...Torsion, gastric torsion, gastric dilatation-volvulus, GDV; these are terms you never want to hear applied to your dog. They all mean the exact same thing- your dog’s stomach is distended with gas and has twisted on itself, and emergency surgery offers the only hope for saving his life.
...Initial symptoms of gastric torsion include a bloated appearance through the midsection (the ribs look like they are expanding outward), drooling, nonproductive retching/vomiting, restlessness, weakness, shallow breathing, rapid heart rate (if it can be felt through the chest wall), and pale gum color. If you observe such symptoms, quickly make some phone calls to find the closest veterinary hospital capable of performing immediate surgery on your best friend.
...Clearly, there is a breed/conformation association- large deep-chested breeds such as Great Danes, Irish Setters, Standard Poodles, Irish Wolfhounds, Boxers, Dobermans, Weimaraners, and Rottweilers are particularly predisposed. Affected males definitely outnumber females. One study documented that elevating the food bowl actually predisposes to gastric torsion. Other studies have indicated that the following factors may also be part of the recipe that results in gastric dilatation-volvulus: eating only one meal per day, eating rapidly, eating dry foods that list oils or fats among the first four label ingredients, exercising in close association to mealtime, being underweight, and being of an “anxious” rather than “happy” personality type.