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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22434
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My old dog (12 years old) staffie has over the last two days

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My old dog (12 years old) staffie has over the last two days had an enormous bloated tummy. He has recently has 24 teeth removed and also had a burst blood vessel in his ear. Should I be worried. I have wormed him this morning also but the big belly was there. Until recently he has generally been in good health and is built solidly as staffs are.
This evening he was sick
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:
How is Murphy generally? Lethargic, collapsed, or active?
When did he last pass urine and feces?
Does he belly feel hard or taut like a water balloon?
Are his gums pink or pale/white?
Does he seem to be breathing harder?
How long ago was his dental?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Murphy is a little inactive and lethargic
Murphy passed urine yesterday, last week he had the runs for a couple of days.
The belly feels both hard and taut, like he has a ball in there
His gums are pink
Yes he has been breathing a little harder
His dental work was carried out in August 2015.
Murphy has also recently gone completely deaf.
Vets said his heart was in good condition before the operation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have put in this question again with a little more detail and answered some of the points your have asked. Sorry I am not very technical minded with computers and have clicked back on this morning.
Thank you,
Now I have to say that I am quite concerned about Murphy.
To see belly distension at his age, we do have a few concerns. First, we can see this arise with ascites (fluid build up) in the abdomen. This can be related to internal bleeding (a bit less likely if his gums are pink), fluid build up if he does have an heart issue, secondary to low blood protein (in dogs with liver, kidney or GI disease), or infection within the abdomen. As well, at this age, we can also see this with enlarged organs (ie liver, spleen), or if we have a mass/tumor present.
In this case, if he is breathing harder, we do need to tread with care. Especially if his at rest and breathing faster then 30 breaths per minute. If it is quicker then that, we have to be wary that he may be struggling to get enough oxygen (and breathing that quickly is the only way to keep his gums that pink). And if we are seeing that, it'd be best to have him seen urgently. Otherwise, if he is breathing within the normal range, then we'd could wait for his vet to open tomorrow.
In either case, we'd need to is vet to palpate +/- ultrasound his belly to see what is present. If there is fluid, then they can also take a sample to tell you what has caused this. And once you know which issue is present, you will be in a position to know his overall prognosis with this and whether it is something we can treat to help get him back to normal.
Overall, worms don't often cause bloating in older dogs. Instead, we have the above concerns. So, do take a breathing rate just now to assess how serious this is for him. If it is >30bpm, then we'd want to think about having him seen urgently. And if that is the case, I would note that some veterinary practices in our country have office hours today. As well, I wanted to mention that most veterinary practices here do have contingency plans for emergency care for their patients even when they are not open. Therefore, it is worth ringing the practice. If they are open, you can get him seen today. If they aren't, then they will likely have a message to direct you on how to contact their out of hours service. And if you don't have a vet you can find one local to you, you can check the RCVS Register ( to find your local vets or Vets Now ( who are open all nights/weekends. In any case, if you wanted to get him checked out sooner then there are options to have him seen today too.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
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