Originally, it is known that ascites rarely accumulate in the belly of a healthy dog, and ascites accumulate due to various illnesses. Be careful when you say “I have no appetite”, “I’m hungry when I have nothing to do with the timing of rice”, or “I’m gaining weight”. Here, we will introduce the symptoms and causes of ascites in dogs, as well as treatment and prevention methods.
What kind of disease is ascites in dogs? What are the symptoms?
As the dog’s heart disease and liver disease progress, water seeps into the abdominal cavity and accumulates in the abdomen due to factors such as blood circulation stagnation. This symptomatology is called “ascites”.
When a large amount of ascites accumulates, the surrounding organs such as the stomach, liver, kidneys, and intestines are compressed, which has various effects.
Initial symptoms and check items
When ascites accumulate in a dog, symptoms such as loss of energy, loss of appetite, swelling of the abdomen, and difficulty breathing appear.
In addition, “intraperitoneal bleeding” is a symptom similar to ascites, but in the case of intraperitoneal bleeding, sudden loss of energy, apathy, inability to stand, and visibility due to acute blood loss due to a traffic accident or rupture of a tumor. Symptoms such as mucosal pallor (whitening of the gums and tongue) are seen. It is more urgent than ascites and requires prompt action.
Transfer to other dogs and people?
Ascites are a symptom of various illnesses, and ascites themselves are not transmitted.
However, if the cause of ascites in a dog is an infectious disease such as filariasis or infectious canine hepatitis, it is possible that the disease is transmitted to another dog and the ascites accumulate in the transferred dog.
What Causes Dogs to Have Ascites?
Here are three diseases that can cause ascites in your dog.
Cause | 1. Heart disease
Heart disease includes cardiomyopathy and filariasis, but the most common heart disease in dogs is “mitral regurgitation.”
In mitral regurgitation, the valve (mitral valve) between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart degenerates and cannot be closed properly, causing blood to flow back and causing various disorders such as coughing, loss of appetite, and ascites. ..
Small breeds such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Maltese, Chihuahua, and Pomeranian are known to be the predominant breeds and are common in older dogs. Cases of ascites often occur when mitral regurgitation progresses and the symptoms extend not only to the left heart but also to the right heart.
Cause | 2. Inflammation in the abdominal cavity
For example, pyometra, tumors, pancreatitis, etc. may cause inflammation in the stomach. Pus may accumulate as ascites by oozing out from the inflamed area, and in that case, it is necessary to calm the inflammation in the abdominal cavity at the same time.
Cause | 3. Liver disease
The liver is a highly regenerative organ, but when severely damaged, regeneration cannot keep up. When a dog has liver disease, symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, ascites, and jaundice appear. It occurs when blood oozes out due to abnormalities in the blood vessels called the portal vein during liver disease.
What breed and age are you susceptible to?
Ascites occur regardless of breed or age. Heart disease and kidney disease, which cause ascites, are common in dogs of middle age and older, so it can be said that they are more likely to occur in dogs of middle to old age.
What is the cure for ascites in dogs?
Ascites are a symptom caused by a disease, so it is necessary to cure the underlying disease to treat it.
If you have difficulty breathing due to the accumulation of ascites, diuretics may be used to drain a lot of urine, or a needle may be stuck in the abdomen to physically remove the ascites.
Cost of treatment
It is said that the cost of removing ascites is about 3,000 to 5,000 yen, but the cost varies depending on the method and the general condition of the child, and additional costs will be required for examination and treatment of diseases that cause ascites accumulation, diuretics, etc. The cost varies depending on the veterinary clinic, so check with the veterinary clinic.
What is the preventive method for ascites in dogs?
It is important to prevent heart disease and kidney disease that cause ascites. Appropriate dietary management and regular medical examinations will help prevent illness.
Filariasis is generally prevented by taking medicine once a month, but it can also be prevented by a drop medicine that hangs on the back of the neck or injection once a year.
Possibility of recurrence
Even if you use a diuretic to reduce ascites, or if you pierce your abdomen with a needle to drain the ascites, it will quickly accumulate if the disease that causes the ascites does not go away. It is important to treat the disease radically.
How to deal with dog’s ascites
When you feel that your dog’s belly has swelled recently, you tend to think that you are just obese, but in reality, you may have ascites and need urgent treatment. Ascites often manifest themselves as symptomatology of a relatively serious illness, so seek early treatment at a veterinary clinic.