Ernie's emergency...

Posted: 13th April 2018

Ernie is a 7 years old Labrador, who was seen on Wednesday afternoon as an emergency appointment.

Suddenly Uncomfortable

Ernie was brought straight from a walk to Vale Vets, as he was suddenly very uncomfortable and retching repeatedly without bringing anything up...


Radiographs of his abdomen showed a gastric dilation and volvulus - GDV (bloated and twisted stomach).

Ernie was treated very promptly and as soon as he was stable, surgery was performed. His stomach was decompressed, de-rotated and sutured back into normal position.

He was hospitalised for 2 days and made a fantastic recovery. This is a photo of him at his first post-operative check, he is eating very well and rapidly recovering.

Positive Outcome...

We believe that Ernie had such a positive outcome because he was brought to us immediately and we were able to treat him before he became too sick.

GDV generally affect medium to large size dogs, middle-aged to older dogs are at the greatest risk. There can be a genetic predisposition, but it is believed to be related to postprandial exercise, especially following ingestion of large meals. For this reason we recommend to split your dog’s meal into two or three parts and don’t exercise him for at least 2 hour after food.

Dogs with GDV can present with retching, hypersalivation, and a painful and distended abdomen. They are often breathing very fast, taking shallow breaths and can collapse and die suddenly. If your dog present any of these signs contact the practice immediately, this could save his/her life!

Preventive Measures:

Gastropexy – suturing the stomach into place- can be performed to decrease the risk of GDV. Prophylactic gastropexy at the time of neutering or during any abdominal surgery may be considered for at-risk breeds

Ernie's emergency...
Ernie's emergency...

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Telephone: 01453 542092


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At Vale Vets we have experienced staff on the premises around the clock every day of the year. This enables us to deal with surgical and medical emergencies that arise during the night, as well as continued monitoring and care of hospitalised and ill patients.