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I have a 12 yr old golden retreiver who I think has cancer…

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I have a 12 yr...
I have a 12 yr old golden retreiver who I think has cancer somewhere in her tummy. she looks like a goat right now...her tummy is very large and she has a hard time walking! she has been like that for about 1 month now and i believe she is getting bigger and bigger every day. Still eats but a little less i think. She has had a huge lump on her chest for years now but never grew any bigger and it moves... Anyway my question is would you have any idea what would be the cause of the big tummy (looking like a goat)
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
6/13/2010
Dog Veterinarian: VetInternist, Board Certified Veterinarian replied 8 years ago
VetInternist
VetInternist, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,181
Experience: Staff Internist and Medical Director
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This could be a tumor of the liver or spleen, but it could also be fluid. Dogs that develop failure of the right side of their heart will build up fluid in the abdomen. Liver disease can also lead to the development of fluid in the belly. The fluid could be secondary to a tumor as well. Blood is a possibility, but most dogs wouldn't be building up this much blood in their abdomen for a month and still be alive.

The reason I think fluid is a likely possibility is the rate of increase in her belly size. Some tumors can grow quickly, but I wouldn't expect a dog to go from normal to looking like a goat in one month's time.

Fluid can easily be found with an x-ray of the abdomen. The belly fluid will obscure everything in the abdomen if it is present. An abdominal ultrasound is better because the ultrasound can "see" through the fluid and evaluate the organs in the belly.

Having said everything above, I still agree with your assessment about cancer being a possibility. I would be looking closely at the liver and spleen with an ultrasound. X-rays of the chest may show evidence of spread of the cancer to the lungs.

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