o Boxer
o Doberman
o Great Dane
o German Shepherd
o Golden Retriever
o Gordon Setter
o Irish Wolfhand
o Irish Setter
o Labrador
o Newfoundland
o Poodle (standard)
o Rottweiler
o Sharpei
o St Bernard
o Weimaraner
• Only feeding one meal per day
• Feeding a single food type
• A recent stressful or exciting event such as a car ride or staying in kennels
• Having a nervous temperament
• Eating from a raised food bowl
• Exercise after eating

How common is GDV in dogs?

In large breed dogs an incidence of 6%, or about 1 in 20, has been reported.


In this procedure, a small portion of the stomach is attached to the body wall. Once attached it is no longer possible for the stomach to twist thus eliminating the risk of developing GDV or ‘bloat’. Traditionally this has required major open abdominal surgery, causing many owners to question if it was worth doing. However, we are happy to announce that we can perform this procedure through laparoscopic or ‘keyhole’ surgery. This massively reduces the pain and risk of complications following the procedure, as well as shortening surgery time.
We generally recommend performing gastropexy in high risk dogs at the time of desexing (however it can be performed at any age). Since we perform the procedure laparoscopically, it doesn’t matter if your dog is male or female.


The cost of a laparoscopic gastropexy will vary, depending on whether your dog is already being anaesthetized for another procedure such as castration or spey. Please contact us on 9516 0234 to organize a free veterinary consult to assess your dog’s risk and discuss if this procedure is suitable for your dog.