The aim of this internet-based questionnaire was to determine risk factors for the development and survival of gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) in dogs in central Europe. The questionnaire focused on general information, feeding and elimination behaviour, family history, personality and routine habits, was freely distributed on the internet. Respondents were recruited by e-mail, and announcement of the survey on websites focused on dogs or breeder clubs and flyers in veterinary clinics and at dog shows. Responses from the owners of 785 dogs were analysed. Data underwent descriptive statistical and logistic regression analysis. Factors associated with an increased risk of GDV are intact male, specific breed, pet food and first-degree relative with gastric-dilatation and volvulus. In contrast, low risk was observed in spayed females, dogs eating meals with large particles, dogs with frequent defecation or in dogs kept at home. Non-survivors had a significantly longer time between food consumption and the development of clinical signs than survivors. We conclude that the risk of GDV development is associated with several factors. Some of these can be influenced by the owner or veterinarian.
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