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Dr. Matt
Dr. Matt, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5798
Experience:  DVM - 13 years experience in canine medicine and surgery.
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My four year old beagle had been retaining a lot of fluid in

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My four year old beagle had been retaining a lot of fluid in his belly. We took him to his vet and he prescribed him Lasix. It worked while he was on the treatment but now it looks as if his bloated belly is coming back. Since he started to retain fluid he has lost all of his muscle mass and is very flabby. He has been drinking a lot more water than usual and then throws it up. What is wrong with him ?

Hello - I am Dr. Matt - I would be glad to help you with your question.


How your vet checked any blood work on Rupert?


If so were there any abnormalities?


Has your vet performed an ultrasound on his abdomen area?


Is Rupert vomiting after eating or having any diarrhea?


Does he have a heart murmur?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Blood work was done to check if he had heart worms. The test came back negative but he didn't say there was anything else. No other test were done on him and the vet did not check his heart . I haven't noticed any diarrhea but sometimes he will throw up after he eats. It's usually white and foamy.
Thank you for the additional information.

I am very sorry to hear that Rupert has been retaining fluid in his belly and is losing a lot of his muscle mass. The fluid in his belly is called ascites and it can be due to many different disorders. Without examining him giving you the exact diagnosis is going to be difficult though here are the common causes of ascites in dogs:

- Heart disease or congestive heart failure. This is where the heart can not handle all of the fluid in the blood which causes the fluid to leak into empty chambers in the body such as the abdominal space.

- Liver disease in which the liver does not produce enough protein

- Low protein levels in his blood.which can be caused by liver disease or loss of the proteins because of a disease in the intestines or the kidneys.

- A mass or tumor in the abdomen which is secreting fluid into the free space in the abdomen

At this point, we need to get an exact diagnosis in order to determine the best treatment option for Rupert. All of these diseases can be treated with either medication or the worse case scenario would be a tumor in the abdomen which would require surgery. At 4 years of age though a tumor is very low on the list of possible causes.

I would recommend talking to your vet about performing some basic tests on him to help get a diagnosis. The first test would be a complete blood panel which can check his liver and kidney function and also his protein levels. A urine test can also be helpful to determine if he is losing any protein from his kidneys. If these tests are normal then the next best test would be an abdominal ultrasound. An ultrasound is a very thorough yet non-invasive way to look at all of his organs in his abdomen in addition to all of his intestines.

The Lasix is a diuretic or water pill medication that does help eliminate extra fluid in his body, but since the fluid is coming back we need to determine the underlying cause so that we know how to prevent the fluid from returning.

Most likely he is losing muscle in his body due to a possible low protein level in his blood. His body is breaking down the muscle to try to get more proteins that the body needs for the major organs.

Overall I would talk to your vet about these disorders and minimally a complete blood profile to look at his proteins, kidney and liver function tests.

Here is more information for you also:

Hope this helps to answer your question - if not or if you have any more questions please feel free to reply by clicking on the "reply to" button. Thank you for your question!
Dr. Matt and 2 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Yvonne,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Rupert. How is everything going?

Dr. Matt
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello, he looks well. He has been eating and drinking I haven't seen him throw up. It's just his stomach that still concerns me. I will be taking him to another veterinarian this week so that they can perform some tests on him.

I am glad to hear that he is doing well. Best wishes with the visit to the vet. Let me know if you have any more questions that I can help you with in the future.


Dr. Matt
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for all of your help and I will most definitely let you know if I have anymore questions.
You are very welcome!