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Candy, Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11612
Experience:  Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
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My 13 year old bulldog is having difficulty breathing and his

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My 13 year old bulldog is having difficulty breathing and his stomach is swollen. This has been progressively worse all week but tonight I noticed bulging skin under the chest and it feels like fluid in there. He is barking instead of resting. Any ideas?
Hello,I am sorry to hear Andy is having some trouble. I would love to help I just have a few additional questions.

Have you had him seen by the vet since this started?

What color are his gums?

Any previous health problems?

Any coughing?

Is he eating and drinking?

Would you be willing to have him seen in the ER if needed?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He has not seen vet yet. Gums appear normal. He has yeast spots often (miconizole) and has been on Rymadil for arthritis. He has been coughing - or similar to clearing the throat of phlem. Drinking yes and does eat but not nearly as much or as often. I may have to take to vet on Sunday - emergency visit.


Thank you for the additional information.

When we hear a senior dog has an enlarged abdomen and trouble breathing we worry that there may be fluid building in the abdomen which is called ascites. Fluid in the chest is called Plureal Effusion. Both of these problems can be caused by heart failure ( coughing is also a symptom) problems with the liver or kidneys or cancer in the abdomen and or chest.In some cases this can be blood building due to a mass however when due to blood in most cases we would see pale gums. Click on the links below for additional information.
Pleural Effusion

Considering his age and the fact that he is having trouble breathing I would suggest getting him in to the ER tonight and not waiting until morning. This can become critical very quickly and the more the fluid builds the more difficult it is for the lungs to expand and they can eventually become unable to breath.
If you do not know where a 24 hour emergency hospital is in your area please give me your zip code and I will be happy to locate one for you.

I hope he does ok. Please reply back if you have additional questions or need assistance in locating an ER and I will be happy to continue.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My zip is 30650. Let me know where emergency vet is available at night please. I know that my bulldog is old for his breed and therefore somewhat expect bad news.

You are correct he is old for his breed which is a testament to how well you have loved and cared for him.

I have a few ER's in your area. It looks like the closest is about 27 miles from you.

Bethlehem Veterinary Hospital XXXXXbr/> Bethlehem, GA 30620

Here are a few others I have on my list

Eastside Animal 24/7 Emergency Center 1835 Grayson Highway
Grayson, GA 30017

Hoschton Animal Hospital 3434 Hwy 53
Hoschton, GA 30548

Give him a good pet from me and tell him I hope he feels better soon. I will keep you in my thoughts.
Candy and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The vet is treating him with diuretics due to large amounts of fluid in his abdomen and chest. He believes either cancer or heart is causing the fluid but cannot determine until the fluid is reduced so x-rays are efficient. The fluid is blocking visibility. Andy is eating very little and does drink but travels just far enough to take care of potty requirements. He strains to breath thus the pressure on his lungs must be tremendous. Based on all the evidence, it seems Andy may leave us and join his father and others who left us before him. His father left us at 13 years old as well. They have been good friends to our entire family. Thank you for your help.
I am glad you were able to get him in but so sorry that what I suspected was confirmed. I know it is not easy when we are certain that the life of our fiends is coming to and end. Please take some comfort in knowing that you have been an amazing friend to both him and his father and a wonderful care giver. Rarely do we see this breed reach this age and you have done it more then once.
They are very lucky to have had you as I am sure you feel you were very lucky to have them. GIve him lots of love and know that when he reaches the rainbow bridge his dad will be there waiting and will care for him until you see them both again.

Please give him a pet from me and tell him I am so sorry. Please express my condolences to your family as well