Greenwich Village Animal Hospital

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Flipping Stomachs

As recently as a few years ago, one could have made the argument that the French Bulldog was the unofficial mascot of the West Village. More recently, though, the popularity of these adorable and stubby dogs in the area has yielded to that of the more elegant array of Poodle mixes, commonly referred to as “Doodles.”

If you've ever owned a Frenchie, this news might seem good, at least financially; Frenchies are known for their skin diseases as well as their notorious difficulty breathing. Brachycephalic surgery, which opens up the airways to facilitate drawing breath with greater ease, can sometimes cost as much as three or four thousand dollars. The longer-nosed Doodles (including Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Bernedoodles and countless others) do not require this expensive surgery.

However, Doodles, like many dog breeds, have an Achilles' heel of their own: their deep chest. Due to this sub-par engineering in the anatomy of these curly-haired canines, it is remarkably easy for Doodles to develop a condition called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), more commonly known as bloat, in which the stomach flips and becomes trapped in a tangle of other abdominal organs. GDV is an emergency condition that can be lethal if not identified and treated quickly.

Fortunately, there is a straightforward way to prevent GDV. A surgical procedure called a gastropexy, often performed at the time of spay or neuter, attaches the stomach to the body wall, eliminating entirely the risk of GDV later in life. The risks are no greater than a spay/neuter procedure, and the benefits are profound.

If you've just adopted a dog from the Doodle family of breeds, it may be worth considering this life-saving surgical procedure, at least until we're caught up in the wave of whatever breed surges in popularity for southern Manhattanites next.