Does ascites cause pain in dogs? Essential Tips

Treatment Options for Dogs with Abdominal Fluid

Treatment for ascites in dogs will depend on the underlying condition causing it. Sometimes, diuretics such as furosemide and spironolactone can increase the rate of water elimination and help in controlling and managing the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.

If the ascites is due to heart disease, medications and supplements aimed at reducing the workload of the heart, improving the blood circulation, and controlling the dog’s systemic blood pressure all help control ascites and prevent it from recurring.

Replenishment of blood protein, either through nutrition or via infusion of exogenous serum protein, in cases of hypoproteinemia, will also help address ascites in dogs, and recurrence of accumulation can be prevented with the help of diuretics mentioned above.

Addressing the cause of hypoproteinemia is also equally important in the management and correction of ascites. Medications and nutrition designed to help support and improve kidney function helps in the further control of fluid accumulation in the abdomen of the animal.

It’s important to note that most conditions that cause ascites in dogs tend to be chronic and progressive in nature. Long-term or lifetime treatment may be necessary for the successful management of ascites. Regular visits with your vet for monitoring are also an integral part of the success of treatment for ascites in dogs.

Difficulty Breathing and Panting

The swelling puts pressure on the diaphragm which can make it harder for a dog with ascites to breathe. This can also result in panting.

Finally, weight gain may be noted due to the excessive fluid in the abdomen.

Your dog will likely lose its appetite because of the swollen abdominal area and feeling of fullness.

Vomiting may be seen in cases of dogs with ascites where the pressure of the fluid is pushing on the stomach and diaphragm.

Abdominal swelling will cause discomfort or pain in your dog.

How is Ascites in Dogs diagnosed?

The goal of the diagnostic procedures is to get to the underlying cause of the fluid buildup in your dog’s body. History of the patient and physical examination (palpation of the abdomen) are the first steps to determine the cause.

Your veterinarian will ask questions like: how long has the enlargement of the abdomen been present? What other changes in behavior and appearance have you noticed in your dog?

Then your veterinarian will proceed to the diagnostic tests which may include:

  • X-rays or CT scan
  • Urinalysis
  • Complete blood count
  • Abdominocentesis: this is a minimally invasive procedure that involves taking fluid from the abdomen with a needle for examination
  • The consistency and color of the fluid can tell your veterinarian a lot about the possible causes. For instance, when your vet is performing abdominocentesis, and they see a watery-like (transudate), pale yellowed-colored fluid, they may suspect congestive heart failure or even a tumor.

    Further tests may be necessary to diagnose certain conditions. For example, electrocardiograms (ECG) and ultrasounds will be used to accurately diagnose congestive heart failure.

    Does ascites cause pain in dogs?

    ASCITIS IN DOGS Symptoms Causes and Signs

    Ascites, also known as abdominal effusion or free abdominal fluid, is the medical term described as the build-up of fluid in the abdominal cavity. This results in abdominal distention and increased pressure inside the abdomen, causing discomfort, vomiting, and in some situations, appetite loss. Other signs of ascites depend on the underlying condition causing the problem. Continue reading to learn more about this condition in dogs, including common causes, diagnostics, and treatment options.