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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 20611
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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Uhhh swollen abdomen and lethargy. Barley 9.76, Very healthy

Customer Question

Uhhh swollen abdomen and lethargy.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the dog. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Barley 9.76
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Barley?
Customer: Very healthy ShihTzu
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months 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:

How long has Barley had these signs?

Are his gums pink or pale/white?

Is his belly fluidy, firm, or hard to the touch?

Any changes in his breathing, drinking, appetite, or passing or urine or feces?

Any known health issues?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
24 hours. Pink gums. Firm and hard to the touch. Just wasn't himself. He had these symptoms a year ago; vetted him with no adverse results. He's the healthiest ShihTzu we've ever had....don't know what this is.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you,

Poor lad!

If he has a swollen firm abdomen, this does raise some concerns. To start, I am glad to hear that his gums are pink as that makes bloat, internal bleeding, and issues that could affect gut circulation less likely. As well, if this is firm/hard, then fluid based issues (ie infection, heart disease, fluid build up from tumors) would be less likely. With those aside, this does raise worries at his age of organ enlargement (especially liver) and masses in the abdomen. Gas in the gut can also make them appear distended as reported but this sounds less likely with what you have told me (though if you are hearing gas sounds you could try him with OTC activated charcoal to reduce that).

With this all in mind and since Barely is an older dog, the best course of action here would be to have his vet palpate but also ultrasound his abdomen. This will allow them to see if there is any fluid (which can be tapped to diagnose what is ongoing but also to relieve pressure) or if one of those other 2 concerns are to blame .Depending on their findings, his vet can advise which issue is present and start treatment to support him with this.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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