Anyone lost a hunting dog to GDT (Stomach Twist)?

  • Rainylakefisher
    Posts: 76

    I was on a late season pheasant trip to ND last week. We drove from the TC to western ND on Thursday morning. We hunted for just a couple hours before sunset and then got unpacked at our lodge. After a late dinner, I checked on my dogs and found my six year old golden retriever foaming at the mouth and dry heaving. She would drink water, but was in obvious distress. We were an hour from the nearest ER vet who was very kind and knowledgable over the phone. He was very candid that emergency surgery was the only option for this injury and that too much time had likely already passed to have much of a chance of survival. There is no “in-the-field” treatment to untwist the stomach and the twist cuts off major blood vessels killing surrounding tissues. She was dead before we reached the highway.

    I knew a little bit about this injury and took precautions to try to prevent it from occuring (e.g. not feeding before hunting and minimizing water consumption at one time). I have no idea when the twist occurred and if there is a more immediate way to diagnose the injury. If you haven’t ever heard of this injury, please do some research and educate yourself on the symptoms so you can catch it earlier than I did.

    She was such a loving dog and had birthed 33 pups over the last four years. She was in her prime and a proven hunter. I’ll miss her so much! RIP Ivy.

    1. Ivy-1.jpg

    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 13893

    That’s a sad story. May your dog Ivy rest in peace.

    Southeast MN
    Posts: 3376

    I’m so sorry for your loss. That’s a great picture of her.

    Matthew Sandys
    Posts: 333

    Sorry to hear.
    Never a dog but have had it happen to a horse.

    Hudson, WI
    Posts: 1143

    So sorry for your loss! This is something I fear with my own Golden.

    Posts: 8865

    Sorry for your loss!

    Justin riegel
    Posts: 734

    I have heard, but I am not sure if it is true but is more common in big chested dogs.

    Very sorry for the loss, I cannot imagine something like that happening.

    Brian Bezanson
    Posts: 72

    Justin riegel is right on about build types. Big lung, narrow waist dogs were more prevelant to suffer “torsion”. I neverhad to deal with it in any of my field trial dogs, but friends did.
    As for horses, I did. On an equine “cholic” can be from many things. Keeping then up and walking worked for me.

    Posts: 2286

    I have heard of it and adjusted feedings on hunting days and the amount of water during a hunt for my lab.
    So sorry for your loss.

    St. Paul MN
    Posts: 1101

    I’m so sorry to hear about Ivy, such a beautiful dog. I thought stomach twist was most common in english pointers, and maybe GSPs. Last week on a sunday afternoon hunt my golden was dry heaving, and ejecting some bile. She just kept trying to eat snow and grass. This was after an hour of hunting. I took her home and thankfully she was all right. Seemed like an upset tummy.

    Posts: 17438

    Sorry for your loss and such a beautiful dog! I had a GSP die of what I suspect this injury but not 100% sure. He would drink and eat, but would throw up all the food undigested. He was dead the next day. The funny thing is he wasnt an inside dog and he knew he wasnt feeling well and he would throw up in the but of the upstairs bathroom instead of the on the floor. Thankfully I found him before my kid woke up in the morning because he was on the floor in his room.

    Dakota County, MN
    Posts: 4976

    I have heard of it and I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of Ivy. She’s a beautiful dog.
    Since I have German Shortahired Pointers I make sure they don’t drink too much at a time, avoid heavy activity before/after eating, and I also make sure they eat and drink at an elevated level for the most part. Their food/water dishes in the house are built onto a stool that’s maybe 8-10″ in height. My late husband built it so off the top of my head I don’t know the exact height. When they’re playing outside though they drink from a water dish on the ground, but I still try to avoid letting them drink too much at once.
    Rest well Ivy and have fun chasing the pheasants over the rainbow bridge.

    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts: 479

    So sorry for your loss. RIP Ivy.

    I have heard of it and adjusted feedings on hunting days and the amount of water during a hunt for my lab.

    Never considered limiting water during the hunt, but good to know.

    John Rasmussen
    Posts: 4915

    Sorry for your loss. It happened to my best friends dog. We were wrapping up a duck hunt and he started displaying symptoms. We had no idea what was going on and he took him home and he died at the vet latter that day. His name was Cody and he was a large Red Lab (a not that well known bread from the yellows). She was a great looking dog, again feel terrible it happened to you and it’s making me think of my buddies dog as I read it.

    SE MN
    Posts: 1295

    Storys like that just tear me up.
    Losing a pup is hard enough when old age takes them.

    Sorry you had to go through that and even more sorry for Ivy.
    RIP Ivy.

    Gitchi Gummi
    Posts: 2620

    Reading this tears me up inside. RIP Ivy. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I can’t imagine.

    This is one of my worst fears with my dogs. I’m very particular about when I feed them, especially hunting days. Although this thread just goes to show you that it can happen in the blink of an eye.

    One particular thing to note on this subject… For those that have female dogs, if you get them spayed, you can have the vet (while they are already inside your dog performing the spay surgery) sew your dogs stomach to the inside of their chest cavity (or something like that) and that should essentially make it impossible for the dogs stomach to flip in the future. Small price to pay for some very priceless piece of mind if you ask me.

    Jon Jordan
    St. Paul, Mn
    Posts: 5494

    Had a friend of mine whose dog got the stomach twist but got into surgery in time. That’s when I learned about it.

    Sorry for your loss. Great looking pup. I can tell you cared for the dog well. RIP Ivy.


    Jake D
    Watertown, SD
    Posts: 410

    Our doodle had this very same thing happen. It was a Sunday afternoon after we had gotten home from a trip. I was unpacking the car and he came outside dry heaving after he drank a bunch of water. I noticed a large lump on his side that kept getting bigger. Luckily, there was a vet on call and she came in and quickly had him opened up and was able to save him. She got his stomach sewn to the side of his ribs (something like that anyways) so it shouldn’t happen again. She told us if we hadn’t had called when we did, it was so bad within an hour or 2 he would have been gone. Its been 4 years now with no problems. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Hastings, MN
    Posts: 69

    It happened to my first chocolate lab, Dusty, at 9 1/2 years old. Just finished our last day of pheasant hunting for that year at about 1 pm. She went into distress later that night. Got her to a vet, too late. Put her down in the morning. Best hunter I ever had too. She trained me. Lucky, we got 10 seasons together. I have a couple of friends that still bring up a few of her retrieves…
    Still miss hunting with her 22 years later.

    cold spring mn
    Posts: 9750

    man this tears up up to read that. like Haleysgold said…..its just plan suxs losong a dog anyway but that bites.

    soooo sorry to hear!!!!!

    Posts: 2266

    I’m sorry sir.I truly feel for you losing a friend and hunting partner.RIP IVY.

    SE MN
    Posts: 4285

    my condolences. she is a beautiful pup. i keep telling myself we don’t deserve dogs. always sad to read these types of posts…….

    Posts: 198

    So sorry for the loss, RIP Ivy. Lost a dog due to twisted stomach also. Always sux to loose them.

    Posts: 2715

    RIP Ivy.
    So sorry for your loss RLF.
    Tough loss anytime but especially a dog in its prime.

    Posts: 1036

    I lost my Deutsche Drahthaar to this when she was 13. Nothing could be done. Sorry for your loss.

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