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Sometimes we can be concerned by observing that our dog has a swollen and hard belly. Generally, the causes of this distention vary if we are dealing with a puppy or if, on the contrary, it is an adult dog. In any case, knowing what can cause this inflammation will help us determine when it is urgent to consult with our veterinarian. In this AnimalWised article we will review the most frequent reasons that explain the canine abdominal bloating.You may also be interested in: Why does my cat have a swollen and hard belly? Index
- My puppy has a hard and swollen belly
- How to eliminate intestinal parasites in puppies
- Hard, swollen belly in adult dog due to torsion / dilation of the stomach
- Who and how does torsion / dilation affect in dogs?
- How to prevent stomach torsion / dilation in dogs?
- My dog has a swollen belly and is down - Other causes
- What to do if your dog has a swollen belly?
My puppy has a hard and swollen belly
If we adopt a puppy from a shelter, it is most likely that we will receive it properly dewormed and vaccinated, with more than eight weeks of age and its corresponding veterinary passport in order. On the other hand, if our puppy arrives by other means, it is not uncommon for us to observe his abnormally large, swollen and hard belly. The most common cause is a intestinal parasite infestation. Puppies can contract parasites in utero, through parasitized milk or by ingesting the eggs. Therefore, it is essential to deworm from the fifteen days of life of the puppy. In this sense, establishing a deworming calendar is essential to avoid future infestations..
How to eliminate intestinal parasites in puppies
It is normal for puppies to be parasitized by nematodes, but the presence of other parasites cannot be ruled out, so it is advisable to follow the recommendations and guidelines of the veterinarian. In general, the internal deworming, in syrup, paste or pills, it is usually repeated every fifteen days until the first vaccines are finished, at which time it is administered every 3-4 months throughout the life of the animal, even if our dog does not have a swollen and hard belly.
Despite the fact that deworming is administered routinely, it is important to observe the condition of the puppy before giving any product, since it can be counterproductive to deworm a sick, stressed puppy or with a diarrhea whose origin is not the parasite itself. In these cases, it is a priority to restore the well-being of the dog first. Parasites appear to be a common and mild condition, but serious Untreated infestations are life threatening.
Hard, swollen belly in adult dog due to torsion / dilation of the stomach
In an adult dog, on the other hand, abdominal inflammation will have a different origin, since it can indicate the presence of a serious pathology known as torsion / dilation of the stomach. This disorder is life threatening and requires prompt veterinary intervention. It is an urgency. Understands two different processes:
- The first is the dilation of the stomach due to the presence of gas and liquid.
- The second is torsion or volvulus, a process in which the previously distended stomach rotates on its axis. The spleen, attached to the stomach, also ruptures.
If our dog has a hard and swollen stomach, with total probability we will be facing a torsion or stomach dilation. In this situation, neither gas nor liquid can leave the stomach. The dog, therefore, will not be able to burp or vomit, and this accumulation of gases and liquids is what is distended the stomach. Blood circulation is also affected, so that necrosis (death) of the stomach wall can occur. This condition can be aggravated with gastric perforation, peritonitis, circulatory shock, etc., which is what ends up causing the death of the animal, hence the importance of an early veterinary intervention if we observe that our dog has a swollen and hard belly.
Who and how does torsion / dilation affect in dogs?
This pathology occurs more frequently in middle-aged and geriatric dogs, generally of large breeds with a wide chest, as they have a greater anatomical propensity. They are breeds as well known as the German Shepherd, the Boxer or the Labrador.
It is a condition that comes on suddenly and is usually related to eating a large meal, vigorous exercise just before or just after eating, or drinking a large amount of water immediately after a meal.. The symptoms typical would be:
- Restlessness, nervousness, disturbance.
- Nausea, with unsuccessful attempts to vomit.
- Distension of the abdomen, that is, a swollen and hard belly.
- There may also be pain when touching the belly.
It is essential to go to the vet now if the dog has a swollen and hard abdomen. He will be the one who determines if the inflamed belly of our dog corresponds to a dilation or the torsion has already occurred. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment is carried out. Torsion will require surgery once the dog is stabilized. Your prognosis and the type of intervention will depend on what is affected when opening.
How to prevent stomach torsion / dilation in dogs?
Torsion / dialation can be a recurring process, that is, it can happen to the dog several times, so it is important to attend to a series of measures:
- Divide the daily food ration into portions.
- Restrict access to water a few hours before and after meals.
- Prevent intake followed by large amounts of water.
- Do not practice vigorous exercise on a full stomach.
And, above all, go to the veterinary clinic at the slightest suspicion of torsion / dilation.
My dog has a swollen belly and is down - Other causes
Although the torsion / dilation of the stomach is the most frequent cause that explains why a dog has a swollen belly, the truth is that it is not the only one that can cause this enlargement of the abdominal area. Thus, we distinguish the following problems as the most common in adult dogs:
Your dog has a swollen and hard belly from gas
Yes, dogs can also suffer gas, the main symptom being a swollen and hard belly. The reasons that justify this problem are several, being the poor quality food, the sudden change of diet, swallowing food very quickly or without chewing or a poor digestion the most common. However, diseases, parasites and the aforementioned torsion / dilation of the stomach can also cause gas, so a visit to the vet is more than recommended.
¿Why does your dog have a swollen belly and vomit??
For a dog to have a swollen belly and vomit, something is wrong. These symptoms are usually associated with the presence of intestinal parasites, such as tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, or whipworms. Despite being more common in puppies, adult dogs can also suffer from these infestations, especially if they are not dewormed..
These parasites, in addition to the symptoms mentioned, can cause the dog to have a swollen belly and diarrhea, blood in the stool, general weakness, anemia and / or weight loss.
¿Why does your dog have a swollen and soft belly?
Another cause that can explain why a dog has a swollen belly is the intestinal obstruction, which can develop for multiple reasons. Among the most common, the following stand out:
- Strange bodies.
It is a serious situation and, therefore, a veterinary emergency. The obstruction can be partial or total, and only the specialist can diagnose and treat it.
What to do if your dog has a swollen belly?
Since most causes are serious, it is necessary to go to the vet as soon as possible, since if the problem that is causing this abdominal enlargement is not treated, the animal could even die.
Depending on the cause, the treatment for your dog's hard and swollen belly will vary, since treating a stomach twist is not the same as treating a gas problem from a poor diet. In this sense, in addition to visiting the vet, it is important review diet that the animal follows to ensure that it is the most suitable. If the food we give our dog is of low quality, for example, it is possible that this is the reason for the swelling, which would be solved by adapting the diet. In addition, check if you have been dewormed It is another of the measures we must take. However, we insist, due to the seriousness of the options, going to the specialist is the most advisable.
This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.