Spinone Italiano Gastropexy: Exploring Its Benefits And Considerations to Prevent Bloat

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Written by Mark Dalley

We have been proud Spinone owners for over ten years. From puppies to adults, we've learned a lot about this wonderful breed. They just might be the best-kept secret in the dog world. Whether you already own a Spinone or are thinking of getting one, we're happy to share what we've learned about this amazing dog and hope you find it useful. It's all part of Spinone Life!

As dog owners, we all want to ensure the health and longevity of our furry companions. However, for owners of large and deep-chested breeds like the Spinone Italiano, the risk of gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) can be a constant concern. Also known as bloat, this life-threatening condition can occur suddenly and without warning, causing immense pain and potential death for our beloved pets.

But there is a solution: prophylactic gastropexy, a surgical procedure that can prevent GDV from occurring in the first place.

In this article, we will explore the benefits and considerations of gastropexy in Spinone Italiano dogs, a breed known to be at higher risk for GDV. We will delve into the technical aspects of the procedure, including the various surgical approaches that can be used. We will also provide insight into the recovery and aftercare process, ensuring that owners have all the information they need to make an informed decision for the health and well-being of their canine companions.

Join us as we dive into the world of Spinone Italiano gastropexy and discover how this procedure can provide peace of mind for both owners and pets alike.

Understanding Gastric Torsion / Bloat in Dogs

Gastric torsion in dogs, commonly known as GDV, is a serious and potentially fatal condition that occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and twists. This leads to a cut-off of blood and oxygen supply to the stomach, causing immense pain and distress to the animal.

Large, deep-chested breeds such as the Spinone Italiano are most susceptible to GDV, and the condition can be caused by a variety of factors such as rapid eating and drinking, exercising after meals, and even genetics.

Symptoms of bloat include a distended abdomen, restlessness, excessive drooling, and rapid breathing, and it is essential to seek veterinary attention immediately if these symptoms are present.

Prevention measures such as prophylactic gastropexy are crucial in reducing the risk of GDV in at-risk breeds. Prophylactic gastropexy involves surgically attaching the stomach to the abdominal wall, preventing twisting or rotation.

Diagnosis of GDV is typically done through physical examination, blood work, and x-rays, and emergency surgery is usually the only option for treatment. However, the mortality rate for emergency surgery is high, and recurrence rates are high for dogs without gastropexy.

Therefore, understanding the causes, symptoms, and prevention measures of GDV is essential for all dog owners to ensure their pets’ well-being.

How Gastropexy Can Prevent Gastric Torsion

Effective gastropexy decreases the recurrence of GDV from as high as 80% to less than 5%.

Philip Allen DVM and April Paul DVM, DACVECC

Preventing gastric torsion in dogs can be achieved through gastropexy, a surgical procedure that attaches the stomach to the abdominal wall. This procedure can significantly reduce the recurrence rates of gastric torsion from as high as 80% to less than 5%.

Gastropexy is a highly effective preventative option for at-risk breeds, such as large and deep-chested dogs like the Italian Spinone, and for dogs that have already undergone emergency surgery for gastric torsion. It is a surgical procedure that should only be performed by a board-certified veterinary surgeon.

During the gastropexy procedure, the veterinarian will make a small incision in the abdomen and then attach the stomach to the abdominal wall using sutures, staples, or other specialized techniques. This attachment prevents the stomach from rotating and greatly reduces the risk of gastric torsion. It’s like providing a safety net for our pets’ digestive system.

The benefits of gastropexy are remarkable. By preventing gastric torsion, we are protecting our pets from severe pain, distress, and potentially life-threatening complications. Gastropexy can give us peace of mind, knowing that we have taken proactive steps to safeguard our beloved companions.

After the procedure, postoperative care is vital to ensure the best possible outcome for the dog. Owners should closely monitor their dogs for any signs of pain, discomfort, or complications, and follow up with their veterinarian as needed.

It’s important to note that gastropexy is typically performed in conjunction with other surgical procedures, such as spaying or neutering, or during other abdominal surgeries. This combination helps reduce the risks associated with additional anesthesia and surgical interventions, making the process more efficient and cost-effective.

Overall, gastropexy is a valuable surgical option for preventing gastric torsion in dogs and should be considered for any dog that is at risk for this life-threatening condition.

Benefits of Gastropexy for Spinone Italiano

As responsible and caring owners of the Spinone Italiano breed, we are well aware of the significance of maintaining the health and happiness of our beloved furry companions. So, we think it is important to share the following benefits of gastropexy for your Spinone.

  • Reduces risk of gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV): Gastropexy can significantly reduce the life-threatening risk of gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) or bloat that can affect the Spinone Italiano. This is an essential procedure for pet owners who want to safeguard the health and well-being of their furry friends.
  • Can be performed during routine spaying or neutering: One of the main benefits of Gastropexy is that it can be performed during routine spaying or neutering, which minimizes stress and recovery time for your Spinone Italiano.
  • High success rate: The procedure itself has a high success rate and is relatively straightforward, making it an excellent option for pet owners who want to take proactive steps to keep their furry friend healthy and happy.
  • Proactive peace of mind: By opting for Gastropexy, you are taking an active role in contributing to your Spinone Italiano’s overall well-being. It provides peace of mind, knowing that you have taken proactive steps to safeguard your pet’s health.
spinone italiano gastropexy

Photo by Renske Jetten found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/46316688193/permalink/10160654094798194

Considerations Before Getting a Gastropexy for a Spinone Italiano

Before you decide on getting a gastropexy for your furry friend, there are a few important factors to take into consideration.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the potential risks associated with the procedure. While gastropexy is generally safe and effective, there is always a risk of complications such as infection, bleeding, or adverse reactions to anesthesia. It’s important to discuss these risks with your veterinarian and ensure that your dog is healthy enough to undergo the procedure.

Another factor to consider is the cost of gastropexy. While it may seem like a significant expense upfront, it’s important to weigh the cost against the potential long-term benefits. According to an article from ScienceDirect.com, the success rates of gastropexy in preventing GDV are high, with recurrence rates dropping from as high as 80% to less than 5%.

spinone italiano gastropexy

Photo by Jenny Diver found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/638452539655556/permalink/2565234096977381

Additionally, the cost of emergency surgery for GDV is significantly higher than the cost of preventative gastropexy. It’s also important to consider alternative methods for preventing GDV, such as feeding multiple small meals throughout the day, avoiding exercise after meals, and reducing stress levels.

Ultimately, the decision to proceed with gastropexy should be made in consultation with your veterinarian, taking into account your dog’s individual risk factors and overall health.

Recovery and Aftercare for Spinone Italiano Gastropexy

After your dog undergoes a gastropexy procedure, it’s important to follow the recommended recovery and aftercare instructions provided by your veterinarian to ensure a successful outcome.

Postoperative care for gastropexy typically includes keeping your dog in a calm and quiet environment for the first few days after surgery to allow for proper healing. Your veterinarian may also recommend dietary restrictions, including feeding small meals several times a day instead of one large meal, to help prevent stomach distension and twisting.

Exercise limitations are also important during the recovery period to prevent any unnecessary strain on the surgical site. Your veterinarian may recommend limiting exercise for at least two weeks after surgery and gradually increasing activity levels over the following weeks.

Wound care is also important, and you’ll need to keep the surgical site clean and dry to prevent infection. Your veterinarian may provide instructions on how to properly care for the wound and may recommend follow-up appointments to monitor healing progress.

Additionally, it’s important to monitor your dog’s overall activity level and behavior during the recovery period to ensure that they’re healing properly and not experiencing any complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of getting a gastropexy for a Spinone Italiano?

The cost of gastropexy surgery for dogs can vary depending on the type of procedure performed, the location, and the veterinarian.
Here are some average costs of gastropexy surgery for dogs:
• A preventive gastropexy surgery in a non-emergency manner costs on average $400
• The cost of a gastropexy is significantly more expensive when performed in an emergency manner, ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000.
• The traditional gastropexy procedure is less expensive than the laparoscopic gastropexy procedure.
• The price of gastropexy surgery can change based on the severity of the dog’s condition and how long the surgery takes.
It is important to note that these are just average costs and may vary depending on the location, the veterinarian, and other factors.

Are there any potential complications associated with gastropexy surgery?

When considering gastropexy surgery, potential complications should be taken into account. While gastropexy is an effective preventative measure for GDV in dogs, there are risks associated with the procedure.

Some surgical risks include anesthesia complications, bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding organs.

Postoperative care is also important, and recovery time can vary depending on the method of gastropexy used. It’s crucial to follow the veterinarian’s instructions for postoperative care to ensure the best possible outcome.

Overall, while there are potential complications associated with gastropexy surgery, the benefits of prevention outweigh the risks. We recommend discussing the potential benefits and risks of gastropexy with your veterinarian.

Is gastropexy a permanent solution for preventing gastric torsion in dogs?

Gastropexy is an effective long-term solution for preventing gastric torsion in dogs. The success rates of gastropexy are high, reducing recurrence rates from 80% to less than 5%.

Alternative prevention methods, such as dietary management and exercise restriction, haven’t been as successful in preventing GDV. Post-operative care is vital for the success of the procedure, and veterinary recommendations should be followed closely.

While gastropexy isn’t a guarantee against GDV, it’s currently the most effective preventative measure available.

How long does it take for a dog to recover from gastropexy surgery?

The recovery timeline for gastropexy surgery in dogs varies depending on the individual case and the surgical technique used. Post-op care is crucial for a successful recovery, including pain management, activity restrictions, and dietary adjustments.

Pain management may involve the use of medications and monitoring for signs of discomfort. Activity restrictions may include limiting exercise and avoiding strenuous activities that could cause twisting of the stomach.

Dietary adjustments may include feeding smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding certain types of food that could contribute to bloat.

It’s important to follow the veterinarian’s post-op instructions carefully to ensure the best possible outcome for the dog.

Can gastropexy be performed on dogs of all ages and sizes?

Gastropexy is a safe and effective procedure for preventing gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) in dogs, but there are age limitations and size considerations to take into account.

Benefits of the procedure include a reduced risk of recurrence of GDV, which can be life-threatening.

The recovery process following gastropexy is typically straightforward, with most dogs able to return to normal activity within a few weeks. However, there are age limitations, with younger dogs potentially experiencing complications due to the procedure’s impact on growth plates.

Size considerations are also important, as larger breeds may require more extensive surgical approaches.

Overall, gastropexy is a recommended procedure for at-risk breeds like the Spinone and should be discussed with a board-certified surgeon or general veterinarian.

Spinone Italiano Gastropexy Wrap Up

In conclusion, Spinone Italiano dogs are known to be at a higher risk for developing gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). Prophylactic gastropexy, a surgical procedure that attaches the stomach to the abdominal wall, can prevent GDV in this breed.

The benefits of gastropexy in Spinone Italiano dogs include a decreased risk of GDV and potential avoidance of costly emergency surgeries. However, there are also considerations to be made before undergoing the procedure, such as the potential risks of surgery and the need for proper aftercare.

It’s important for owners of Spinone Italiano dogs to consult with their veterinarian to determine if gastropexy is the right choice for their pet. The veterinarian can discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure and provide guidance on proper aftercare.

Overall, prophylactic gastropexy can be a valuable preventative measure for Spinone Italiano dogs at risk for GDV, but it’s important to carefully weigh the options and make an informed decision.


Allen P, Paul A. Gastropexy for prevention of gastric dilatation-volvulus in dogs: history and techniques. Top Companion Anim Med. 2014 Sep;29(3):77-80. doi: 10.1053/j.tcam.2014.09.001. Epub 2014 Sep 19. PMID: 25496925.

American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation: https://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/caring-for-your-dog/prophylactic-gastropexy.html

VCA Animal Hospital: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/gastropexy