Vicky Payne looks at an in­her­ited dis­ease, a bac­te­ria of the in­testines, and an emer­gancy pro­ce­dure be­gin­ning with G

Sporting Shooter - - Gundog Vet -

Gas­tric di­lata­tion volvu­lus

One of the big­gest ve­teri­nary emer­gen­cies! In GDV, the stom­ach fills up with air or a mix­ture of gas and food ma­te­rial, be­fore flip­ping around and cut­ting off its blood sup­ply. In some cases, the spleen is also in­volved.

Dogs ap­pear un­com­fort­able and may pace about and try to vomit, al­though af­fected dogs ei­ther don’t bring any­thing up or just bring up large amounts of foamy saliva which can’t pass into the stom­ach. In short-coated dogs you may also see a swelling be­hind the ribcage. The dog will soon go into shock with ei­ther very pale or very dark red gums.

Dogs with sus­pected GDV must be taken to a vet im­me­di­ately (phone the vet first) as they will die with­out im­me­di­ate sur­gi­cal in­ter­ven­tion. Sadly, many cases die even with surgery and hos­pi­tal care. Deep-chested breeds such as HPRs are par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble, and the prob­lem some­times runs in breed lines.

In­gest­ing air while eat­ing, ex­er­cis­ing soon af­ter eat­ing, and overeat­ing (es­pe­cially fer­mentable foods) have all been linked to in­creased GDV risk.


Giar­dia is a pro­to­zoal par­a­site found in the in­testines. It is com­monly as­so­ci­ated with out­breaks of food poi­son­ing in hu­mans, and can cause chronic, in­ter­mit­tent di­ar­rhoea in dogs, es­pe­cially pup­pies. In­fec­tion is more com­mon where larger num­bers of dogs are kept, and pup­pies may not show symp­toms un­til ‘stressed’ by mov­ing to a new home with a dif­fer­ent diet.

If your dog or puppy has di­ar­rhoea for more than three days, or if they have re­cur­rent di­ar­rhoea, your vet may want to ex­am­ine a fae­cal sam­ple. The most ac­cu­rate tests look at fae­ces pooled over three days. The lab can iden­tify worms, bac­te­ria, and pro­to­zoa to al­low your vet to treat ap­pro­pri­ately. Your vet may use an­tibi­otics or an­tipar­a­sitic treat­ments to treat giar­dia. Af­ter treat­ment, a pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ment will help your puppy re­cover a nor­mal gut flora and re­duce the risk of fur­ther in­fec­tions.


Glau­coma is in­creased pres­sure in the eye. In a nor­mal eye, the amount of fluid is care­fully reg­u­lated to main­tain the shape of the eye­ball, but with glau­coma, fluid en­ters more quickly than it leaves, caus­ing pain, dam­age to the retina and blind­ness if un­treated.

Glau­coma can oc­cur af­ter an eye in­jury, with lens lux­a­tion (most com­mon in ter­ri­ers) or af­ter cataract surgery. In some dogs, the drainage an­gle is nar­rowed which in­creases the risk of glau­coma. This ab­nor­mal­ity is be­lieved to be in­her­ited in sev­eral breeds, in­clud­ing flat-coated re­triev­ers, cocker spaniels, springer spaniels, and Span­ish wa­ter dogs. In ad­di­tion, the Hun­gar­ian vizsla and golden re­triever are be­ing mon­i­tored.

Glau­coma should be sus­pected if the eye ap­pears to be bulging, es­pe­cially if it is painful and there are large blood ves­sels on the white of the eye. If you are con­cerned about an eye, seek ur­gent ve­teri­nary at­ten­tion. Breed­ing dogs that are at-risk breeds should be screened at around one year of age and ev­ery three years af­ter that. The drainage an­gle can nar­row as dogs age. Dogs tested since July 2017 have been graded from 0 to 3. Ide­ally, only dogs with 0 or 1 grades should be bred from.

If your new puppy is suf­fer­ing on its new diet, ask your vet to check it for Giar­dia par­a­sites

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