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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 30846
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My dog seems to have a swollen stomach, not so much that it's

Customer Question

My dog seems to have a swollen stomach, not so much that it's hugely bloated but he was always so skinny. He's a Labrador.
He was given the hormone implant 6 months ago around the time I started to notice his shape had changed so I put it down to that. However I've given my other dog the same implant 5 weeks ago and he is still the same lean shape. When I feel his abdomen its squishy and fine but when I feel the dog with the swollen abdomen it feels tight and full. He's a bit more lethargic than he used to be but I put that down to less testosterone.
I would like to add that a couple of weeks ago he suffered from a strange redness between his toes and it was red and sweaty and noticeably sore. Also his main pad almost came off. The vet gave him steroid injections and ointment and it has cleared up somewhat but the red hair is still there. Do you think these things could be linked to something else?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I can understand weight gain but a swollen abdomen suggests an abdominal effusion - a collection of fluid in the abdominal space. There are various types of effusions - clear fluid indicating hypoalbuminemia (lack of albumin in the blood) as is caused by a poorly functioning liver not producing enough albumin or perhaps Kobi is losing albumin through his kidneys or bowel; a clear fluid due to right-sided heart failure; blood from a bleeding tumor; and mixed cellular fluids as seen with infections and malignancy. Trust your intuition and have Kobi's vet either needle aspirate Kobi's abdomen for a quick test for fluid or X-ray or ultrasound his abdomen looking for the tell-tale signs of fluid. I don't believe that a focal problem involving one foot would be related to an effusion although we do see a hepatocutaneous syndrome involving the footpads. The footpads are usually mildly to markedly hyperkeratotic (excessive black scale), fissured, and ulcerated. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.