How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Peter Your Own Question
Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 31067
Experience:  16 years of internal medicine, surgery, and preventive care.
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Peter is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Our Lab is 13 years old and we think he is passing away. He

Customer Question

Our Lab is 13 years old and we think he is passing away. He is able to walk, but doesn't want to get up. He isn't eating anything and has lost a lot of weight over the past week. One of the things I'm noticing is his stomach is contracting. Is that a sign of him dying or could there be some sort of a stomach issue that's making him sick instead?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 2 years ago.

Welcome and thanks for asking your question. I am sorry the expert you requested is not available. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am sorry to learn your dog is not feeling well. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.
There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

1- Any vomiting, diarrhea or coughing?

2- Any changes in respiration?

3- Can you expand or elaborate on his stomach contracting?

4- Any pre existing medical conditions?

5- Is he drinking?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1. I just found a little bit of diarrhea on the floor, but no coughing/vomiting.
2. No
3. It's constantly tightening up like he's having contractions and his stomach is bulging.
4. He has arthritis and a tumor on his leg
5. He keeps getting up to drink a little water and then lays back down.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I gave him a little mylanta and that seemed to cause the tiny bit of diarrhea.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The more i think about it, that may have been something he vomited up. It was on the rug under his paw and I couldn't tell if it was vomit or diarrhea. It had the consistency of a blood clot, but very dark brown. I think he would have gotten up if he needed to go to the bathroom.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 2 years ago.

1- Is he drinking more than usual?

2- Is the stomach contraction ongoing non-stop?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1. He is drinking more often, but drinks very little at a time.
2. Ongoing
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 2 years ago.

Are you seeing any abdominal (belly) swelling?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 2 years ago.

1- How long since you notice the abdominal swelling?

2- Can you see if the belly contraction are occurring when he breaths out (expiration)?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When he breathes out, the stomach contracts/tightens and then goes back out.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 2 years ago.

Give me a few minutes to type your answer. Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not sure on the swelling, i just noticed today when he became so ill. He has lost a lot of weight over the past week so it's far more noticeable.
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 2 years ago.

Friend, the contractions you are seeing in his belly is actually the abdominal muscles contracting; it sounds like he may be using his abdomen to help him breath. When this happens it could be a sign of pain, abdominal tumor, lung disease, etc. Is this a sign of him dying? No. But, it is a sign of an underlying medical problem that deserves attention and further investigating. This can be caused by pain secondary to neuromuscular disease, tumors (cancer), infections, kidney or liver disease, etc. to name a few causes. Any of these diseases will affect his appetite.

In this case unfortunately we are very limited as to what you can do at home. There is nothing that I can recommend for you to try at home that would have a significant therapeutic benefit. I would strongly recommend having him checked today by nearest veterinarian. To determine the exact underlying cause he will need blood work and xrays as initial screening test. Treatment will be based on exam and test results. If cost is a concern look into your local ASPCA or Shelter where they often offer veterinary services at a lower cost.

Please do not forget to rate my answer - I hope you found it to be excellent. If there’s more I can do, please use the reply tab and let me know. It’s my goal to provide you with excellent service." Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Peter