How do you drain fluid from a dog’s stomach? Find Out Here

Symptoms of Fluid in Abdomen in Dogs

When fluid builds up in the abdomen, your dogs stomach will be visibly distended. Other clinical signs rising from the underlying cause for ascites (or the ascites itself) include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Lack of appetite
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • What Is Ascites in Dogs?

    Ascites is not a disease itself, but it is free fluid floating in the dogs abdomen that signals a serious medical problem. The abdomen contains many organs including the kidneys, intestines, stomach, liver, spleen, bladder, and others but there is normally very little fluid that is outside one of these structures. When ascites occurs, these organs will be surrounded by fluid that is freely floating around in the abdomen.

    Causes of Abdominal Fluid in Dogs

    As mentioned, ascites is a clinical sign rather than a condition. It’s a complication that develops secondary to an underlying health problem.

    In dogs, abdominal fluid is most commonly associated with cardiovascular diseases, particularly those that affect the right side of the heart. When a dog develops heart disease, the efficiency as to which the heart pumps blood out to different organs becomes severely compromised, increasing the dog’s blood pressure.

    Another common cause of ascites in dogs is any condition that results in low blood protein levels. Protein in the blood is responsible for maintaining osmotic pressure between cells and tissues and holds water molecules inside the cells in tissues. When blood protein levels drop, vascular osmotic pressure changes and water leaks out from the cells and tissues into free spaces such as the abdomen.

    Severe kidney disease, liver disease, and intestinal problems can lead to an increased rate of protein loss and subsequent low blood protein (hypoproteinemia). In some situations, fluid accumulation is not confined to the abdominal cavity. The leak goes to the subcutaneous space (space underneath the skin) causing edema.

    Draining almost 6 liters of fluid from the abdomen of a dog with ascites due to heart failure….