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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 25272
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I live in Costa Rica. My chocolate lab has had a condition

Customer Question

Hi my name is ***** ***** I live in Costa Rica. My chocolate lab has had a condition that has his stomach swelled up and is leaking clear fluid from his legs
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: he has no wounds
JA: What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: this has been going on for a few months
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: but no vet has been able to tell me what is is nor whats causing it
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 11 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this, Daniel. Your Lab's abdomen is effusive (full of fluid) and his legs suffer from peripheral/dependent edema - a collection of fluid in the subcutaneous tissues. This combination of symptoms is usually caused by right-sided heart failure or hypoalbuminemia - a lack of the small protein albumin in the bloodstream. Either his liver wouldn't be producing enough albumin or too much is being lost through his urine or bowels.

A thorough physical exam paying particular attention to his heart is essential. Diagnostics in the form of blood and urine tests are needed to better understand his liver and kidney health. A heartworm test is necessary. A small sample of the abdominal fluid should be aspirated from his abdomen and its physical qualities and cellularity evaluated. Knowing the type of fluid present narrows down the possible causes of an effusion. I understand the logistical constraints you have in Costa Rica. You'll need to find a vet with a decent understanding of internal medicine in dogs. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.