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Doctor Jeff
Doctor Jeff, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4589
Experience:  Small Animal General Practitioner and practice owner with 8+ years experience
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Our 13 year old beagle has been sleeping a lot, and now he

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Our 13 year old beagle has been sleeping a lot, and now he has a terribly distended stomach and can't seem to lie down. He spends most of the day sitting up, looking around. What can it be?
Hi, I am Dr. Jeff. I will try to help you. Please feel free to follow up if any more information is needed. In an older beagle with a bloated abdomen there are a few concerns. First, it is not uncommon for older dogs to have a mass on the spleen or liver that could rupture or bleed. The result is that the abdomen fills with blood which gives the abdomen the bloated appearance. Other signs of this include very pale inner lip and gums, lethargy, labored breathing, etc. If you are noting the pale inner lip and gums (versus the nice red/pink color), then a ER vet visit is recommended as this is life threatening.
Another reason for bloating in an older beagle is Cushings syndrome. Cushings is a disease that occurs when the adrenal gland produces too much cortisol. Signs of this include increased drinking and peeing, panting, increased appetite, bloated abdomen, poor coat, etc. This is not likely an immediate emergency, but a vet visit is recommended at some point to investigate. Bloodwork is a good starting place and a likely step if your vet is concerned about cushings.

Bloat (or GDV gastric Dialation volvulous) is also possible and is life threatening. While this is not overly common in Beagles it is possible. This tends to occur rapidly (ie the bloat occurs within the matter of an hour or so if no quicker). So, if this bloating has occurred within the last hour or so, see immediate veterinary attention.

Certainly of issues like obstruction, intestinal tumor, overeating, etc can lead to a bloated abdomen.
So, if he is worsening in any way, has pale gums, bloating rapidly, etc, a ER vet visit is recommended. If his gums look good (red/pink) and the bloat has progressed slowly, it may be a case that can wait for your regular vet tomorrow. There is no home treatment I can recommend at this time. I hope this helps and gives you direction.
Dr. Jeff
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