What is Bloat?

Gastric Dilation and Volvulus Syndrome, commonly referred to as “GDV” or “Bloat”, is a condition affecting dogs in which the stomach fills with ingesta and gas and becomes twisted around its central axis. It primarily affects deep-chested, large breed dogs such as Great Danes, Rottweillers, German Shepherds and Pointers and is a true Veterinary emergency.


The twisting of the stomach compromises its blood supply producing severe circulatory shock and cardiovascular failure. Affected animals are depressed, may be retching and will have a markedly distended abdomen. Treatment must be sought immediately and involves intensive medical therapy to stabilize the patient followed by surgery to correct the displacement of the stomach.


While there is no single straightforward way to prevent the syndrome occurring in an individual dog, there are a number of management strategies that may be employed to reduce the incidence in those breeds that are particularly at risk.



Avoid rapid ingestion of large volumes of food or fluid by feeding smaller meals multiple times a day and ensuring ready access to water at all times.

Avoid vigorous exercise immediately after eating.

Feed the main meal at a time which allows for observation of the dog over the next hour or two.

Canning Vale Boarding Kennels observes all of these strategies and recognizes the importance of prompt Veterinary attention should any dog in our care develop the syndrome.