What is Gastropexy?
Gastropexy in dogs is a surgical procedure in which the stomach is permanently attached to the muscle wall of the abdomen. This type of procedure is commonly used for dogs with reoccurring gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). GDV is a condition in which the stomach fills will air and twists around, cutting off valuable life support to the gastric organ. This condition is common in large breed dogs; because of their deep chests, the stomach has more space to move about in the abdominal cavity. A gastropexy is performed by a licensed veterinarian and can be completed in most local veterinary clinics or hospitals.
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Gastropexy Procedure in Dogs
A gastropexy procedure in dogs is commonly performed by creating an attaching the pyloric antrum to the right side of the abdominal wall, therefore, preventing further rotation of the gastric organ. Canine gastropexy can be achieved through several types of procedure including incisional, laparoscopic-assisted, belt-looped, circumcostal, tube or incorporating.
Incisional gastropexy involves attaching the opposing muscular layer of the gastric wall to the right transversal wall of the abdomen.
Laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy is a technique that secures the stomach using suture or staples.
Belt-looped gastropexy is a technique that involves tunneling a seromuscular flap through the wall of the abdomen.
Circumcostal gastropexy involves taking a seromuscular flap from the stomach that is wrapped around the last rib of the rib cage, securing the stomach back into place.
Tube gastropexy involves placement of a mushroom-tipped tube through the wall of the abdomen and into the gastric lumen.
An incorporating gastropexy simply includes the stomach wall into the linea alba closure.
Efficacy of Gastropexy in Dogs
The overall goal the veterinarian wishes to achieve from a canine gastropexy is permanent adhesions between the abdominal and gastric wall. If the surgery was completed successfully, the gastropexy should not affect the stomach’s natural placement or gastric flow and have minimal complications and postoperative care.
Gastropexy Recovery in Dogs
Following a gastropexy surgery, your dog may require a short period of hospitalization to insure the surgical procedure was successful. Once the canine is allowed to return home, dietary restrictions will be put into place until the stomach has healed itself. As gastropexy is a surgical procedure, physical activities will be limited and an Elizabethan collar will need to be worn to prevent the dog from manipulating the incision site. Pain medications and antibiotics will be prescribed during the dog’s time of recovery, but may not be required after your follow-up appointment in four to six weeks.
Cost of Gastropexy in Dogs
The cost to have a gastropexy surgery completed on your dog depends on the type of surgical technique the veterinarian used. If you are able to catch your dog’s gastric dilatation-volvulus early, a non-emergency gastropexy costs approximately $400. However, an emergency gastropexy will cost an average of $1,500 or more to have completed.
Dog Gastropexy Considerations
Gastropexy is a highly effective surgical option for treating gastric dilatation-volvulus, but there are several ways a veterinarian can treat this condition. Depending on your dog, one surgical option may be better than another. Ask your veterinarian about the most effective form of gastropexy for your dog.
Gastropexy Prevention in Dogs
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) commonly affects giant breed canines with deep, narrow chests. This breed disposition to GDV cannot be prevented, as well as, other uncontrolled risk factors including old age and fearful temperament. However, a dog that exercises shortly after eating, eats rapidly, or consumes large amounts of water and food, is at risk for developing GDV which can be prevented by the pet owner.
Gastropexy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
Hello! I have an 11 month old female Newfoundland who I am considering getting spayed in a few weeks (she just finished her first heat which, according to my research, was necessary to make sure she grew correctly), and I was wondering if you would recommend a prophylaxis gastropexy when I get her spayed? I've read that giant breeds, like Newfs, have a higher than average risk of getting bloat and stomach torsion.
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