Objective—To identify non-dietary risk factors for gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in large breed and giant breed dogs.
Design—Prospective cohort study.
Animals—1,637 dogs ≥ 6 months old of the following breeds: Akita, Bloodhound, Collie, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Standard Poodle, and Weimaraner.
Procedure—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 dogyears at risk for dogs that were or were not exposed to potential risk factors, was used to calculate the relative risk of GDV.
Results and Clinical Relevance—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. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1492–1499)