Las Vegas Animal Rescue Pocket Guide


Bloat GDV



ARTICLE BY Dr. Matthew Brooks



New Perspectives on Bloat

Published September 2015

for the 15-minute drive to the veterinarian.

The race against the clock to save the life of the beloved giant dog ended futilely.
All too quickly, the bloated stomach had twisted, cutting off blood and oxygen to vital organs such as the heart, spleen and liver. The dog had gone into shock and could not be saved. One and a half hours earlier, Longo had left the Dane at home while she ran an errand only to return to find the dog standing in a pool of white foam and his loin swollen hard like a barrel. The look of pain and fear in his eyes was unforgettable.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), more commonly known as bloat, is a disorder that affects large- and giant-sized, deep-chested dogs. Gastric dilatation is when the stomach fills like a balloon with gas, and gastric dilatation with volvulus is when the gas-filled stomach twists 180 degrees on its axis. Among the high-risk breeds, Great Danes are believed to have a 25 percent risk of developing GDV in their lifetime. Sadly, one in four dogs does not survive bloat.

Years after the first incident, Longo, of Concord, Ohio, went through bloat with a 2 ½-year-old female Great Dane. “I had just put her out at 5:10 p.m., and when I brought her in the house at 5:20, she was bloated,” she says. “I called the veterinarian to let him know we were coming. We battled rush hour, virtually driving up on sidewalks to get around stalled cars. Fortunately, we made it before the stomach twisted. They were ready and waiting for us. Emergency surgery saved her life.”

Owners like Longo vividly recall the details of an episode of GDV, showing how horrific the experience can be. Their inability to stop an episode despite doing all they can to get a dog to an emergency facility is heartbreaking, especially when a dog dies.

These days, Longo, the 2013 AKC Working Group Breeder of the Year and the breeder of the top-winning Great Dane in breed history (Multi-BIS/ Multi-BISS GCH Longo Miller N Lore’s Diamond Lil), takes preventive measures into her own hands. “Bloat can happen so fast,” she says. “As soon as our dogs finish their championship around 1 year of age, we have a gastropexy performed. I encourage all my pet owners to do the same.”

Gastropexy is a surgery in which a dog’s stomach is tacked to the right side of the abdominal wall to prevent it from shifting or twisting. The cost for a gastropexy is around $1,000, depending on the clinic and its geographical location, compared
to $6,000 to $8,000 for emergency GDV surgery. Dogs receiving emergency surgery have a gastro­pexy performed at the same time to prevent
a recurrence.

GDV has been recognized in dogs for more than 100 years. Other than a dog’s conformation — large and giant breeds with deep chests — there are more mysteries about what causes the disorder than facts. Does the stomach bloat or twist first? Are there ways to determine if a dog is likely to survive? Is GDV due to genetics, environmental factors or both?

To learn more about GDV, the AKC Canine Health Foundation announced the bloat initiative in 2013 and provided funding of more than $500,000 for research to study the causes of bloat. At Michigan State University, researchers hypothesize that gastric dysrhythmia may predispose at-risk breeds to gastrointestinal motility problems that lead to GDV. At Tufts University where a biobank of DNA samples from GDV-affected dogs worldwide has been started, investigators are evaluating the bacterial microbiome of gastric and fecal content to see if altered flora triggers bloat.

Lead investigators of these studies presented their work at the 2015 AKC Canine Health Foundation National Parent Club Canine Health Conference in August in St. Louis. They were among 21 speakers at the two-day program who provided the latest findings about canine diseases. Purina has sponsored the biennial conference since it began in 1995. Here are insights about GDV presented by Laura Nelson, DVM, MS, DACVS-SA, associate professor-health sciences at Michigan State University, and Elizabeth Rozanski, DVM, DACVECC, DACVIM, associate professor of clinical sciences at Tufts University.

Understanding Gastric Motility
Emergency veterinarians act fast when a dog arrives with GDV. “It is definitely an all hands on deck situation,” says Dr. Rozanski, director of Tufts University’s critical care program, which sees about 60 cases of GDV a year. “The first thing we usually do is treat a dog for shock by giving fluids, and then we try to get the dog into surgery as quickly as possible. These dogs go into shock due to the twisting of the stomach.”

A complex process, gastric motility is controlled by hormones, the central nervous system, an enteric nervous system, the automatic nervous system, and cells within the GI tract, factors that determine the strength, speed and pattern of GI contractions.

Dr. Nelson explains, “To make things even more complicated, the fat-to-protein level and carbohydrates in a dog food, as well as the calories a dog consumes and whether the food is solid or fluid, and the kinds of bacteria and other microorganisms in the gut also play a role in GI motility.”

Insights about how gastric motility may cause bloat are being shaped by a capsule-sized wireless motility device called a SmartPill™ first used to diagnose gastrointestinal motility disorders in humans. In the study underway at Michigan State University, about 80 dogs have swallowed the $600 SmartPill that measures gastric motility, relaying information to a SmartPill recorder worn in a harness or vest. The technological device picks up on changes in pressure, temperature and acidity as the pill passes through the gut and can record episodes of bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea.

Importantly, the SmartPill tells how long it takes for solids to pass through the gastrointestinal tract. “The pill may stay in the stomach of one dog for 21 hours and another one for only 10 minutes before reaching the small intestine,” says Dr. Nelson. “Prolonged transit of material through the stomach may stretch gastric ligaments to allow the stomach to twist. In addition, we know that the gas in the stomachs of dogs with GDV is a product of bacterial fermentation similar to what happens in cattle that bloat. With the SmartPill, we seek to learn if GDV risk and gastrointestinal motility are linked.”

Researchers at Michigan State also are evaluating the relationship between levels of two hormones, motilin (MLN) and ghrelin (GHRL), and GDV risk. Previous studies have shown that the phase III motility of dogs with GDV is weaker than in unaffected dogs. During phase III, contractions should be strongest to push nondigestble solids out of the stomach into the small intestine. The Michigan State team also is conducting a genetic analysis to evaluate the genes that encode MLN and GHRL in affected and low-risk dogs to determine if a mutation in one of the genes is more common in dogs that have bloated.

“As motilin is what seems to trigger phase III contractions in a dog’s stomach and ghrelin seems to end these contractions, potentially one or both of these hormones could cause the problem,” Dr. Nelson says.

The ability to predict which dogs are likely to respond well to surgery could be as simple as determining the amount of lactate in a dog’s blood, a measure of how effectively oxygen reaches body tissues. “When lactate goes up, it is a sign that tissues in the body have had to make energy without oxygen,” says Dr. Nelson. “The killer in GDV is more commonly related to shock, or the inability of the body to get oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and thus not necessarily related to the stomach. Lactate indicates the severity of shock in a particular dog, but high lactate does not necessarily indicate a dog will survive or die.”

Dr. Rozanski agrees. “Preoperatively, increased lactate is associated with gastric necrosis, or tissue death, and ectopy, or abnormal heart beats. We have found that a long duration of GDV may be associated with a worse prognosis. Different organs such as the heart, brain and lungs start to fail — a condition termed multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) — which complicates recovery.”

In a Tufts study of 26 dogs of various breeds with bloat, Dr. Rozanski reports that those with cardiac dysfunction largely had a poor outcome. “We are looking to see how to better characterize myocardial disease in dogs with GDV,” she says. ‘We have found that the biomarkers of echocardiography and electro­cardiogram testing parallel the severity of disease.”

The biobank of hundreds of DNA samples of GDV-affected dogs being collected at Tufts is ongoing. The microbiome research, which includes the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, aims to determine if there is a difference in the bacterial flora of dogs with GDV compared to other dogs.

Given that bloat is a complex age-old disease, it is not surprising that answers don’t come quickly. Meanwhile, “early detection and planning ahead are key,” says Dr. Rozanski. “We can do more to help dogs with earlier detection, a more aggressive surgical approach and improved supportive care postoperatively. We want to learn how to prevent organ failure and infection in dogs with bloat.”

“The question for us is what causes bloat,” Dr. Nelson summarizes. “We need to clarify causative factors to guide preventive measures, improve medical treatment and implement selective breeding. The exciting thing about this devastating and significant problem is there are some new perspectives on this old disease.”


Pet Loss Bereavement Support Group

Name: Dr. Sue Wheeler
Comment: Free weekly pet loss support group for those dealing with death of a beloved pet. A Non-profit 501-C3 organization. 35+ years of community service. Meets EVERY week.
Event Information: Pet Loss support group meets weekly (702) 735-5544



BIRD (702) 856-3300

——————————————————————————————————————————————————— (702) 635-7137



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Arizona Cactus Corgi Rescue!!

Please welcome Arizona Cactus Corgi Rescue to our Vegas Animal Rescue Coalition!!

We are a 501(c)3 not for profit organization. Our mission is to rehabilitate and re-home displaced Welsh Corgis, both Pembroke and Cardigan.

We believe corgis deserve a second chance. We get our Corgis into rescue in various ways. We adopt them from shelters, network with other rescues to have them come to us and we have owners, who for various reasons are unable to take care of their corgi for any longer, turn them over to us.

Our corgis are all examined by a veterinarian, have blood work performed to check for any problems, dentals performed, if needed, and are spayed or neutered prior to adoption, if needed.

They receive all of their vaccinations, heartworm preventative and flea/tick preventative while in our care.

Every corgi we receive in becomes a part of us and we take care of each of them just as if they were one of our own.

Download Application in Word   Download Application in PDF


New Dog Parks, Manners, & Rules

Are your dogs staring at you.  They are trying to tell you it is a beautiful day to go outside and play.

Henderson has two new Dog Parks.

Hidden Falls Park – 281 W. Horizon Way Henderson, NV 89002 – Opening Today

Reunion Trails Park – 44 Chapata Drive Henderson, NV 89012 – Already Opened

We have all the Las Vegas, Henderson, & Boulder City Dog Parks listed on including directions to get you there.


Dog Park Manners and Rules
Those of you headed to dog parks may find these tips helpful:
An expert says at a minimum dog park users should pick up dog waste, “have a reasonable recall on [their] dog, and be respectful of people’s feelings.”
If your dog tends to display dog-dog aggression or plays more roughly than other owners like, closely monitor your dog and keep him under control.

“Additional dog-park etiquette rules include:

• “Unleash your dog. A leashed dog may feel threatened by others moving freely.
• “Keep moving. If you stand in one place, your dog may be more apt to become territorial.
• “Never leave your dog unattended, and don’t use a dog park as a drop-off daycare…
• “Make sure your dog has updated vaccinations.
• “Leave your puppies at home until they’re fully vaccinated and physically up to the sometimes rough-and-tumble play. Initial socialization for puppies is often better coming from a puppy training class.
• “Wait until your female dog is out of season…
• “Use caution with toys. Some dogs can be very possessive of their toys; others will want to steal everyone else’s toys… it’s usually a good idea to leave the toys at home…
• “Be careful with children. Not all dogs do well with children, and many dogs will bowl young kids over. If you take your children with you, supervise them closely.
• “[Do] not take more dogs with you than you can control; which for most people is a maximum of three [if they are] well-trained, responsive dogs.
• “Don’t let your dog dig in the park. It can cause a hazard to other dogs.
• “Leave the wildlife alone… for both the wildlife’s and your dog’s safety.

“Relax. The dogs usually figure things out pretty quickly and have a good time.
Be watchful and considerate, but stay positive —
your tension communicates itself to your dog”


Join Our Coalition


 Dear Animal Rescuers,

We would like to invite your Animal Rescue Organization to join the yahoo group and website coalition.  Let me first start by saying this is 100% free.  We are 100% volunteer run and just do this for the animals.

The Vegas Animal Rescue Yahoo Chat group and websites were created in June 2006.  This private yahoo group was created for Animal Rescue Organizations (ARO) to communicate and save animals in our community.  It was also created so A.R.O.s could support each other when needed, trade supplies, help in placements, and all the other aspects that come from rescuing animals.  This Vegas Animal Rescue Yahoo Chat Group is a private group and not for the general public.

The yahoo group is connected with the websites which are run by 100% volunteers.  Our goals are to:

  • Help your Animal Rescue/Shelter Organizations save more animals in our community
  • Educate Pet Owners
  • A one stop fun place for Vegas Animal lovers to look for:

Animal Shelters, Cat Rescues, Dog Rescues, All Other Animal Rescues, All Breed Rescue, ARO Pocket Guide, Adoption Search, Animal Rescue Transport, Dog Parks, Events, How You Can Help, Lost & Found, New Logos, News, Nevada Pet Laws & Voting, Pet Friendly Businesses, Pet Friendly Hotels, Pet Friendly Housing, Shop, Therapy Dog Programs, Training & Exercise, VAR Blog, Contact Us, Pet Diet & Health, Dog Food Grades, First Aid, Health Library, Pet Insurance, Poisons, Recall, Recipes & Snacks, Spay Neuter Information, Vaccinations, Wheelchairs, Pet Fun, Pet Jokes, Pet Pictures, Pet Videos, & Rescue Stories.

We hope the more people that visit our websites the more animals we can help you save.

You might be wondering why there are two different web domain names and they go to the same website.  Well our reason for that is some people see the word “Rescue” and think it might be something sad so they won’t click on it.  We find that people are more willing to click on “411” instead.


Your Rescue/Shelter will be added to the Vegas Animal Rescue Yahoo Group.  It is a great communication tool to work with all the other Rescue and Shelter volunteers in our community.

We will add your logo/link/contact information under the section that best fits your rescue organization on both websites.  You can choose to be placed under Cat Rescue/Dog Breed Rescue/All Breed which ever you choose or under each.

We will also put your logo and a picture of a pet you have rescued in our new video on the website.  We are looking for good quality so that the video quality comes out nice.  V.A.R. members have a list of 8 professional photographers that volunteer their time to take great quality photos to help you get your animals adopted.  Please send your photo to


  1. Please complete an application below and return to
  2. Please send us one letter of reference from your veterinarian.
  3. Send us your logo and link that you would like to use on the website(s) etc.
  4. Please add one of our logos to your websites.  If we are linked it will drive more adopters to all of you.  You can pick out a logo/link located on our website under “Our Logos” section.
  1. Send out an email to your friends, family, clients, & your adopters with information about and/or in your Newsletters if possible.


The Vegas Animal Rescue Yahoo Chat group was created in June 2006.  The group was created for Animal Rescue Organizations (ARO) to communicate and save animals in our community.  It was also created so AROs could support each other when needed, trade supplies, help in placements, and all the other aspects that come from rescuing animals.

This Vegas Animal Rescue Yahoo Chat Group is a private group and not for the general public.  This group is connected with

 Please tell us some information about your organization.

Animal Rescue Organization Name:
Is your ARO a 501(c)(3) organization? Yes or No & #
Is your ARO? Local, National, or Both
ARO Address:
ARO Email:
ARO Website:

If you would like to include multiple contacts to the Yahoo Group please include their information.

ARO Contact Name:
ARO Contact Phone:
ARO Contact Email:
ARO Contact Name:
ARO Contact Phone:
ARO Contact Email:
What is your Spay and Neuter policy?
Do you Microchip?
Other information you would like to share.

Please complete this application and return to

  1. Email your logo and link that you would like for us to use on the website(s).
  2. In addition please email a letter of recommendation from your veterinarian.

Thank you so much

The Volunteers of


 (Your ARO will be notified in 1 to 5 business days if your application has been approved for the VAR Yahoo Chat Group and/or VAR websites)

Printable Applications:



Help Us Help You

The volunteers of website would like our sites to be the one stop informational place to find everything you need when it comes to your pets.

We would love your input.  Please take a few minutes and look over the website CLICK HERE.  Do you see anything you would like added, corrected, or updated?  We would love any and all advice.  Please email us at

Thank you so much

Volunteers of – Facebook – Facebook Page – Twitter – Blog

The Churchill Foundation



The Churchill Foundation strives to be, not only an animal rescue, but a community resource that encourages participation and involvement. We hope to create a collaborative coalition of animal enthusiasts that are willing to work together to portray rescue and shelter animals in a positive light. churchhill

The Churchill Foundation was created by caring individuals in Las Vegas that felt that our city needs to change. Too many animals end up in shelters through no fault of their own. From strays, abandoned, even abused and neglected animals are forced into unknown fate daily. This can change, it needs to change. Your generous donation will go toward financing our community programs, help with research for new innovative operation ideas, fund positive ad campaigns, and of course help with the few animals lucky enough to end up under our roof. Every donation contributes to a brighter future for the homeless animals in Las Vegas and NO amount is too small. We happily accept donations of items most often needed by shelter dogs and cats. For a list of items we can use, check our community page. If we ever receive items not currently needed by the dogs and cats at The Churchill Foundation, we deliver the items to shelters and rescues in our area that desperatly need them. Thank you for your help! You can donate via PayPal or by contacting us through the site. You can also sign up for a monthly donation as well.