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HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. — A necropsy has revealed that Hendricks County K-9 Cade didn’t die from heat related issues, as was originally believed, but from a condition called Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus.

On July 16, the sheriff’s office posted to their Facebook page, “Cade suffered from an internal issue that involved lesions likely related to a condition known as GDV, which is reportedly not uncommon in large breeds.” 

GDV (which is also referred to as bloat) is when the stomach twists, fills with gas and then becomes blocked. If left untreated, the dog can die within several hours. 

While the cause of GDV is still a mystery, the illness has recognizable symptoms and can be treated. 

How you can spot GDV in your pet: 

  • Appearing anxious
  • Pacing
  • Salivating
  • Trying to vomit, but not producing anything
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Mucus membranes or gums appearing white
  • Shock

If your pet is showing any of these signs, it’s advised to take them to a veterinarian immediately.

How It’s Treated:

Once GDV is diagnosed, your pet must undergo surgery. 

“We have to decompress the stomach, and we have to go in and derotate it. Then, we can tack it down so this won’t happen anymore,” says Dr. James Speiser, veterinarian, and founder of IndyVet. “We can tack it to the body wall.”

Tacking is when part of the stomach is stitched to the inside muscle layer of the body wall.

Speiser says that in the majority of the cases they’re able to do surgery on, the animal is saved.

Can You Prevent It?

GDV is most common in larger breeds like Great Danes, Mastiffs, and German Shepherds. 

If you own a larger breed you can ask your vet to have the stomach tacked to prevent GDV from happening, Dr. Speiser says. 

PetMD suggests that if you think your dog may be at risk, you can try to prevent GDV by:

  • Serving several small meals a day
  • Not using an elevated food bowl
  • Avoiding dry food
  • Having water available at all times
  • Reducing stress, especially around feeding time

After the loss of K9 Cade, the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department went to Facebook to thank the community for their support.

A memorial service for Cade will be held Monday, July 23rd at 2 p.m. at the Bartlett Chapel United Methodist Church on E. Main Street in Avon and is open to the public. 

(Photo by Hendricks Co. Sheriff’s Dept.)