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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18804
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My dog is sluggish, not eating, she has a swollen stomach and

Resolved Question:

My dog is sluggish, not eating, she has a swollen stomach and both her eyes are running, any ideas of what may be wrong with her. i have taken her to the vet with little results.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 years ago.

Hi Sir or Madam,


Has blood work been done?

What did the Vet say they thought it was to prescribe antibiotics?

How long has the belly been swollen?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The dogs symptoms started with a very hoarse throat and very noisey breathing. at this point the dog was fine within her self. This started approx 3 months ago but in the last 4 weeks she has detariated very quickley. she has had three lots of antibiotics and is currently on metacam and Preonisolone which i have recently been told should not be given together. We have stopped the metacam and now try to give her the Preonisolone to aid with her breathing. She has had an Endiscope to check for bacteria down the throat but this returned clear, she has had no blood tests done or xrays.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 years ago.



At her age it is necessary to have bloodwork done at a minimum and I would suggest x-rays as well. There are various causes for swollen stomach including bloat, constipation, parasites, peritonitis, cushings, pyometra and edema. Bloat usually includes attempts to vomit, restlessness and is pretty deadly if not treated quickly, thus we can rule this out. constipation can cause a swollen belly but you don't mention her not being able to defecate. Parasites are easily diagnosed so I'm sure your vet would have caught this easily with a fecal exam.


In addition, a puncture to the gastrointestinal tract can cause peritonitis which you can read about here:.


Cushing's is when the adreanal glands overproduce glucocorticoid. This can be caused by a tumor, steroids and is mostly seen in older animals. Symptoms include excessive drinking and urination, increased appetite, increased panting, lethargy, hair loss, weakness, and a pot belly. Dog's with cushings sometimes have darkened skin. Treatment and prognoses depends on the cause. In some dogs treatment is very effective. You can read about this here as well as more detailed information on cushings.


Pyometra is a uterine infections and usually occurs 60-70 days after a heat cycle. It is usually seen in older unspayed females but can be seen in any age. It is diagnosed by ultrasound showing fluid in the uterus. There are two types of Pyometra (open and closed cervix) Symptoms of open cervix Pyometra are a vaginal discharge that may be pus or bloody, lethargy, anorexia, increased thirst and urination, vomiting and diarrhea, and abdominal swelling though the dog remains fairly healthy due to the infection draining from the body. Closed cervix Pyometra symptoms are the same without much of a discharge, they appear very ill, there is usually weight loss and abdominal swelling and is much more extreme. Dehydration, shock and death can occur if not treated aggressively.


Edema is fluid buildupand in the abdomen andit could be due to puncture, cancer, heart issues and even liver failure. Along with the other symptoms you are seeing could indicate a number of different things. There are just too many possibilities at this point to pinpoint the cause without bloodwork. I would also get x-rays or a ct scan done as well. I hope this information is helpful to you.



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