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Prev Vet Med. 2003 Sep 12;60(4):319-29.

Benefits of prophylactic gastropexy for dogs at risk of gastric dilatation-volvulus.

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Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, 725 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2027, USA.


The lifetime probability of death from gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV) for five dog breeds was estimated based on published breed-specific longevity and GDV incidence. These breeds were Great Dane, Irish Setter, Rottweiler, Standard Poodle and Weimaraner. Lifetime risk (95% CI) of GDV in these breeds ranged from 3.9% (0-11.2%) for Rottweiler to 36.7% (25.2-44.6%) for Great Dane. A decision-tree analysis for prophylactic gastropexy--using lifetime probability of death from GDV and expected cost savings for veterinary services as outcome measures--was undertaken to determine the preferred course of action in several dog breeds. Prophylactic gastropexy was the preferred choice of action for all breeds examined, with the reduction in mortality (versus no gastropexy) ranging from 2.2-fold (Rottweiler) to 29.6-fold (Great Dane). Assuming a prophylactic gastropexy costs US$ 400, the procedure was cost-effective when the lifetime risk of GDV was > or = 34%. The maximum and minimum estimated breakeven costs for the gastopexy procedure ranged from US$ 20 (Rottweiler) to US$ 435 (Great Dane). The cost-effectiveness of prophylactic gastropexy was most sensitive to the cost of treating GDV (US$ 1500). Prophylactic gastropexy raises ethical issues that need to be considered by veterinarians and dog breeders.

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