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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30288
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have just had my 16 year old Chichuahua at the vet to have

Customer Question

I have just had my 16 year old Chichuahua at the vet to have her nails trimmed and her weight checked she had lost half of a kilo but the nurse that was trimming her nails said her tummy was solid and bloated. Can you please tell me what that means? We are due to go on holiday in three weeks time and she will be left with my daughter and I would not like my daughter to have the problem of having to put her to sleep. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I would expect to find an abdominal effusion - a collection of fluid within her abdominal cavity. This can occur with right-sided heart failure, hypoalbuminemia (low serum albumin level due to a poorly functioning liver that can't produce enough albumin or albumin is being lost through failing kidneys or damaged bowels; albumin is necessary to keep fuid inside vessels and out of "third spaces" such as the abdominal cavity), an inflammatory fluid of infection or neoplasia (cancer), and less commonly, blood or chyle. Her vet can X-ray or ultrasound the abdomen and if fluid is found, aspirate a small amount of it and analyze its physical and cellular qualities. Suffice to say, any effusion should be considered a serious finding.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.