Some of the health conditions of Great Danes require medical procedures to prevent, correct or treat them. Stomach tacking is one of these procedures.
In this article, we will aim to help you understand what stomach tacking is, the pros and cons of it for Great Danes, the cost, the age it is performed, and the care involved during recovery.
Stomach tacking in Great Danes is a surgical procedure also known as gastropexy, performed to prevent gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) which is the twisting of the stomach as a result of bloat. The procedure involves attachment or “tacking” of the stomach to the body wall of the dog to a fixed position to prevent future twisting or switching.
Bloat is fatal to Great Danes due to the development of GDV which leads to shock and death.
The preventive surgery performed on a healthy Great Dane is known as prophylactic gastropexy which prevents the twisting of the stomach due to bloat.
An emergency gastropexy is the surgery performed when a Dane develops GDV which requires the untwisting of the stomach and attaching it to the body wall.
Bloat and the resultant GDV outcomes are the number one killer of Great Danes. 40% of Great Danes are estimated to develop GDV in their life.
Bloat leads to GDV therefore prophylactic gastropexy or elective stomach tacking prevents GDV occurrence.
Read More: What is bloat in Great Danes?
Should I have my Great Danes Stomach Tacked?
Stomach tacking is highly recommended for Great Danes because they are at a higher risk of developing bloat which leads to Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV) and resultant death.
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is the twisting of the stomach as a result of bloat which leads to shock and death of a Great Dane.
Having a Great Dane’s stomach tacked is a preventative measure against the fatal outcome of bloat and also if they happen to develop bloat, stomach tacking reduces the risk of GDV recurrence from 55% to 4%.
Prophylactic gastropexy which is the preventive surgery costs less compared to surgery done after the development of GDV and has few complications.
Prophylactic gastropexy does not prevent bloat, which is the stomach filling up with gas, fluid, or food and expanding, but prevents the development of GDV which is the twisting of the stomach during bloat.
A Great Dane with a tacked stomach will be ok with bloat when it occurs than a dog with an un-tacked stomach.
Great Dane Stomach Tacking Age
Stomach tacking for a Great Dane is usually performed at the same time they undergo neutering or spay surgery which is done when they are at least 1 year old (12 months). This is both for female and male Great Danes.
Recommended Reading: What is Wobblers in Great Danes?
Great Dane Stomach Tacking Cost
The average cost of Great Dane stomach tacking surgery ranges between $400 to $4000 which depends on the type of procedure performed.
Prophylactic gastropexy is the preventative procedure while emergency gastropexy is performed after the development of Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV). The average cost of prophylactic gastropexy is between $400 – $800 while the average cost of emergency surgery is between $1500 – $4000.
Pros and Cons of Stomach Tacking In Great Danes
- Prophylactic gastropexy prevents the occurrence of Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV).
- Emergency gastropexy cuts down the risk of the recurrence of GDV.
- Stomach tacking saves a Great Danes life.
Prophylactic gastropexy has fewer complications and a Great Dane heals quickly.
Due to the disadvantages associated with emergency gastropexy, Dane owners are advised to choose prophylactic or elective stomach tacking which prevents the occurrence of GDV and associated complications of surgery after GDV development.
Emergency surgery has more disadvantages which include:
- Removal of parts of the stomach or all of the spleen may be removed due to lack of blood supply.
- Complications can occur such as the tack not holding.
- After surgery, there is a possibility of the occurrence of heart arrhythmias which can be fatal.
- The potential death of a Great Dane.
- The high cost of surgery.
- The high cost of post-operative care.
Recommended Reading: What do Great Danes usually die from?
Great Dane Stomach Tacking Recovery
Great Dane stomach tacking recovery depends on if they went through prophylactic surgery for prevention of Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV) or if they went through emergency surgery to correct GDV.
Post-operative care for the recovery of a Great Dane after emergency surgery includes monitoring them for some time at the hospital before being released to go home.
Home care involves restricted activity to allow healing, a prescription diet as advised by the vet is provided and also medication is provided to protect the gastrointestinal tract.
Prophylactic gastropexy is usually done together with neutering surgery and post-operative care in includes:
- Keeping a Great Dane calm and relaxed for 7 days to allow for healing.
- Restriction of exertion through activities such as playing, jumping, or running.
- The wound is kept dry and clean to allow healing. Bathing and swimming are avoided during this time.
- Pain medication as prescribed is provided to ensure your dog is comfortable and not in pain as they heal.
- Monitoring of the incision for the presence of discharge or swelling.
- Feeding your dog small frequent meals up to 10 days after surgery.
The Great Dane is a breed that is at a high risk of developing bloat and Gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV) which results in death if not caught sooner.
Becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of bloat is important for a Great Dane owner so that you can seek immediate medical help.
Preventive measures through surgery are highly recommended to avoid the development of GDV. Consult your vet on this for your Great Dane.
I hope this article has helped you understand what stomach tacking is in Great Danes, the pros and cons of it, the cost, the age it is performed, and the care involved during recovery after the procedure.
If you liked this article you may also like to learn more from the below resources on Great Danes.