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WHY IS MY DOG’S BELLY BIGGER?

By:  Dr Jennifer Merry

When you see your dog’s abdomen (or stomach) getting larger it is easy to brush it off as too many cookies and too little exercise -then promise yourself to do better in the future. But there are medical conditions that can make the abdomen appear larger that should not be ignored.

  • Hypothyroidism – or low thyroid hormone production. This decreases the dog’s metabolic rate and makes them prone to weight gain. This is usually a disease of middle age and older dogs. Some breeds are more prone to this like Golden and Labrador Retrievers. A blood test will be needed to diagnose.
  • Hyperadrenocorticism – or Cushing’s disease is an overproduction of hormone from the adrenal glands. The dog will often have a pendulous or “potty” abdomen although they may be losing weight elsewhere. Most dogs will have an increase in drinking and urination. A blood test will be needed to diagnose.
  • Abdominal Tumour – the abdomen holds many different organs all of which can enlarge with disease processes. Dogs can also get independent abdominal tumours not associated with an organ. A blood test and radiographs will be needed to diagnose.
  • Ascites – or build up of fluid in the abdomen. This can be due to organ failure eg liver or heart or imbalances in the blood proteins. A blood test and radiographs will be needed to diagnose.
  • Bloat/GDV – this happens quickly and is a life threatening condition. Usually it is seen in deep chested breeds like German Shepherds or Grey hounds but it can happen to any dog. Gastric dilatation (enlargement) and volvulus (twisting) can happen when a dog is fed and then exercised. Luckily there appears to be a genetic component so not all dogs are equally at risk.

Maybe your dog’s thickening waist is obesity – after all 50% of all pet dogs are overweight but it is a good idea to put it in context. Have you been feeding your dog more and exercising less? Is the general energy of the dog the same? Is the whole dog fatter or just the abdomen? Did it happen gradually or in a few hours or days? Asking yourself these questions could save your dog’s life.

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Last updated: December 11, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we have made some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

5. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday to Friday: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm


6. GROOMING SERVICES

If your pet requires grooming, please give us a call and we will put your name on a list. Our groomer Stephanie will contact you directly to schedule an appointment.

7. COUNTRY TAILS DOGGIE DAYCARE

As of Tuesday, May 19, 2020, Country Tails Doggie Daycare is open! Their temporary hours of operation are 8:00 am - 6:00 pm. You may get touch with one of our daycare team members at (905) 690-8005 or at countrytails@clappisonvet.com

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Clappison Animal Hospital