Health Topics  >  Digestive

Abdominal Swelling (Distension)

If your dog looks like it has a very round belly, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been eating too much. Abdominal swelling or abdominal distension can be caused by a variety of conditions, from milder issues such as intestinal parasites, to more serious issues like tumors.

Your dog’s abdomen can be firm or soft, it could have swelled suddenly or over time, and they can exhibit other symptoms as well. If your dog is showing signs of pain (ex. restlessness, panting, pacing), contact your veterinarian immediately.

Pro tips for visiting the veterinarian:

  • Any signs of pain in combination with abdominal swelling is an emergency situation. Keep them quiet and take care handling them as they may bite.
  • Going to see your veterinarian annually (or bi-annually) is a great way for the prevention or early diagnosis of some causes of abdominal swelling.
  • If you’re not breeding your dog, consider spaying her, especially if she’s approaching her senior life stage.

References for Abdominal Swelling (Distension)