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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21437
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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My lab, an 8 year old male, hasn't been able to lay down for

Customer Question

My lab, an 8 year old male, hasn't been able to lay down for the past 12 hours. He tries but can't get comfortable enough to lay all the way down. I saw a vet and she said something was going on with his abdomen but couldn't be more specific. His abdomen seems to be pushed upward causing discomfort. Any ideas?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

What tests did his vet do when they noted a problem in the abdomen?

Was any treatment started?

Are his gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on his belly, does he have any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Could he have eaten something he should not have (ie bones, toys, plants, chemicals, etc)?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the vet took a chest xray and described a transparent or liquid mass that seemed to be pushing up on his abdomen.
No treatment has been started.. Next step.. exploratory surgery
gums are mostly pink and sticky
He's not expressing any tenderness
It's possible but I'm unaware of anything..
He can't seem to lay down. Spends his day sitting up and leaning against something. He'll start to go down and then stop and sit up again.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is drinking small amounts of water but has no interest in food..
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

That is an odd finding for an xray. If there is a liquid containing mass, this raises worries of a cyst, abscess, hematoma (blood filled mass) fluid filled cancerous mass, or could be involved with the gall bladder or bladder (depending on were in the abdomen it was and what it was attached to, of course). Now surgery is an option to see what is there, take samples, and hopefully remove it. Though if you wanted to get an idea of what this is before surgery, you can speak to your vet about an ultrasound. This is less invasive and can let us see what this mass is attached to (for example if it was on the spleen, there would be concerns of a hematoma or cancerous hemagiosarcoma and that would be an reason to operate quickly) and they can potentially drain or take samples for analysis during the scan. These samples could then give us an idea to whether this is a cyst, due to infection, or cancerous. So, that would be an option prior to any surgery if you wished.

Otherwise, his reluctance to lie down isn't unexpected with this finding. He likely finds the pressure on this mass to be uncomfortable. So, we do want to give him access to a soft thick bed but we may need to speak to his vet about pain relief and anti-inflammatories (which may help reduce mass inflammation and thus size) if they haven't' dispensed these since this reluctance to lay is telling us that he is in discomfort.

Finally, I am concerned that he may not be up for eating/drinking because of the mass compressing the stomach. As well, it may be general discomfort or having to lean down to his bowl playing a role. So, we may need to hand feed and offer small frequent meals. You can tempt with rice and boiled chicken, white fish, cottage cheese or scrambled egg. As well, we can offer or syringe feed watered down Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet. All of these are critical care diets that are calorically dense, so a little goes a long way nutrition-wise even if we cannot get him to eat much. And if we are watering down these feeds, then we will also be getting more fluids into him.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jim,

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