Inversion of the stomach in dogs

Inverted stomach in dogs is a fairly common problem that always occurs unexpectedly and can lead to death in a matter of hours. Just yesterday, a healthy and cheerful animal, and a day later, an operating, and disappointing diagnosis. Today we will tell you about the causes, symptoms, treatment and surgery to correct stomach upset in dogs.

This disease develops against the background of seemingly ordinary flatulence. But as a result of the accumulation of gases, the stomach is displaced and twisted. With many concomitant complications. The disease proceeds with lightning speed, within 4-12 hours the condition worsens and fatal outcome is inevitable without the provision of qualified assistance. In the photo there is an x-ray of a miniature pincher, a boy with an inversion of the stomach:

The reasons

It is very difficult to single out one or several exact causes of stomach upset in dogs, but by systematizing the data, risk factors that contribute to the development of the disease can be identified.

  • It is more common in large and gigantic breeds, but inversion of the stomach can occur in any dog, without exception.
  • To the disposable factors also include the weakness of the ligaments that hold the stomach, a hereditary predisposition, chronic diseases of the digestive system and structural features of the chest. Namely, the ratio of its width (the distance between the ribs) and depth (the distance from the lower point of the sternum to the withers), when the indicator is above 1.4, is the animal at risk. An immediate impetus in the development of the disease is most often given by improper maintenance and feeding.
  • The presence in the diet of heavy, low-grade, bulky feed, which cause bloating, can provoke an inversion of the stomach in dogs.
  • Large portions and greedy eating happen when a dog is fed once a day.
  • Stress, physical activity before or after a meal.

In addition to the listed reasons, an inversion can provoke the accumulation in the stomach of a large mass of indigestible objects that do not pass into the intestines of the dog. Among these items are often uncrushed bones, parts of toys and small stones.

In addition, the causes of the development of this pathology can be genetically determined.


Next, we will analyze in detail the external symptoms of a stomach upset in a dog. The accumulation of gases leads to the expansion of the stomach. The next stage is its direct displacement and twisting, which entails the displacement of the spleen, compression of nerves and vital vessels. The innervation and blood circulation are disturbed throughout the body. Blood stasis leads to respiratory failure, an increase in the amount of toxins, the functioning of the heart is disrupted, and a shock condition and death develop.

For reasons that have not yet been determined, most often, an inversion occurs at night. The following symptoms are manifested in the stomach in dogs:

  • An increase in the volume of the abdominal wall and its soreness when palpating.
  • The animal behaves uneasily, breathing is frequent and shallow.
  • Profuse salivation, constant urge to vomit.
  • Gums become pale, sometimes loss of consciousness.

The first thing the owner should do, if there are even “blurred" symptoms, is to give a no-shpu or analgin and urgently take him to the clinic.

Diagnostic Methods

It is possible to precisely diagnose this only in a veterinary clinic. The diagnostic laparoscopy prescribed by the veterinarian can completely confirm or remove the suspicion of an inversion of the stomach. It is possible to temporarily lighten the flour of an animal by introducing a special probe into the stomach through which the gases filling the stomach will escape. However, after some time the gases accumulate again, and the procedure has to be repeated. All this confirms the obstruction of the stomach.


The inversion of the stomach in dogs is treated as follows. After the animal has been delivered to the clinic, a presumptive diagnosis is made of the symptoms and an x-ray is prescribed. Usually, an abdominal x-ray is enough to confirm the diagnosis, since the picture in the picture is very specific. Sometimes an additional gastric tube is performed. Some doctors use ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment of gastric upset in a dog always involves surgery - an operation. And the faster the diagnosis is made and the operation is performed, the higher the chances of recovery.

Surgery and postoperative care

Immediately after clarifying the diagnosis, the animal enters the operating table. Sometimes a peritoneum is punctured before surgery to remove air and reduce pressure on the walls of the stomach. Measures are being taken to stabilize the state. During the operation, the surgeon makes an incision on the abdominal wall, returns the stomach to its natural position and fixes using a special technology that helps prevent the stomach from turning in dogs in the future. After this, the stomach is emptied and washed with a probe.

It happens that part of the wall of the stomach, and sometimes the spleen dies, then you have to resort to their removal. In the final stage of the operation, the entire abdominal cavity is washed with an antiseptic, examined, for bleeding, and if there are none, the wound is sutured.

Postoperative observation of sick dogs that have undergone gastric inversion is carried out in accordance with the general rules of postoperative management of animals. To begin with, with the help of laboratory and ultrasound studies, all disorders of the gastric activity are detected and treated or eliminated.

The severity of the postoperative course of the disease will depend on the severity of the operated pathology, the presence of complications and concomitant diseases, as well as the age of the animal. After all, it is known that puppies and strong young dogs recover and recover faster than older animals. The condition of the dog can stabilize and normalize a day after the operation. In severe cases, it will take up to 4-5 days. Usually the pet is delayed in the hospital for 2-3 days.

After the operation, the animal is on a hungry diet for 1-2 days, suture treatment is carried out daily. The surgical wound is under the dressing. Additionally, antibiotics, supportive and antiemetic drugs are prescribed. Sutures are usually removed after two weeks.

After the operation, the animal is on a hungry diet for 1-2 days, suture treatment is carried out daily. The surgical wound is under the dressing. Additionally, antibiotics, supportive and antiemetic drugs are prescribed. Sutures are usually removed after two weeks.

What can I confuse inversion of the stomach

Acute expansion of the stomach - a condition similar to inversion. Only with it, the stomach does not twist, but only swells from the accumulation of gases. All symptoms may indicate an inversion of the stomach - in a restless dog, a painful stomach suddenly increases in size.

This pathology is treated with a probe inserted into the stomach and the escape of accumulated gases through it. Sometimes a puncture of the stomach is required: it is pierced with a sharp needle through which gases are released. After the procedure, the animal immediately experiences relief.

But it is not recommended to be limited only to the introduction of the probe. Acute enlargement may be followed by the development of gastric inversion. Therefore, it is worth continuing the examination.


The basis of preventive measures for stomach twisting in dogs is proper feeding and a balanced diet.

  • The food should be of high quality, easily digestible, warm.
  • It is important to break the daily portion into several receptions.
  • After and before feeding, you need to limit physical activity.
  • Dogs prone to pathology sometimes have surgery for prophylaxis. It is called gastropexia and involves the fixation of the stomach to prevent its inversion.

The outcome of the disease always depends on the correct diagnosis and timely treatment.

Great professional webinar on the topic for those interested:

Still have questions? You can ask them to the veterinarian of our site in the comments box below, which will respond to them as soon as possible.

Watch the video: Kennel Cough In Dogs (December 2019).