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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20921
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 dog is a 14 year old Maltese. I woke up this morning to s

Customer Question

My dog is a 14 year old Maltese. I woke up this morning to his stomach being severely bloated and he is waddling as he attempts to walk. He is not panting heavy, no pacing, no shaking and his tail is up. He is drinking excessive water but has not ate anything yet today. I'm concerned about bloat and or a twisted stomach but he isn't showing half of the symptoms.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
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:

Does he feel bloated like a water balloon?

How long has he been drinking this much?

What color are his gums? Pink or pale/white?

Do you think he is breathing faster then 30 breaths in a minute?

Any retching, gagging, or vomiting?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His bloated stomach feels hard.He has been drinking more water than usual the past couple of weeks.His gums are a peachy pink.His breathing is normal but now he has started to shake a bit almost like a shiver every few minutes.He is not throwing up or even attempting to
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is not breathing faster than 30 breaths a minute
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you,

Now I have to say that his signs (and even his breed) do not suggest a bloat secondary to a gut twist. Often these dogs are painful, distressed, retching without vomiting and cannot keep water down (since the stomach opening is closed by the twist). Instead, I have to say that Blaze's distension with increased thirst is more worrying of a ascites (fluid build up which can feel hard if he is severely distended to the point of waddling) or a possible organ enlargement or tumor.

That all said, if this is sudden in onset then fluid is the top concern here. Fluid can come from a range of sources. We can see it with internal bleeding (less likely if that is his normal gum color), but also with heart disease, liver disease, conditions reducing blood proteins, tumors causing fluid accumulation, and infection within the abdomen. And I would note that if he has been drinking more for a while, any one of these could have been slowly progressing to the state we are at now.

In this case, as long as he is comfortable and stable, we can monitor him until his regular vet is open. Of course, if those gums pale at all or his breathing increases, then we'd want him seen sooner. Once he sees his vet, they can palpate +/- ultrasound his abdomen to see what is lurking here. If fluid is confirmed, they can take a sample of it to help diagnose what is present and therefore how we can help address this for him.

Overall, this does not sound like a case of bloat. If he had a twist/bloat, he'd not have settled and wouldn't be able to drink. Therefore, in this case, I'd be more concerned about these other conditions and would want you to have him checked once his vet is open to head off any worsening of this.

Please take care,

Dr .B.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Blaze. How is everything going?