Dear Daisy Dog
Our veterinarian plans to neuter Sam, our standard poodle puppy, once his initial vaccination series is complete. At the same time, the vet wants to tack his stomach in place so it won’t twist later in life.
When I researched your Web site, I found a 2003 report stating that the tacking procedure decreased the risk of stomach twisting and death in many breeds, including standard poodles. Is stomach tacking still recommended?
Yes, many veterinarians still recommend that at-risk dogs have prophylactic gastropexy to affix the stomach to the body wall.
Stomach bloating and twisting, called gastric dilatation/volvulus (GDV), is of particular concern in deep-chested dogs, especially Akitas, bloodhounds, boxers, German shepherds, great Danes, Irish setters, Irish wolfhounds, Rottweilers, standard poodles and Weimaraners.
GDV is a life-threatening emergency. Without immediate surgery, and sometimes even with it, the affected dog will die.
Since 2003, more veterinarians have begun doing gastropexies with a laparoscope, which requires only a small abdominal incision.
The best time to do it is when the dog is being anesthetized for neutering or other surgery.