Labrador Retriever | Gastric Torsion | Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
A deep-chested dog like a Labrador Retriever dog is particularly susceptible to one of the most sudden and dangerous conditions that can affect a dog: bloat, also known as gastric torsion. This life-threatening disease comes on suddenly, and every minute counts. All too often, dog owners unaware of the seriousness of gastric torsion wait until it is too late to treat their beloved pets. If you own a Labrador Retriever dog, it is vital to be on the lookout for the warning signs of gastric torsion. The condition occurs when an excess buildup of gas or fluid in the stomach leads to an extension and then a rotation of the stomach, twisting it and preventing normal digestion. This leads in turn to a painful and often fatal condition. Dogs between 4 and 7 years of age make up the vast majority of sufferers of gastric torsion, and males outnumber females by two to one.
If your dog exhibits any of the symptoms of gastric torsion, contact a veterinarian immediately. An emergency procedure is needed to treat the dog. If your Labrador Retriever dog has eaten or drank recently, or has exercised within 2-3 hours of consuming a meal, and has begun salivating, drooling, becoming extremely restless, or trying (and failing) to vomit or defecate, examine the abdomen immediately. If your dog's stomach is distended and hard, or he or she does not bump or vomit, get your dog to a veterinarian immediately, whether you have a suspicion or you are sure; gastric torsion requires immediate action.
Gastric torsion can possibly be treated by a surgical procedure that returns the stomach to its previous position. Further surgery may be performed to prevent a recurrence. Be sure to take preventative measures against this condition: avoid giving your Labrador Retriever too much food in one sitting, and avoid roughhousing with your dog from one hour before a meal until two hours afterward.