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CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 63982
Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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what causes fluid build up in the abdomen of a dog

Resolved Question:

what causes fluid build up in the abdomen of a dog
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer! I am a licensed veterinarian and would be glad to help!


If the proteins are low - this may then be fluid leaking out of the blood vessels (not blood, but clear fluid from low protein) causing a belly full of fluid.

This can be from kidney problems or even liver problems leading to low protein levels.

Heart disease can also do this.


This link may also help:

I hope this information helps and guides you!
Please click "ACCEPT" if the information I have provided has been of help so I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you.

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The labs told us her liver function is normal and the sonogram told us her kidneys are fine. How would they fix the leaking vessels of fluid?
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.

It would need to first be determined why they are leaking (infection? inflammation?) then attack the underlying cause.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
what would they have to do to determine why they are leaking? The endoscopy showed significant inflammation, biopsies were done and nothing was found. A specialist and a vet claim she has nothing wrong with her but they do not want to keep tapping the fluid. Also, could the potential heart disease affect any of the lab results? I guess what I'm asking is, how would they determine it was heart disease?
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.

Bloodwork, x-rays, and ultrasound - infectious disease titers such as tick titers.

Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.

Heart disease would be determined via an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram)

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

If the fluid isn't stopped through antibiotics and they have decided to quit draining it, would it make her terminal? what do you think the prognosis is?

Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.

The prognosis would unfortunately then be poor.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Do you think the dog is suffering?
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.

That is hard for me to say without examining your dog - I would make an appointment with your vet - have the tests performed, and decide if there is something we can treat or not treat.


Good luck!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ok last question...they put her on a high protein diet only, ie. eggs, rice, chicken! she is only getting skinnier. Can we feed her regular dog food to help gain weight or will that irritate her bowel and cause diarrhea?
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.

Regular dog food should not be a problem.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
would you recommend getting an ecg? or is it likely that if it is heart disease it is terminal?
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 6 years ago.


An ECHO - not a ECG

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