In this VETgirl online veterinary continuing education blog, we discuss how to trocharize a GDV. Gastric decompression is a necessary part of stabilization of the gastric dilatation-volvulus patient. This can be done by passing an orogastric tube (see “How to perform a gastric lavage”). This author prefers trocharization as compared to orogastric intubation, as it is easy to perform, effective, has minimal side complications, and is less stressful to the patient. The clinician should locate the most tympanic region (estimating where the stomach is) and clip and prep the region. Aseptic technique should be used. A large gauge needle or catheter (e.g., 14 or 16 ga.) should be directed into this area to alleviate gas from the stomach; the sound of hissing gas indicates appropriate placement into the stomach. Rare complications can be seen secondary to trocharization including splenic laceration, gastric perforation, or septic peritonitis. Alternatively, once the patient has been appropriate stabilized, orogastric intubation can be performed to aid in gastric decompression. Goodrich et al evaluated dogs undergoing orogastric intubation versus trocharization in 116 dogs and found that orogastric tube placement was successful in 77% of dogs, with 38% of the dogs requiring sedation. In comparison, trocharization was successful in 86% of the cases, with no need for sedation.1 (In the author’s opinion, all dogs should be sedated for orogastric intubation unless comatosed or obtunded to prevent undue stress and anxiety to the patient.)

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