Sugar’s stomach worries

Sugar a gorgeous 12-year-old Leonberger dog was referred to us as she was experiencing recurrent episodes of bloat. On examination, the team suspected this had started after Sugar had developed laryngeal paralysis.

Laryngeal paralysis is a disease caused by a loss of function of the nerves controlling the larynx (or voice box) which can cause difficulty breathing and aerophagia or gulping too much air.  

It is more common in older, large-breed dogs and can start off being mild but progressively worsen over time and become life threatening, as they can’t control the amount of air taken into their stomachs, so it fills with air and can then twist itself, called gastric volvulus.

As Sugar is an older dog who gets worried away from home, her owner was keen to avoid an open surgical procedure. So, Rachel Hattersley, one of our Specialists in Soft Tissue Surgery performed a minimally invasive laparoscopic assisted gastropexy.

This procedure, to prevent their stomach twisting, is performed with a camera to identify the correct portion of the stomach to attach to the right side of the body wall to. The gastropexy is performed just via a small incision just behind their rib cage.

This key-hole surgery meant that Sugar’s time in hospital was minimised and her recovery time much quicker.