The problem of gastric torsion

The subject will make most dog owners feel uncomfortable - the twisting of the stomach. This is not to be trifled with, because this situation is life-threatening for your dog. Your dog has to go to the vet IMMEDIATELY. The faster your dog gets to the vet, the greater the chance of survival. In this article you will learn what a stomach torsion is and how to prevent it.

What is a stomach twist?

As the name suggests, when your dog's stomach rotates, it rotates around its own axis, triggered by an inflation in the stomach. This inflation causes the stomach to expand and it rotates. This is possible because your dog's stomach is not connected to the abdominal cavity. You have to imagine it as follows: The stomach only hangs on two flexible straps and is additionally stabilized by the esophagus and the small intestine.

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Which dogs have stomachs turning?

Larger and older dogs are more at risk of instability than small dogs. BUT, even a completely healthy dog can get a stomach twist. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of more detailed research into the exact causes of a stomach torsion. One is certain that the gas that has built up in the stomach leads to this.
Dog owners know that their darlings shouldn't play and run around after they have eaten. In the meantime, however, this has been refuted. Still, it's not good. Just think about how you feel after a big meal - not ready for somersaults and handstands.

What can I do preventively?


  • If the bowl is on the floor and your dog has to bend over, there is less risk that your dog will ingest air while eating. Therefore, avoid increased feeding (unless the vet recommends this for health reasons).
  • Feed your dog small but several meals a day (twice a day) If you only give your dog one large meal, the stomach can expand and enlarge. If the food lies in the stomach for a longer time, this can promote the formation of gases.
  • High-fat feed can be better than high-carbohydrate feed because, unlike carbohydrates, fat inhibits microbial gas formation.
  • It is also believed that some dry food is a risk factor because dry food swells up in the stomach and the dog drinks a lot of water afterwards.

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How do I recognize a torsion in the stomach?

The symptoms can be more or less severe. If your dog shows any of the following symptoms, it's time to see the vet.

  • Your dog is restless, panting hard, sitting and lying down again and again
  • His head is hanging and your dog is showing signs of pain
  • Your dog does not eat food
  • Your dog tries to vomit or defecate, but nothing comes out because the entrance is blocked
  • The belly is inflated enough to resemble a drum
  • It can also come to a state of shock and throughout the process your dog becomes more and more immobile and listless
  • Circulatory problems due to the difficult air supply and blood flow show through pale lips

If your dog shows such symptoms, it is important to hurry. Get to the nearest vet or clinic as soon as possible. There your dog will be treated and the stomach will be properly rotated and stabilized again in an operation. After the operation, your dog should be given several small portions of food a day so that the stomach is spared and the food does not stay in the stomach for so long.

We hope that this article was helpful and we wish you and your four-legged friend that a stomach torsion never occurs.

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