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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32766
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a 9 year old Llasa Apso with Megaesophagus. He is on

Customer Question

i have a 9 year old Llasa Apso with Megaesophagus. He is on metroclopormide, Ranatadine and Omeprazole. He has a very distended stomach for the past four days and his breathing is making his stomach rise and fall more so than I think is normal.
He has been to the vet who say his heart is fine and he doesn't have pneumonia but he won't eat and drinks quite a lot of water.
He has been out for walks as usual but I am very worried about him, he will even run for short distances (which is normal for him if he sees a cat)
What do you think is making his breathing so noticeable of late.?
He isn't sick nor regurgitating mucus but belches huge burps.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry to hear of this with Buster. By the principle of Occam's Razor any dog with megaesophagus who becomes dyspneic (difficulty breathing) should be considered to have developed aspiration pneumonia until proven otherwise. If Buster hasn't had thoracic X-rays performed, they need to be taken. Please let me know if that's the case. His "very distended stomach", anorexia, and polydipsia (increased thirst) concern me as well. While his gastrointestinal tract may simply be full of air which isn't unusual when swallowing is a chronic problem, an abdominal effusion (a collection of fluid in the abdominal space) needs to be considered. This is easily confirmed with X-rays and if found a small amount of fluid is aspirated and examined for its physical qualities and cytology (cells). A lack of albumin produced by a failing liver or loss of albumin through the kidneys or bowel are common causes of such an effusion as is right-sided heart failure (which appears to have been ruled out by his vet), neoplasia in his abdominal cavity, and other causes of inflammation in the abdomen. Polydipsia arises secondary to many metabolic disorders - chronic renal and hepatic insufficiencies are commonly found in such dogs. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.