A hard or swollen stomach in your dog is not something to be taken lightly. A lot of the time, it could indicate there is a serious health problem. The cause of the problem can vary, but stomach enlargement can result in twisting within the abdomen, resulting in cutting off the stomach’s blood supply. This is known as dog bloated stomach and is characterized by a swollen or hard stomach with an unusual shape. If you see your dog experiencing this, it would be advisable to go to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Causes of Swollen Stomach in Dogs
A worm belly is a phrase used to describe a puppy’s belly because there may be many intestinal parasites that have caused its bloated appearance. These may include roundworms and hookworms, and they are often found by vets when they do screening tests of the fecal material. It is a classic sign if the vet finds long roundworms in the dog’s stool or the dog vomits them up. Always watch out for worms in dog poop. This condition also affects the state of their coats and makes the gums pale. Fortunately, intestinal parasites are treatable, so the condition can be corrected if correctly diagnosed.
The other potential cause of stomach swelling is ascites or effusion. This is when fluid accumulates in the abdominal cavity. The dog’s abdomen can start to increase in size so that your pup looks bloated. Your dog may develop these problems from heart failure or cancer. It may also be related to kidney and liver disease, each of which is serious hence the need to seek medical assistance immediately. However, this condition is more common in older dogs and is associated with the disease. Therefore, treating it would depend on what caused the abdominal fluid in the first place.
Gastric Dilation Volvulus
This is also a dangerous reason why your dog’s stomach may be swollen as it can have detrimental effects, causing death within hours even. It occurs when your dog’s stomach twists and traps the gas inside, thereby blocking the blood supply. It can be very painful for the dog and is not related to any cause. Unfortunately, it has been linked to swallowing too much air or extreme exercise after eating. If you also feed the dog once each day, or it feeds too quickly, they are at a higher risk of developing GDV. A family history of the condition also places the dog at risk. It makes sense as big-chested breeds like the Great Danes and Saint Bernards have a predisposition to GDV.
Cushing’s syndrome is also commonly related to swelling in the dogs stomach. If they have it, it will make your dog’s belly feel hard. They will probably have increased urination and thirst as symptoms, while other dogs will begin losing hair. The cause of this would be the pituitary gland overproducing the hormone though it could also be a tumor in the adrenal gland. If it is a tumor, there is a potential for it to be removed with surgery. There is veterinary medicine as well which can be taken to treat this condition.
Though it feels counterintuitive, swelling in the dog’s stomach may also be caused by a puncture in the intestine. The cause of the puncture is physical as it could be bone fragments , splinters, or ulcers. It is very painful for the animal, which would be restless and reluctant to move. If the condition progresses, it can lead to shock and potentially death. To treat this condition, you need to take the dog to the veterinarian immediately, and they will give intravenous fluids or antibiotics. Surgery will also be necessary to repair the hole and remove any serious infection.
What to Do if the Dog’s Belly is Hard
Most of the causes of distended belly in dogs are significant medical issues, so it would be pertinent to take our dog to the veterinarian as soon as this becomes apparent. If the underlying condition is not treated as quickly as possible, it could be fatal. It is also important to regularly examine your dog to make sure you do not miss anything that would be deemed out of the ordinary. Through that vigilance and keeping a watchful eye, it is possible to protect your dog from having other complications.
Similarly, the treatment of the belly will also depend on the cause. For example, gastric torsion is not the same as having gas. It is also important that you keep tabs on the dog’s diet to make sure they fulfill all of the nutritional needs. Alternatively, the diet could be a problem as something it takes could be causing an allergy. In either case, a visit to the vet would be warranted. Ensuring your dog is vaccinated and dewormed is also a requirement.
Why does my dog’s belly feel hard?
Bloating and stomach swelling may be related to different causes, including gastric dilation volvulus, peritonitis, Cushing’s disease, or bloat. It is important for dog owners to visit the veterinarian immediately after noticing your dog’s stomach is hard.
How do you help a dog with a bloated stomach?
There are no home remedies or supplements that you can safely give the dog if it has a swollen stomach.
Can your dog poop with bloat?
The dog may try to vomit and produce foam or belch when bloat occurs. They may try to have a bowel movement though only diarrhea will come out.