at 1800 S Robertson Blvd # 4, Los Angeles, 90035 United States
We are a progressive and full service small animal veterinary practice in Los Angeles. Our mission is to care for your pets as we do for ours.
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I recommend all read this article especially if you own a large breed dog: GASTRIC DILATATION AND VOLVULUS (GDV) What is GDV? Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) is a life threatening disorder most commonly seen in large, deep-chested dogs. The term refers to a gas-filled stomach (bloat) that then twists upon itself. It is a medical emergency that requires surgery to correct. What causes the condition? The exact cause is still unknown. The most common history is a large breed dog that eats or drinks rapidly and then exercises. In recent studies, stress was found to be a contributing factor to GDV. Dogs that were more relaxed and calm were at less risk of developing GDV than dogs described as “hyper” or “fearful”. Sometimes the condition progresses no further than simple gastric dilatation (bloat) but in other instances the huge, gas-filled stomach twists upon itself so that both entrance and exit to the stomach become occluded. Is GDV serious? Yes. This is probably one of the most serious non-traumatic conditions seen in dogs. Immediate veterinary attention is required to save the dog’s life. Are some dogs more prone than others? Yes, statistically we know that large, deep chested breeds are more prone to GDV. These include Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Weimaraners, Irish Setters, Gordon Setters, Standard Poodles, Basset Hounds, Doberman Pinschers, and Old English Sheepdogs. Most commonly the condition occurs two to three hours after eating a large meal. Additional facts about GDV: Gastric dilatation (bloat), usually without volvulus (twist), occasionally occurs in elderly small dogs. The distended stomach pushes the posterior rib cage so that the dog appears swollen or “bloated”. This is most obvious on the left side and gentle tapping of the swelling just behind the last rib often produces hollow, drum-like sounds. • The enlarged stomach presses on the diaphragm and breathing becomes labored. The swollen stomach also presses on the larger blood vessels in the abdomen and circulation is seriously compromised, resulting in systemic shock. Ultimately, the dog collapses and the huge size of the abdomen can be seen as the dog lies on its side. Is it possible to distinguish between gastric dilatation (GD) and gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV)? No. These two conditions often look identical on physical examination. X-rays and other diagnostic tests are necessary to determine whether or not the stomach has twisted. Why does the dog collapse? The gas filled stomach presses on the large veins in the abdomen that carry blood back to the heart, compromising the circulation of blood. Vital tissues become deprived of blood and oxygen, resulting in systemic shock. In addition, the pressure of the gas on the stomach wall results in inadequate circulation to the wall, causing tissue death. Digestion ceases and toxins accumulate in the blood, exacerbating the shock. As the distension continues to build, the stomach wall can rupture. What can be done? • Veterinary assistance must be sought immediately. It is imperative that the pressure on the stomach wall and internal organs is reduced as soon as possible. The veterinarian may first attempt to pass a stomach tube. If this is not possible due to twisting of the stomach, a large bore needle may be passed through the skin into the stomach to relieve the pressure in the stomach. Shock treatment with administering intravenous fluids and medications will begin immediately. Once the patient has been stabilized, the stomach must be returned to its proper position. This involves major abdominal surgery and may be delayed until the patient is able to undergo anesthesia. How is the surgery done? The primary goals of surgery are to return the stomach to its normal position, to remove any dead or dying stomach tissues and to help prevent future GDV. There are several techniques available including gastropexy (suturing the stomach wall to the abdominal wall) and pyloroplasty (surgical opening of the pylorus to improve stomach outflow). Your veterinarian will discuss the technique or combination of techniques best for your pet’s condition. What is the survival rate? This depends upon how long the pet has had GDV, the degree of shock, the severity of the condition, cardiac problems, stomach wall necrosis, length of surgery, etc. Even in relatively uncomplicated cases there is a mortality rate of 15-20% for GDV. Can the condition be prevented? Prophylactic Gastropexy (surgical attachment of stomach to the body wall) is the most effective means of prevention. In high-risk breeds (all large breed, deep chested dogs) we recommend prophylactic Gastropexy. This does not prevent dilatation (bloat) but does prevent twisting (volvulus) in the majority of cases and it is a life saving preventative procedure. Careful attention to diet, feeding and exercise regimens may help to prevent gastric dilatation.
DENTAL DISEASE AND YOUR PET Dental disease can affect our dogs and cats at any stage of life, but it is most common as our pets enter middle age. Studies at the Veterinary Colleges of Ohio State and Cornell University have found that 85% of dogs and cats over 6 years old have some form of dental disease. Dental disease can be put into three categories: gingivitis, tartar and pyorrhea. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. You can easily see this by the increase in the pinkness of your pet's gums, especially at the gumline. Tartar is the accumulation of plaque on the teeth, usually starting at the gumline in conjunction with gingivitis. Pyorrhea is the most serious of the three conditions. It is pus in the mouth, usually between teeth and gums. All three of these conditions require treatment. Therapy can range from antibiotics to anesthesia, and a complete dental scaling and polishing and or extractions. The appropriate type of treatment is decided upon after oral examination. We treat these conditions because they are actual infections. Dental disease can lead to heart, lung, liver, kidney, skin and prostate infections. As with our teeth - some people get cavities or excessive tartar due to genetics - some animals have more dental problems than others due to genetics especially small breed dogs. Since we cannot change our genetics, preventative dental care such as brushing with a recommended toothpaste and annual cleaning by your veterinarian are recommended. So the next time you complain of dog breath or cat breath, look into your pet's mouth and then call us for an examination. Let's cure any problems and prevent more serious ones before they start.
Grand opening August 2014, Stay tuned.
Beverly Robertson Veterinary Clinic will be open on August of 2014. Our clinic is a full service small animal veterinary clinic equipped with outstanding and most updated veterinary equipment. Please stay tuned for our open house coming on August 2014.