Why does my dog ​​have a swollen and hard belly?


The excess of gases, liquids and food causes a knot in the stomach of the dog, which can die within hours

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Last update: August 16, 2012

The dilation and subsequent stomach torsion of the can is diagnosed when there is an excessive accumulation of gases, liquids and food and The dog's stomach does not empty properly. It is a serious medical condition that can even cause the death of the pet. Thus, recognize stomach torsion and know how to avoid it is essential to save the dog's life, especially of the large breeds, like the Great Dane, more vulnerable to this dangerous ailment.

The stomach of the dog does not empty properly

Gastric torsion is a consequence of a large amount of gases and liquids inside the dog's stomach

The stomach dilation, followed by a possible gastric torsion, is the result of a large amount of gases, liquids, or even food, inside the dog stomach. This large volume of substances prevents the pet's digestive system from emptying properly.

The usual thing is that the food continues its route through the digestive system to the intestine. The dog stomach It has its mechanisms to empty when needed. Flatulence, vomiting and belching are common tools for pets to take care of their health. stomach. However, these processes do not always work properly.

Gases, food and excess accumulated water can cause significant pressure on the pet's digestive system. This explains that over time this push may cause a stomach twisting. The torsion worsens the process: it works like a knot, so it is increasingly difficult for the affected dog to dislodge the gases and food that occupy its stomach.

Recognizing stomach torsion can save the v>

The torsion of the stomach of the dog is very painful and can cause his death in a few hours

"The stomach torsion of the dog It is very painful and, in addition, very dangerous, "says veterinarian Franck Savary." It is one of the few complete veterinary emergencies that exist, since the dog's life will be in danger and the animal could die in a short time, "he says.

The dilatation exaggerated stomach triggers great abdominal pain in the can. In turn, the stomach gyrus causes a strangulation of many important blood vessels and compression of the surrounding organs. Therefore, without due urgent veterinary attention, the dog may suffer a collapse (shock) and die within hours.

The serious consequences of torsion of dog stomach They explain the importance of learning to recognize the exaggerated dilation of our dog's stomach immediately. "The abdomen swells and the increase in volume can be perceived with the naked eye. If we slap it carefully on the stomach, the sound will be similar to the hit of a basketball. Everything inside is air," adds the veterinarian.

How to avoid dilation

Watch that the dog eating your food slowly is one of the keys to prevent our pet from suffering from stomach torsion. The anxious dog introduces large amounts of food into its digestive tract without chewing it properly: this slows digestion and the portions remain longer in the stomach, where they take up space.

Eating too fast, not resting after meals or eating large amounts of food are risk factors. "Some causes predispose the dog to suffer an excessive dilation of its stomach," explains Savary.

Preventing the dog from exercising after meals or distributing food rations in three doses distributed throughout the day are some simple solutions that reduce the risk of dog may suffer a torsion of his stomach. Preventing excessive drinking after eating is another way to take care of our friend's stomach.

Stomach torsion most affects large dog breeds

Having a narrow and deep chest favors this dangerous disease in large dogs

The structure of the dog's body influences, in general, the development of the stomach torsion. Having a narrow and deep chest prevents some large dogs from preventing this dangerous accumulation of fluids and food in their digestive systems. This explains that "stomach torsion is more frequent in large dogs."

Some of the races most likely to suffer from the dilation of your stomach are the Great Dane, the Irish Setter, the St. Bernard or the Rottweiler.

My puppy has a swollen and hard belly

If we adopt a puppy from a protector, we will most likely receive it properly wormed and vaccinated, with more than eight weeks of age and its corresponding veterinary passport in order. On the other hand, if our puppy arrives in other ways, it is not uncommon for us to observe the abnormally large, swollen and hard belly. The most common cause is a intestinal parasite infestation. Puppies can get parasites in utero, through parasitized milk or ingesting the eggs. Therefore, it is essential to deworm from the fifteen days of the puppy's life. In this sense, establishing a deworming calendar is essential to avoid future infestations.

How to eliminate intestinal parasites in puppies

It is normal for puppies to be parasitized by nematodes, but the presence of other parasites cannot be ruled out, so it is advisable to follow the recommendations and guidelines of the veterinarian. In general, the internal dewormingIn syrup, pasta or pills, it is usually repeated every fifteen days until the end of the first vaccines, at which time it is administered every 3-4 months throughout the life of the animal, although our dog does not have a swollen and hard belly.

Although deworming is routinely administered, it is important to observe the puppy's condition before giving any product, as it may be counterproductive to deworm a sick, stressed or diarrhea puppy whose origin is not the parasite itself. In these cases it is a priority to restore the welfare of the dog before. Parasites appear to be a common and mild but serious condition. Untreated infestations are life threatening.

Swollen and hard belly in the adult dog by torsion / stomach dilation

In an adult dog, on the other hand, abdominal inflammation will have a different origin, since it can indicate the presence of a serious pathology known as stomach torsion / dilation. This disorder is life threatening and requires rapid veterinary intervention. It is an urgency. Understand two different processes:

  1. The first is the dilation of the stomach due to the presence of gas and liquid.
  2. The second is torsion or volvulus, a process in which the stomach, previously distended, rotates on its axis. The spleen, attached to the stomach, also rotates.

If our dog has an inflamed and hard stomach, with total probability we will be before a torsion or stomach dilation. In this situation, neither gas nor liquid can leave the stomach. The dog, therefore, will not be able to burp or vomit, and this accumulation of gases and liquids is the one that distends the stomach. Blood circulation is also affected, so that necrosis (death) of the stomach wall can occur. This picture can be aggravated with gastric perforation, peritonitis, circulatory shock, etc., which is what ends up causing the death of the animal, hence the importance of an early veterinary intervention if we observe that our dog has a swollen and hard belly.

My dog ​​has gas

If your dog has gas, it will expel it by belching. The most common cause of flatulence is the swallowing large amounts of air by swallowing food. They also produce gases certain foods Easy fermentation. Excess gas is related to incomplete digestion of carbohydrates.

The presence of gas in the stomach may be accompanied by abdominal dilation. If flatulence persists or is accompanied by swollen belly and abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite or diarrhea, it is convenient that go to the vet.

In addition, you can provide your dog with a low-fiber diet and avoid giving him leftovers. Offer the food in several small shots to avoid swallowing the food and swallowing air.


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Who and how does torsion / dilation affect dogs?

This pathology occurs most frequently in middle-aged and geriatric dogs, generally of large breeds with a wide chest, they have greater anatomical propensity. They are races as well known as the German shepherd, the boxer or the labrador.

It is a condition that occurs suddenly and is usually related to the intake of an abundant meal, a vigorous exercise done just before or just after eating or drinking a large amount of water immediately after an intake. The symptoms Typical would be:

  • Restlessness, nervousness, alteration.
  • Nausea, with attempts to vomit without getting it.
  • Bloating of the abdomen, that is, the swollen and hard belly.
  • There may also be pain when touching the belly.

It is essential to go to the veterinarian if the dog has a swollen and hard abdomen. He will determine if the inflamed belly of our dog corresponds to a dilation or torsion has already occurred. Depending on the diagnosis, the treatment is carried out. Torsion will require surgery once the dog is stabilized. Your prognosis and the type of intervention will depend on what is affected when opening.

My dog ​​has intestinal obstruction.

When the passage of intestinal contents through the gastrointestinal tract is hindered, it occurs a blockage in the intestine. The most common cause is the presence of foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal tract.

Another frequent cause is that which occurs when one segment of the intestine is invaded into another, like a sock that turns around. This problem is more common in puppies and young dogs.

Intestinal obstruction can also due to tumors, stenosis or hernias.

The obstruction can be partial or complete. Partial obstruction causes intermittent vomiting and diarrhea, symptoms persist for several weeks, while complete obstruction causes sudden abdominal pain and incessant vomiting.

Abdominal obstruction in the first part of the small intestine can cause projectile vomiting. Obstructions in the last part of the small intestine cause bloating and vomiting of brown color and fecal odor.

If the obstruction is complete, the dog will not defecate or expel gas. The obstruction can lead to intestinal strangulation, so it is convenient go to the vet quickly.

How to prevent stomach torsion / dilation in dogs?

Torsion / dialatation can be a recurring process, that is, it can happen to the dog several times, so it is important to attend to a series of measures:

  • Divide the daily food ration into portions.
  • Restrict access to water a few hours before and after meals.
  • Prevent intake followed by large amounts of water.
  • Do not practice intense exercise with a full stomach.

And, above all, go to the veterinary clinic at the slightest suspicion of torsion / dilation.

My dog ​​has an inflamed, hard stomach and trembles

We start with adult dogs, as this is when this symptomatics conceals a disease of greater severity. A swollen gut indicates that your dog is retaining gases or liquids and cannot expel them. This buildup creates pressure on the stomach walls, also giving you that feeling of hardness that you notice. It trembles because it hurts and this inflammation, by stressing the muscle so much, can end up seriously damaging the tissues of your belly.

My dog ​​has a swollen belly and is decayed - Other causes

Although torsion / stomach dilation is the most frequent cause that explains why a dog has a swollen belly, the truth is that it is not the only one that can cause this enlargement of the abdominal area. Thus, we distinguish the following problems as the most common in adult dogs:

How to prevent the accumulation of gases or liquids in your dog

To prevent this from happening to you, you just have to be more careful and watch your lifestyle. Do not let it binge, nor drink all the water in the world, it is best that you change the one in your drinking fountain frequently, so that it is fresh and so that you always have a certain and controlled amount to your Reach, but not overdo it.

After eating, do not take him for a walk directly, let him rest before going to the street. If you can't wait and need to go outside, stop your jogging until a while passes, then you can play together.

Combine these tips with a meal of quality, rich and varied in an order, because dogs like the routine, but also that it is full of flavor and nutrients.

My dog ​​has a swollen gut, hard and arches

Controlling the accumulation of gases or liquids in your dog is a matter of prevention, pampering and serving your colleague as he deserves. Although it sounds like a mild disease, it is not, that swelling can end up affecting other adjacent organs, cause peritonitis, internal bleeding and kill. We don't want to scare you, but we do advise you to take good care of your friend's diet.

If excessive accumulation of gases and liquids is a problem, there is another that is more complicated to avoid: stomach torsion. When the stomach is swollen, sometimes and suddenly, it can twist on itself, preventing the outflow of gas, liquid and food. The way to prevent this from happening is the same as we indicated before. If you see that your dog has a hard gut, try to vomit but can not and it hurts to touch the belly, run to the veterinarian without losing a second.

Your dog has a bloated and hard stomach

Yes, dogs can also suffer gas, having swollen and hard bellies as their main symptom. The reasons that justify this problem are several, being the poor quality food, the abrupt change of diet, swallow food very quickly or without chewing or a bad digestion The most common. However, diseases, parasites and the aforementioned stomach torsion / dilation can also cause gas, so the visit to the veterinarian is more than recommended.

My puppy has a big belly and it hurts

The above cases usually occur in older dogs and especially in large breeds. If we refer to a puppy, the thing changes. These little ones, sometimes, are not as dewormed as we would like. If you have adopted it in a shelter, this problem does not usually occur as often, but if you have bought it you have to know that there are many undesirable ones that do not even bother to vaccinate or treat mothers.

Animal breeding mafias have bitches forced to give birth tirelessly until they die. Not being cared for, her children inherit the parasites she has through her milk or through the uterus.

A healthy and well attended puppy, with the vaccines up to date and having received the corresponding anti-parasitic treatment from birth to adulthood, would not have to suffer these infestations of worms or other undesirable hosts. In this case, what you can't do is medicate or give crazy pills, you have to go to the vet, to prescribe the appropriate ones and start the vaccination and medical care you need.

Although it is relatively normal for a puppy to have parasites and not be something serious, if it has a colony of them too large they can permanently hurt him.

As you have seen, prevention is essential in these cases. Do not buy dogs. If you rescue the new member of your family from the street, take him to the vet to make sure that no parasites are taking advantage of him. Watch your diet and eating habits. If at any time you see your belly swells and is hard, visit your veterinarian without delay.

Why does your dog have a swollen belly and vomits?

That a dog has a swollen belly and vomits is synonymous that something is not going well. These symptoms are usually associated with the presence of intestinal parasites, as you had, round worms, hooked worms or whip worms. Despite being more common in puppies, adult dogs can also suffer from these infestations, especially if they are not dewormed.

These parasites, in addition to the mentioned symptoms, can cause the dog to have a swollen belly and diarrhea, blood in the stool, general weakness, anemia and / or weight loss.

Why does your dog have a swollen and soft belly?

Another cause that can explain why a dog has a swollen belly is the intestinal obstruction, which can develop for multiple reasons. Among the most common, the following stand out:

It is a serious situation and, therefore, a veterinary emergency. The obstruction can be partial or total, and only the specialist can diagnose and treat it.

What to do if your dog has a swollen belly?

Because most of the causes are serious, it is necessary go to the vet as soon as possible, since if the problem that is causing this abdominal enlargement is not treated, the animal could even die.

Depending on the cause, the treatment for your dog's hard and swollen belly will vary, since it is not the same to treat a stomach torsion as a gas problem due to poor diet. In this sense, in addition to visiting the veterinarian, it is important check the diet which follows the animal to ensure that it is the most appropriate. If the feed we give to our dog is of poor quality, for example, it is possible that this is the reason for the swelling, which would be solved by adapting the food. Likewise, check if it has been dewormed It is another of the measures we must take. However, we insist, due to the seriousness of the options, going to the specialist is the most advisable.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my dog ​​have a swollen and hard belly?, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.

My dog ​​has gastric torsion / dilation or gastric volvulus

Torsion / dilation is an emergency that can have lethal consequences for your dog. Take the vet urgently in the slightest doubt that I may suffer. Early recognition and treatment are key to dog survival.

The terms torsion / dilation refer to two different conditions. In the dilatation, the stomach is distended with gas and liquid. The torsion, also called volvulus, is the situation in which the distended stomach rotates on its longitudinal axis. Being attached to the stomach wall, the spleen rotates with it.

If gastric dilation occurs, the stomach may twist 180º or less (in which case we talk about torsion), or more than 180º (which is the true volvulus).

During the volvulus, the pylorus travels and compresses the duodenum, preventing the outflow of fluid and air from the stomach. At the same time, the gastroesophageal junction suffers from torsion and becomes clogged, preventing the dog from belching or vomiting. Gas and liquid are trapped in the stomach, which is practically sealed. When fermenting, they cause a bloating of the stomach.

This can cause many problems, such as acute dehydration, bacterial septicemia, arrhythmias, gastric perforation, peritonitis or even death.

Torsion / dilation can occur in any dog ​​at any time in its life, being those of large race and wide chest more likely to suffer from it. Among the large breeds of risk are the Great Dane, German Shepherd, St. Bernard, Labrador, Irish Setter, ...

The most likely medium-sized breeds are Shar Pei and Basser Hound.

Between those of small race it is rare that this problem occurs.

Torsion / dilation appears suddenly, usually in active and healthy dogs.

What symptoms does torsion / dilation have?

The most frequent symptoms of torsion / dilation are restlessness, agitation, salivation, nausea, unproductive attempts to vomit and bloating of the abdomen. If we press the dog's belly, he may groan.

However, these symptoms do not always occur. For example, the abdomen may not appear distended, although it will be tense to the touch. Your dog may be lethargic and look uncomfortable but not extremely anxious..

Late signals (when shock is imminent) are pale tongue and gums, rapid heartbeat, weak pulse, rapid and fatigued breathing, weakness and collapse.

If your dog is able to vomit, it is very possible that he does not suffer from volvulus, but it is advisable to go immediately to the veterinarian at the slightest suspicion of torsion / dilation, since you can only make sure you have an adequate diagnosis and wait can be fatal for the dog.

What is the treatment of torsion / dilation?

Gastric dilation that has no complications is eliminated introducing a tube to the stomach. In addition, it is the fastest way to confirm torsion / dilation. Once the tube enters the dog's stomach, a tub of air and liquid will come out that will give him immediate relief. Next, you have to do a gastric lavage. The dog will not eat or drink for the next 36 hours.

Getting the probe inserted does not always rule out the volvulus. The best way to confirm it is to perform an x-ray.

In the event that your dog falls into a state of shock, it will require emergency treatment, which may involve surgery as soon as the dog can tolerate anesthesia. With this procedure, you will try to reposition the stomach and spleen, or remove the spleen and part of the stomach if you have suffered necrosis.