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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Contact your local charitable organisations to see if they can help in the treatment of your pet, abdominal enlargement can indicate a number of very serious conditions which should be investigated urgently

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

For the condition to truly be bloat and not weight gain, your dog`s stomach will be swollen and hard or have an unusual shape. If you notice this, call your veterinarian immediately. If it`s after hours, you should take him to the emergency vet. Bloat generally occurs when food or gas stretches the dog`s stomach.
Weight gain usually occurs when a dog eats too much or does not exercise enough, or both. Obesity leads to accumulation of fat in the abdomen and may result in abdominal enlargement. In dogs, obesity can also be a sign of hormonal imbalance.
You may see that your dog`s abdomen looks round or “pot-bellied”, and some dogs show signs of restlessness or trouble breathing. These symptoms indicate that your pet should be evaluated by a veterinarian, as there are a variety of causes for abdominal distension.
Treatment of simple bloat can be quite straightforward. Dogs are usually hospitalized to receive large amounts of intravenous fluids and sometimes medicine. They`re also walked often to stimulate movement of the gastrointestinal tract to help move the gas and food quickly through the body.
Continue by proceeding toward the rear of the body, passing your hands gently over the entire area. A dog`s stomach should feel soft and not swollen. If your dog`s stomach is hard, that could be a sign of bloat and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Generally, a dog with bloat will not be able to poop. If they do, it will be diarrhea and of small volume. But do not assume that because your dog has been able to have a bowel movement they are not experiencing bloat.
SIGNS OF BLOATING IN DOGS

Drooling and panting are common. Their bellies sometimes, but not always, look distended, and they may react painfully to pressure placed on their left flank. It`s common for dogs to display frequent, unproductive retching like they are trying to vomit but can`t.

Bloated Stomach: A pot belly is one of the most common symptoms of worms in puppies. Itchy Bottom: One potential sign of worms in dogs is rubbing their bottom on the ground.
Bloating and swelling are not the same. Abdominal bloating is a feeling that your abdomen is bigger (such as feeling too full after a meal) while swelling is a measurable increase in size.
Abdominal swelling, or distention, is more often caused by overeating than by a serious illness. This problem also can be caused by: Air swallowing (a nervous habit) Buildup of fluid in the abdomen (this can be a sign of a serious medical problem)
Chicken and rice are prime ingredients in many dog foods, and these mild foods sit well on upset canine stomachs. Plus, this bland meal is easy to prepare. All you need are boneless, skinless chicken breasts and rice.
Bloat in dogs won`t resolve on its own, so it`s important to get help quickly.
If your dog is constipated, they may be straining to defecate, and small, rock-hard stool may result. If your pup has not had a bowel movement in two to three days, it means that they are constipated and should be taken to the vet. Sometimes constipation can be mild and resolve quickly on its own.
Most often found in dogs over the age of six, Cushing`s syndrome causes bloat. Symptoms your pup may be experiencing this can include excess eating, drinking, and urinating, as well as unusual pacing and hair loss.
Bloats without torsion can last for minutes to hours, even days in low-level chronic situations, without it becoming life-threatening.
Veterinarians can diagnose gastric dilatation and volvulus quickly and easily, not only by observing the obvious physical symptoms but also by taking X-ray images of the digestive organs. Your veterinarian may also tap at the swollen abdomen, listening for a hollow sound that confirms the presence of bloat.
Signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss.
Certain gastrointestinal diseases cause gas and bloating, including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), celiac disease, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Inflammation of the abdominal lining (peritonitis).
Abdominal swelling, or distention, is more often caused by overeating than by a serious illness. This problem also can be caused by: Air swallowing (a nervous habit) Buildup of fluid in the abdomen (this can be a sign of a serious medical problem)
This discomfort and pain will prevent your dog from having the urge to eat anything. So, a tumor on dogs stomach can quickly lead to appetite loss. For most dogs who love food, a loss of appetite can be one of the clear signs of stomach cancer in dogs for pet parents. Energy loss.
However, the following list identifies some of the most common signs of cancer in dogs: Lumps and bumps underneath a dog`s skin. Abnormal odors emanating from the mouth, ears, or any other part of the body. Abnormal discharge from the eyes, mouth, ears, or rectum.
When your stomach swells and feels hard, the explanation might be as simple as overeating or drinking carbonated drinks, which is easy to remedy. Other causes may be more serious, such as an inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes the accumulated gas from drinking a soda too quickly can result in a hard stomach.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. We have a 3 yr old Weiner dog, she is having pus in her eyes, I took her to the vet he gave me derma vet ointment, used it as the doctor prescribed
ANSWER : A. If the pus really isn’t all that bad, and it’s just some discharge, your pup may benefit from a diet change. It could be that the food you’re feeding just isn’t right for your dog, and that’s okay! Dogs grow and change over time, and now that your dog is fully matured, a diet change may be in order. Try something like Taste of the Wild, maybe a grain free dog food, Orijen, or Ziwipeak. These are all really great food options.

If the pus is really bad, and continues to get worse, see your vet again and let them know what’s going on. Maybe you could try a diet change, and then see if there are any improvements.

Remember, you should always gradually change a dogs diet. By gradually, I mean you put a tiny bit of new kibble in with a bowl of the old kibble. Reduce the old kibble by just a few bits of kibble. Throughout the course of at least two weeks (or as long as you want depending on whether or not you want to finish off the old food) you slowly add more of the new kibble while removing some of the old kibble. This makes the process gradual, and won’t cause any tummy-upset in your dog.

Q. My cocker spaniel is 9 years old. He has involuntary bowel movements (little drops) very frequently, especially when he is asleep.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog on a senior dog food? I would get your dog on a high quality high protien dog food. Ask a pet store assosicate or your regular vet for a food recommendation. When you buy a better food the dog will have to eat less to get the same amount of energy from the food. The dog has to eat more of the cheaper foods to get the energy it needs from it. Meaning more poop and buying more food. So the cost really evens out. So the lessen your dogs bowel movements get on a better senior dog food. Next talk to your vet they may have a recommendation. If you switch dogs do it slowly by mixing the foods. Start with 10% new 90% old mixed for at least a week until you have switched to 100% new 0% old. Senior foods have more fiber to help with bowel movements. Take the dog outside to go potty more frequently, right before bed time.

Read Full Q/A … : Symptoms Questions & Answers

Q. Why do dogs eat grass?
ANSWER : A. Some pet parents get concerned when they see their favorite canine nibbling on grass in the yard. They wonder whether it is because hunger, boredom or an indication of an underlying illness. Often the consumption of grass will result in vomiting because it irritates the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. This is an extremely common problem for dog parents. There is no one reason for why dogs exhibit these behaviors and it is very much dependent on each dog. Here are some of the reasons why our dogs choose to eat grass:

1. Nutritional Issues

Historically speaking, dogs are considered omnivores, which mean they consume a variety of both meat and plant-based food. There is some indication that dogs with a low fiber diet may choose to scavenge in the grass to fulfill this nutritional deficiency. These dogs may also find that grass has an appealing flavor and consistency. If you feel that this may be the reason for your beloved canine consuming grass then consider discussing with your veterinarian on how to incorporate more fiber into your dog’s diet.

2. Boredom

Many dogs who are not receiving adequate exercise will be become bored and search out activities to occupy their time, including eating grass. Evaluate how much exercise your dog is getting on a daily basis and consider more walks or other fun activities, such as playing fetch or tug of war.

3. Upset Stomach

There is a belief that dogs with an upset or gassy stomach will self-medicate by consuming grass. Vomiting often follows this grass eating activity eliminating the contents of the stomach or changing the gas distension within the gastrointestinal tract. However, there is not much scientific evidence to back up this theory. If you are concerned about too much gastric acid in your dog’s stomach or any other underlying medical issue that could be the reason for their grass eating, consult with your veterinarian.

Overall, grass eating is usually not toxic to your dogs unless your lawn contains chemicals, including pesticides or herbicides. Monitor your dog’s behavior along with his diet and exercise to determine if there is a reason for the inappropriate grass snacking.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. I think my dog has dvp he’s really boney & his stomach is enlarged I can’t afford a emergency vet! What do I do he’s 11 years old I’m so worried!
ANSWER : A. Contact your local charitable organisations to see if they can help in the treatment of your pet, abdominal enlargement can indicate a number of very serious conditions which should be investigated urgently

Q. My 4 year old Chihuahua mix began having a series shaking/panting episodes (last 15m- 1hr) out of the blue. Vet’s tests say its not physical.
ANSWER : A. There are many causes for shaking/panting. The shaking and panting are both signs of stress, and your dog may be dealing with anxiety, or stress, related to an event that happened, or is happening. I realize you cannot answer questions on this, however, I will ask some questions that you can ask yourself. Have you recently moved? Have you ever hit or yelled at your dog? Has the weather been bad lately (storms)? Have you had any new guests stay over recently? Have you had any dogs come to your home recently? Have you had any dogs or cats in your yard recently? Was your dog frightened by something initially (a falling pot/pan; a loud bang from the washing machine; a gunshot; a backfiring car/truck; someone screaming in your home/a fight)?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, it could definitely be that. Dogs don’t typically hang on to something for very long, but if it really frightened your pup, then she/he could be feeling serious anxiety related to that specific event, and relating other events to that one.

Do not yell, or hit your dog. I’m not assuming you do, but if you do, please stop doing that right away. It could be that your dog is afraid of you specifically, and you notice the shaking/panting when you are near, because that is the only time your dog is doing it.

If you’d like to purchase a consultation with me (I know, it’s a lot to ask, but I really feel like I could help) I’d be more than happy to ask you many questions, and together we can figure out what the heck is going on here. It’s important that your dog is comfortable, and if your pup is always feeling anxious/uneasy, then his/her quality of life is in jeopardy.

Q. My dog doesn’t eat, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. If this is a puppy, see a veterinarian immediately. Puppies should want to eat. Common causes for anorexia in puppies include viruses (parvo is a big one), parasitism, and foreign bodies. They need immediate care – go to an emergency vet if yours isn’t open. Puppies can get low blood sugar and dehydration very quickly.

If this is an adult dog and you observe other concerning signs, such as diarrhea or decreased energy, you should see a veterinarian.

If the dog seems otherwise bright and stable, try offering different types of food: wet food, canned tripe, or cooked chicken and rice. Some dogs will go for canned baby food: chicken, turkey, or beef as the main ingredient. Make sure there are no garlic or onions in the ingredients!

Causes of anorexia in adult dogs can range from less serious to severe. Younger dogs are more likely to get into trouble- they tend to eat things they shouldn’t, and can get foreign bodies from eating things like socks, or stomach upset from getting in the trash. Any dog may stop eating due to stress, or just being a picky eater. Middle aged dogs can stop eating when they’re stressed and also have Addison’s disease, which can be fatal. Older dogs tend to stop eating when they develop cancer or renal disease.

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe to know when the right time is to take your dog to the vet. The moral of this story is, if it’s not getting better, your pup feels bad, or you’re worried – go see the vet!

Read Full Q/A … : My Dog Won’t Eat