"Bloat" is a condition where a dog's stomach becomes swollen with food or air. Since the stomach can move freely in their belly, it can also rotate on itself when this happens, cutting off its blood supply. This life-threatening emergency is particularly common in large, deep-chested breeds like Labradors, Great Danes, German Shepherd Dogs, and Boxers. In fact, this condition used to be the leading cause of death in Military Working Dogs.
Fortunately, there is a surgical procedure that can prevent this life-threatening problem. An incisional gastropexy involves making a 2-4cm incision in the outer layers of the stomach and suturing that to a similar incision in the body wall. The two incisions heal or "scar" together, fixing the stomach in the belly so it can no longer rotate - thus preventing the deadly condition described above.
Dr. Rowland learned to do this procedure during his time in the Army - which now performs it on all Military Working Dogs, turning their previous leading cause of death into a very rare issue. He has performed many gastropexys since, and strongly recommends the procedure on any high-risk breeds. It is most commonly performed at the time of spay or neuter, but can be done at any point.