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Stomach torsion in dogs: What you need to know and how to avoid it

Stomach torsion in dogs: What you need to know and how to avoid it

Stomach torsion is an emergency that can cause any dog ​​owner to panic. It is a life-threatening condition that requires quick action. But what exactly is gastric torsion? How do you recognize the signs and what can you do to avoid them? In this blog post you will find out everything you need to know about the topic.

What is gastric torsion?

Gastric torsion, also known as torsio ventriculi or gastric torsion, is a condition in which the dog's stomach rotates on its own axis. This cuts off the blood supply to the stomach, which can lead to a rapid deterioration in the dog's condition. It is a true emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Signs of gastric torsion

Recognize the warning signs as early as possible. The most common include:

  1. Bloated stomach: The abdominal area may appear hard and bloated.
  2. Vomiting and Gagging: The dog may try to vomit or gag without success.
  3. Restlessness and discomfort: Your dog becomes restless, unable to lie down, and shows signs of stress or anxiety.
  4. Rapid or shallow breathing: Pay attention to changes in your dog's breathing pattern.
  5. Gum color: Blue or pale gums are a bad sign and indicate poor oxygen supply.

Risk factors

Some dogs are more prone to stomach upset than others. Risk factors include:

  1. Large breeds: Large and deep-chested dogs such as Great Danes, St. Bernards and Weimaraners are particularly susceptible.
  2. Age: Older dogs are at higher risk.
  3. Genetic predisposition: Some dogs have a family history of this condition.
  4. Eating habits: Eating quickly, eating large quantities and exercising immediately after eating increase the risk.

Preventive measures

  1. Smaller meals: Divide the daily ration into several small meals.
  2. Eating Slower: Special food bowls can encourage your dog to eat more slowly.
  3. Rest after eating: Avoid vigorous physical activity immediately after eating.
  4. Observation: Pay attention to the symptoms mentioned above, especially if your dog belongs to the risk groups.
  5. Veterinary advice: Discuss the risk and possible preventive measures with your veterinarian.

What to do in an emergency?

If you notice signs of gastric torsion in your dog, you should immediately contact the vet or the nearest emergency clinic and waste no time. The sooner treatment begins, the better your dog's chances of survival.


Stomach torsion is a serious and life-threatening condition that requires immediate action. However, by knowing the risk factors and symptoms and taking preventative measures, you can minimize the risk of gastric torsion in your dog. If in doubt, quick action and immediate veterinary care is crucial.