Spencer Barcelos

Age: 6 years
Breed: Great Dane
Diagnosis: Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV or Canine Bloat)

Spencer has been a patient at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care since he was 8 weeks old. Having owned Great Danes in the past, his owner was familiar with the dangers of Canine Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, or GDV), a life-threatening condition that can occur to any large breed dog where the stomach abnormally twists around, fills with gas, and cannot un-twist by itself. Without emergency surgery in this event the condition is fatal.

Fortunately, Spencer's owner learned about a procedure performed at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care called a laparoscope-assisted gastropexy—a minimally invasive preventative surgical procedure in which the stomach is permanently "tacked" in the correct position, thereby preventing the twisting of the stomach that occurs with Canine Bloat.

By performing this procedure laparoscopically, only two small abdominal incisions were necessary. Spencer's preventative surgery was performed as an outpatient procedure. He recovered well and went home that same day.

Two years later his owner noticed signs of abdominal distension and discomfort in Spencer. She rushed him to Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care where Dr. Taylor examined him and quickly took an x-ray. It revealed that although Spencer's stomach had begun filling with gas, it was still securely fixed in place by the previous gastropexy surgery. The procedure had effectively prevented the fatal twisting of the stomach that can occur in this instance.

As a result of having had minimally-invasive preventative surgery two years earlier, what could have easily become a life-threatening case of Canine Bloat turned out instead to only be a mild case of "gas". After receiving some medications to relieve the gas, Spencer went home that same night and quickly returned to normal.

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