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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 37140
Experience:  16 years of small animal internal medicine, surgery and preventive medicine.
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hi i have a west highland terrier hes about 10 or 12 years

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hi i have a west highland terrier hes about 10 or 12 years old and his abdonin is swollen and his back legs are a little limp he also cant get into a comfortable position to lay down and also his hair is starting to fall out can you give me an idea of what could be wrong please
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian. I am sorry to learn Scotty is not feeling well. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- How long has this been going on?
2- Is he drinking more than usual?
3- Any vomiting, diarrhea or coughing?
4- Any pre existing medical conditions?
5- Is it fair to say his belly is not in proportion to the rest of the body? In other words, his body is thin and big belly?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

hi peter it started about two or three weeks ago hes not drinking more than usual his stools are soft an some times runny no coughing or vommiting he is still eating and yes his belly is bigger than the rest of him and he had a conditition a few years ago where he had a blood transfucition basically it was cannine leukemia

John, there could be several possible causes for the abdomen being swollen. It will be difficult for me to determine the exact underlying cause without a hands on examination and some testing. But, given the quick onset I am inclined to believe this is fluid in his abdomen (ascites). The fluid builds up as the result of one of several possible mechanism like: Low protein will cause shifting of the fluid into the abdomen, tumors (cancer), kidney or liver disease, heart disease, etc. The back legs being limp is a sign of weakness secondary to being ill, very common with these patients. The hair falling out is also secondary to being ill.
The first place to start in this case John is with a hands on examination by a veterinarian. Your vet will need to do some testing (blood work, belly tap, ultrasound, etc.) to determine the exact underlying cause. Treatment will be based on exam and test results.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter
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