Our expert says:
This condition is called gastric dilatation/torsion and is extremely serious and often results in death. It happens quite suddenly, and becomes life-threatening within the hour. For an unknown reason, the food in the stomach result in excessive gas production which cannot be relieved in the normal way (burping or by the small intestine). The gas will lead to massive pressure within the stomach. This pressure then becomes higher than the blood pressure and results in blood no longer flowing within the wall of the stomach. The stomach may also turn on itself and result in occlusion of the blood supply to the stomach as well as the spleen which is closely associated with the stomach. As a result, the stomach and the spleen may develop massive damage and die off. This results in blood clots circulating through the body, as well as the production of massive amounts of toxins which causes havoc throughout the body. This often results in death. There is nothing more that you and your veterinarian could have done. Sometimes, we are lucky and the patient will present before the organs start dying and the patient can be operated on successfully. It remains an extremely serious condition. It can only be prevented by a operating on a healthy large breed dogs and permanently fixing the stomach in place surgically.
I am sorry about your loss.
Dr Malan van Zyl
Veterinary Specialist Physician
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