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My dog has a swollen stomach, cough and sometimes throws up food
An_221212 posted:
I have a dog who is part Boxer and part Great Pyranese. He started out looking like he was malnourished; his ribs were showing, even though he ate good. Now, his ribs are still showing, but his stomach down below the ribs is severely swollen. He coughs a lot and sometimes throws up his food. I noticed that he also burps a lot when eating. He doesn't act like he feels bad; he still runs around, wants to play and barks. This has been going on for several months. I don't have the money to take him to the vet, so I was wondering if anyone could tell me what could be the problem?
Home2strays responded:
I know funds are limited but try getting carecredit or ask if they will take a payment plan... He really should have a full panel of blood run with a heartworm test and an intestinal parasite check (both could cause a bloated stomach look) theres really too many diseases with those symptoms but getting the basics out of the way can point you in a better direction and let you know if you have a dog on your hands thats going to get very sick
Violets_are_Blue responded:
I agree with Home2strays. Your problem could at the very best be an intestinal parasite problem or at the very worst congestive heart failure. Intestinal parasite problems can cause a bloated look but is more often seen in puppies because of their small size and that many dogs that are on a heartworm prevention also have protection against many cases of inestinal parasites. Heart problems can cause an edema (basically fluid build-up) in the chest which drains to the belly. Heart issues can either be hereditary linked or because of heartworms. Even dogs on a heartworm prevention program can become heartworm positive. Depending on which heart problem you are dealing with will determine the cost of treatment and if medications are in order (heartworms will more expensive and will require confinement for at least 2 months, heart failure or valve disorders will require at the least medication for treatment but there is no cure). Heart issues will also cause a cough and most dogs tire easily because of the lack of oxygen getting to their muscles.

I wish you best.
Katherine Scott, DVM, DACVIM replied to Violets_are_Blue's response:
The posts above are both correct. There are too many possibilities for us to give you a good answer over the internet. My best guess would be he either has a belly full of fluid--which can indeed be caused by heart diseases, heartworms, intestinal disease, cancer, or kidney disease (among other things)--or his belly looks full for some other reason, like maybe there is a tumor hiding inside.

I wish we could help, but only an examination by a veterinarian and possibly other tests can clarify this situation. Even though your dog feels good right now, this sounds like a potentially serious problem and I would recommend visiting a veterinarian as soon as you can. The sooner they figure out the problem, the more likely they are to be able to help improve his condition.

Best wishes!
mydogkim responded:
My dog die this morning having the same sympton as what you mentioned. He was eating and playing fine except coughing at times. It is best you bring him to vet asap.
atti_editor replied to mydogkim's response:
I am so sorry for your loss! It is always so hard to lose a member of our family.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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