Current evidence supporting simultaneous prophylactic gastropexy in canine patients undergoing complete splenectomy



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PICO question

In dogs that have undergone a complete splenectomy, does performing a concurrent gastropexy decrease the risk of future gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) development when compared to not performing a concurrent gastropexy?


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Five papers were critically reviewed which included one retrospective case series, one retrospective case-control study, and three combined retrospective cohort and cross-sectional survey studies

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

In dogs that have had a complete splenectomy, there is no conclusive evidence that prophylactic gastropexy decreases the risk of lifetime GDV development


Based on the limited information available, it is difficult to conclude if prophylactic gastropexy should be recommended routinely at the time of complete splenectomy


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


Open Access Peer Reviewed


DeGroot, W., Giuffrida, M.A., Rubin, J., Runge, J.J., Zide, A., Mayhew, P.D., Culp, W.T.N., Mankin, K.T., Amsellem, P.M., Petrukovich, B., Ringwood, P.B., Case, J.B. & Singh, A. (2016). Primary splenic torsion in dogs: 102 cases (1992–2014). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 248(6), 661–668. DOI:

Goldhammer, M.A., Haining, H., Milne, E.M., Shaw, D.J. & Yool, D.A. (2010). Assessment of the incidence of GDV following splenectomy in dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 51(1), 23–28. DOI:

Grange, A.M., Clough, W. & Casale, S.A. (2012). Evaluation of splenectomy as a risk factor for gastric dilatation-volvulus. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 241(4), 461–466. DOI:

Maki, L.C., Males, K.N., Byrnes, M.J., El-Saad, A.A. & Coronado, G.S. (2017). Incidence of gastric dilatation-volvulus following a splenectomy in 238 dogs. The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 58(12): 1275–1280.

Sartor, A.J., Bentley, A.M. & Brown, D.C. (2013). Association between previous splenectomy and gastric dilatation-volvulus in dogs: 453 cases (2004–2009). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 242(10), 1381–1384. DOI:

Loy Son, N.K., Singh, A., Amsellem, P., Kilkenny, J., Brisson, B.A., Oblak, M.L. & Ogilvie, A.T. (2016). Long-Term Outcome and Complications Following Prophylactic Laparoscopic-Assisted Gastropexy in Dogs. Veterinary Surgery. 45(S1), 77–83. DOI:

Vol. 6 No. 4 (2021): The fourth issue of 2021

Section: Knowledge Summaries

Categories :  Small Animal  /  Dogs  /  Cats  /  Rabbits  /  Production Animal  /  Cattle  /  Sheep  /  Pig  /  Equine  /  Exotics  /