Diet -related risk factors for gastric dilatation -volvulus in dogs of high -risk breeds: A nested case-control study

Malathi Raghavan, Purdue University


Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in dogs is characterized by gastric filling with air, gastric malposition, and high case-fatality rate. Diet-related risk factors for GDV were identified using a nested case-control study. Of 1991 dogs from 11 large- and giant-breeds in a previous prospective study of GDV, 106 dogs that developed GDV were selected as cases while 212 remaining dogs were randomly selected as controls. Owner-reported information on the dogs' diet included the amount and type of foods fed and selected label information. Information on ingredients of home-prepared foods and forms in which they were fed (e.g., raw, cooked) was also requested. A complete profile of nutrient intake was constructed for each dog using published references and nutrient databases. Owners also reported on feeding-related management practices such as frequency of feeding and moistening of dry food. Potential risk factors were examined for a significant (p < 0.05) relationship with GDV risk using unconditional logistic regression. The study confirmed previous reports of an increased risk of GDV with increasing age (odds ratio (OR), 1.15; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.03, 1.29), having a first-degree relative with GDV (OR, 1.90; CI, 1.06, 3.40), and having a raised food bowl (OR, 2.18; CI, 1.21, 3.93). New findings included an increased risk of GDV for dogs consuming dry foods containing fat among the first four ingredients (OR, 2.59; CI, 1.45, 4.62) or citric acid (OR, 3.16; CI, 1.70, 5.90). Dry foods containing a rendered meat meal with bone product among the first four ingredients significantly decreased the risk of GDV (OR, 0.47; CI, 0.24, 0.93). Moistening of dry food alone was not associated with GDV risk, but dry foods containing citric acid that were moistened prior to feeding significantly increased GDV risk (OR, 4.19; CI, 1.80, 9.73). Approximately 30 and 33% of all cases of GDV in this study could be attributed to consumption of dry foods containing fat among their first four ingredients or citric acid, respectively. Owners can use these findings to reduce dogs' risk of GDV in these breeds.




Glickman, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Veterinary services|Biophysics|Anatomy & physiology|Animals

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