Colorado State University veterinarians want to learn about stomach function in large-breed dogs that have undergone laparoscopic gastropexy, a minimally invasive surgery in which the stomach is attached to the abdominal wall to prevent dangerous bloating.
To investigate, a veterinary team is launching a clinical study in big dogs - those weighing more than 80 pounds.
Gastric dilatation volvulus, when the stomach flips and expands, is both potentially fatal and fairly common in large-breed dogs, said Dr. Eric Monnet, a veterinarian in Soft Tissue Surgery Service at CSU's James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Monnet and colleagues are recruiting big dogs for their study. Learn more here.
The dogs screened and enrolled in the clinical trial will receive a special diet for five weeks; stomach function will be evaluated. Then a laparoscopic gastropexy, which is fully proven as safe, will be performed. Stomach function will be evaluated again five weeks after the surgery, while the dog is on the same diet.
The study's focus is learning what happens in the canine gastrointestinal tract after surgery, Monnet said.
To assess this activity, veterinarians will use a SmartPill in each participating dog. These high-tech ingestible capsules send information to computer monitors, allowing real-time measurement of factors including pressure, pH and temperature in the gastrointestinal tract.
These data will allow veterinarians to understand how the digestive system works as food moves through the stomach and intestines in dogs that have undergone gastropexy. This, in turn, will help veterinarians better identify dietary and other post-surgery needs.
Dogs enrolled in the study will eat a standardized diet for 10 weeks; during that time, each patient will undergo screenings, laparoscopic gastropexy and gastrointestinal evaluation with the SmartPill.
For more information, contact Dr. Eric Monnet, Dr. Kristin Coleman or Geri Baker at (970) 297-5000.