Spontaneous gastric dilatation-volvulus in two cats

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2018 Jul;28(4):346-355. doi: 10.1111/vec.12734. Epub 2018 Jun 15.


Objectives: To describe 2 cases of gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) in cats. To describe 2 unique clinical settings in which the disease occurs in cats, and to highlight the differences between GDV in cats and dogs.

Case series summary: Two neutered female Persian cats were presented for evaluation of respiratory distress. Initial physical examination revealed tachypnea, dyspnea, and a markedly distended and painful abdomen in both cats. Radiographs revealed a gas-dilated stomach and gastrointestinal (GI) tract in both cats but were only diagnostic for GDV in 1 case. Gastric dilatation-volvulus was confirmed during exploratory laparotomy and gastropexy was performed in each case. Both cats were successfully discharged from the hospital.

New and unique information provided: Gastric dilatation-volvulus in cats is a rare event and appears to occur in 2 clinical settings: in combination with traumatic diaphragmatic hernia (as previously reported) and without a history of trauma or diaphragmatic hernia, as in the 2 cases reported here. Clinicians should consider GDV in the list of differentials for cats with respiratory distress and abdominal distension, even if classic radiographic findings are not present.

Keywords: abdominal pain; dyspnea; feline.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cat Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Cats
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / veterinary
  • Female
  • Gastric Dilatation / complications
  • Gastric Dilatation / diagnosis
  • Gastric Dilatation / surgery
  • Gastric Dilatation / veterinary*
  • Laparoscopy / veterinary
  • Stomach Volvulus / complications
  • Stomach Volvulus / diagnosis
  • Stomach Volvulus / surgery
  • Stomach Volvulus / veterinary*