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Non-dietary risk facotrs to develop gastric dilatation-volvulus
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is the nightmare of all owners of large or giant dogs. Much is written about dietary risk factors. This study evaluated the data from more than 1600 large/giant dogs to find non-dietary risk factors. One surprising result: a raised feed bowl seems to incease the risk a lot!

The study was performed as a prospective cohort study. 1,637 dogs > or = 6 months old of the following breeds: Akita, Bloodhound, Collie, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Standard Poodle, and Weimaraner were included.

Owners of dogs that did not have a history of GDV were recruited at dog shows, and the dog`s length and height and the depth and width of its thorax and abdomen were measured. Information concerning the dog`s medical history, genetic background, personality, and diet was obtained from the owners, and owners were contacted by mail and telephone at approximately 1-year intervals to determine whether dogs had developed GDV or died. Incidence of GDV, calculated on the basis of dog-years at risk for dogs that were or were not exposed to potential risk factors, was used to calculate the relative risk of GDV.

Cumulative incidence of GDV during the study was 6% for large breed and giant breed dogs. Factors significantly associated with an increased risk of GDV were increasing age, having a first-degree relative with a history of GDV, having a faster speed of eating, and having a raised feeding bowl.
Approximately 20 and 52% of cases of GDV among the large breed and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised feed bowl.


Source: Glickman LT, Glickman NW, Schellenberg DB, Raghavan M, Lee T (2000): Non-dietary risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus in large and giant breed dogs. In: J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000 Nov 15;217(10):1492-9



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