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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32485
Experience:  16 years of small animal internal medicine, surgery and preventive medicine.
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My 13 year old Chihuahua has had a distended abdomen

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My 13 year old Chihuahua bitch has had a distended abdomen for 2 months, and now an egg shaped lump in her groin area, roughly 4cm long, which I discovered this morning. She has passed loose motions for 2 weeks. I took her to a vet three weeks ago because she wasn't eating and I was worried about her swollen abdomen. He gave her antibiotics for swollen glands in her neck, and said that she was just fat. She is not fat and definitely has a swollen abdomen as she normally has a nice shape to her tummy. She's eating but has lost her otherwise very good appetite.
Please advise, I would be very grateful.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name is***** am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions so that I can be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is she spayed?
2- Did your vet do any testing like blood work or xrays?
3- How long has she egg the lump?
4- Did the lump come on quickly?

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

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is not spayed, but not a breeding dog just a pet. I have another pet, a neutered male Chihuahua and they do mate sometimes when she's on heat, but her heats have been sporadic and not regular as she gets older.


No the vet didn't do any tests.


The lump appeared quickly over the last 7 days I think, but could have started small and got bigger over a longer time and I didn't notice it.

Jacqueline, abdominal distention can be caused by many different medical disorders. It will be difficult for me to determine the exact underlying cause without a hands on examination and some testing. But, common causes are: Fluid buildup (ascites) secondary to heart disease, tumors, low protein, tumors, kidney or liver disease, infections, etc. to name a few causes. To determine the exact underlying cause I would discuss with your veterinarian about doing blood work and ultrasound to evaluate the abdominal cavity. Treatment will be based on test results.
As far as the lump, if it came on quickly it is most likely some type of inflammation like an infection, cyst, etc. To determine the exact nature of the lump I would recommend you speak to your family veterinarian about doing an FNA (fine needle aspirate); this is a very quick test where your vet will collect a sample of the cells with a needle. Requires no anesthesia, inexpensive when compared to a biopsy and can be done within minutes during an office examination. Your vet will most likely submit sample to a lab to be evaluated under the microscope for a definitive diagnosis. The decision of benign neglect or complete surgical removal should be made based on FNA 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
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for your advice. I will do as you suggest and hopefully get those tests done.

Excellent Jacqueline, please keep me posted.

You're welcome.

Dr. Peter
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