Bloat (GDV)

Photo credit: American Kennel Club

Gastric dilatation, commonly known as bloat, is a rapidly progressing and devastating condition that can develop in several different breeds of dogs. The condition is initiated when the stomach dilates and food and gas cannot be expelled. As the stomach dilates and expands, the pressure in the stomach begins to increase, causing inadequate blood return to the heart from the abdomen, loss of blood flow to the lining of the stomach, and rupture of the stomach wall. In some cases the stomach can become dilated enough to rotate in the abdomen, a condition called volvulus. The rotation can lead to blockage of the blood supply to the spleen and the stomach wall, and without immediate surgical correction of volvulus and removal of the dead tissues the patient can die.


Research funded through the Bloat Initiative aims to establish the causes and pre-dispositions for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), or bloat.


02233-A: Evaluation of a Novel Technique for Gastric Decompression in Dogs with Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus
Principal Investigator: J. Brad Case, DVM, MS; University of Florida
Total Grant Amount: $233,774; Grant Period: 11/1/2015 - 10/30/2017

02338: The Genetics of Bloat in German Shepherd Dogs: The Roles of Immune System Genes and the Gut Microbiome
Principal Investigator: Michael Harkey, PhD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Total Grant Amount: $152,270; Grant Period: 6/1/2017 - 11/30/2019

01935-B: Abnormalities in the Stomach's Ability to Contract Predisposes Large-Breed Dogs to Bloat
Principal Investigator: Laura L. Nelson, D.V.M.; Michigan State University
Total Grant Amount: $233,774; Grant Period: 1/1/2014 - 6/30/2019

01937-B: Evaluating the Complex Genetic Basis of Bloat
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth A. Rozanski, DVM; Tufts University
Total Grant Amount: $251,097; Grant Period: 1/1/2014 - 12/31/2017


Piras, I. S., Perdigones, N., Zismann, V., Briones, N., Facista, S., Rivera, J. L., Rozanski, E., London, C. A., & Hendricks, W. P. D. (2020). Identification of Genetic Susceptibility Factors Associated with Canine Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus. Genes, 11(11), 1313.

Sharp, C. R., Rozanski, E. A., Finn, E., & Borrego, E. J. (2020). The pattern of mortality in dogs with gastric dilatation and volvulus. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

Fox-Alvarez, W. A., Case, J. B., Lewis, D. D., Joyce, A. C., Cooke, K. L., & Toskich, B. (2019). Evaluation of a novel technique involving ultrasound-guided, temporary, percutaneous gastropexy and gastrostomy catheter placement for providing sustained gastric decompression in dogs with gastric dilatation-volvulus. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 255(9), 1027–1034.

Bell, J. S. (2014). Inherited and Predisposing Factors in the Development of Gastric Dilatation Volvulus in Dogs. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 29(3), 60–63.

Gazzola, K. M., & Nelson, L. L. (2014). The Relationship Between Gastrointestinal Motility and Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus in Dogs. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 29(3), 64–66.

Sharp, C. R., & Rozanski, E. A. (2014). Cardiovascular and Systemic Effects of Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus in Dogs. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 29(3), 67–70.

Educational Resources

CHF is excited to offer a free educational webinar "Bloat: What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know" with Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski. In the webinar, Dr. Rozanski explains what every dog owner needs to know about gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat. She presents the signs and treatment options for bloat along with current options for prevention.

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Feature Articles

Genetic & Gut Bacteria Link to Bloat in Great Danes -- Featured in the Summer 2017 issue of the Great Dane Update, courtesy of Purina Pro Plan.

Bloat Initiative Sponsors

Champion Sponsors ($50,000+):


Great Dane Club of America Logo
Great Dane Club of America Charitable Trust Logo


Sponsors ($2,500+)

Afghan Hound Club of America, Inc.
Akita Club of America
American Black & Tan Coonhound Club
American Bloodhound Club
American Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club
Atlantic States Briard Club
Basset Hound Club of America
Borzoi Club of America
Briard Club of America Health and Education Trust
Delaware County Kennel Club 
Doberman Pinscher Club of America
English Setter Association of America, Inc.
English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association
English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association Foundation
Flat-Coated Retriever Foundation
Forsyth Kennel Club
German Shepherd Dog Club of America
German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America
Gordon Setter Club of America
Great Pyrenees Club of America
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America
Irish Wolfhound Club of America
Kuvasz Fanciers of America
Newfoundland Club of America Charitable Trust
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Poodle Club of America Foundation
Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States
Scottish Deerhound Club of America
TarTan Gordon Setter Club
Versatility in Poodles
Weimaraner Club of America

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