Testing an Investigational Technique for Gastric Decompression in Dogs with Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus

The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is currently recruiting dogs with gastric dilatation and volvulus.

  • Inclusion Criteria:  Any Dog with gastric dilatation and volvulus.
  • Treatment: Due to the urgent nature of the disease, your dog will be treated very quickly with a decompression technique. Dogs will have one of two decompression techniques performed (standard technique or newly developed technique), while being stabilized for surgery, then will be brought to surgery as quickly as possible for correction of the stomach torsion. Emergency stabilization and anesthesia will be performed and your dog will be prepared for surgery in a routine fashion. Dogs will have the traditional approach to surgical correction after stabilization and decompression. In either case, your dog will receive a gastropexy procedure to reduce the chance of GDV occurring in the future. All incisions will be closed routinely; your pet will be recovered from anesthesia and will be cared for post-operatively at the Small Animal Hospital.
  • Costs: The study will cover a maximum of $1,000 towards the cost of emergency stabilization anesthesia, surgical procedures, any required medications and hospitalization.
    You will be responsible for fees over $1,000. On average GDV patients are treated for $2,500-4,000
  • Contact:  You can contact our Small Animal Hospital by calling 352-392-2235 Dr. Brad Case is the Primary Investigator. You can also speak with our clinical trials coordinator at 352-294-4639 or mebohan@ufl.edu



Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), a common medical and surgical emergency in the veterinary field. GDV is a life-threatening disease process that involves severe gas distention and abnormal rotation of the stomach. Surgery is necessary to correct the condition and overall mortality rates range from 10-50% depending on severity and duration of disease. The lethal effects of GDV are caused by the distended stomach that rotates upon itself and compresses vital blood vessels and organs within the abdomen, which reduces oxygen to these organs leading to tissue death and the release of toxins into the blood stream. For this reason, rapid and effective decompression of the stomach is critical in the successful treatment of dogs with GDV. Many approaches to decompression have been described; however most have a temporary effect and gas can re-distend the stomach within minutes. Unfortunately, some affected dogs are not near a facility with surgical capabilities when they develop signs of GDV. Owners may then need to drive hours to get to a facility in which emergency stabilization and surgery can be performed. It is well documented that the time of onset of clinical signs to presentation to an emergency facility is associated with a poor prognosis due to progressive tissue death, and poor blood flow to the vital organs.
Our purpose is to develop and evaluate a minimally invasive technique, similar to those used in human medicine, to immediately and continuously alleviate the gas distention in the stomach of patients suffering from GDV. This should reduce the harm done by the distended stomach while the patient is stabilized and/or transported for emergency surgery. We suspect this will ultimately improve patient survival. The materials necessary for our proposed technique are relatively inexpensive and available through standard medical supply companies, making potential impact of this technique widespread in the veterinary community. Further, medical doctors familiar with these procedures will be integrally involved in the development of this novel procedure.


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