OBJECTIVE--To investigate any potential structural differences in hepatogastric ligaments between clinically normal dogs and dogs with gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). DESIGN--Case-control study. ANIMALS--Hepatogastric ligaments were examined in 13 large-breed control dogs and in 13 large-breed dogs referred for surgical treatment of GDV. PROCEDURE--Measurements and biopsies of hepatogastric ligaments were performed at the time of surgery, circumcostal gastropexy, for correction of GDV. Serial sections from each ligament were stained with H&E, Masson's trichrome, and elastin stains to assess morphology, including smooth muscle, collagen, and elastic fiber contents. RESULTS--There were no differences observed by light microscopy in incidence or degree of histopathologic alterations between the 2 groups of dogs. The lengths of hepatogastric ligaments in GDV-affected dogs, however, were significantly longer than those of control dogs (GDV-affected dogs, 7.0 [5.0 to 9.5] cm median [range]; control dogs, 5.0 [3.0 to 7.5] cm median [range]; P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS--Causality can not be inferred from this study. It is not known whether the ligaments were lengthened as a result of GDV or whether the lengthened ligaments predisposed dogs to GDV. CLINICAL RELEVANCE--This finding may reflect increased laxity of the supporting hepatogastric ligament in the right quadrant of the abdomen. An elongated ligament may permit increased stomach mobility and predispose dogs to partial or complete gastric volvulus.