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The Causes of Ascites (Fluid in the Abdomen) in Dogs

Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.

Learn what might be causing your dog to have a distended abdomen, and discover more about this serious symptom.

Learn what might be causing your dog to have a distended abdomen, and discover more about this serious symptom.

Distended Abdomens in Dogs: What to Watch For

"Ascites" is a medical definition that refers to fluid accumulation in the abdomen. In a dog, it can have various underlying causes, and it often indicates some sort of organ malfunction or abnormality. A dog may have a slight form of ascites with subtle symptoms when there is little fluid accumulation, or the dog may present with a distended and enlarged abdomen when the fluid accumulation is substantial.

See a Veterinarian Immediately

Ascites in a dog may indicate a serious underlying condition that requires treatment. In some cases, the abdomen may enlarge rapidly, requiring immediate veterinary help because the enlarged abdomen may compress the diaphragm and interfere with breathing.

This is a symptom you definitely don't want to try to treat at home. First, because the fluid accumulation may be due to many serious underlying conditions that need to be addressed; and second, because the fluid accumulation may increase, causing serious complications such as trouble breathing and weakness.

Common Causes

Below are some common causes of ascites in dogs:

  • Liver disease causing low serum protein levels.
  • Heart failure causing increased pressure in the veins and making fluids leak into the abdomen. At times, this can be caused by the presence of heartworm disease.
  • Peritonitis causing intestinal contents to leak out.
  • Hypoalbuminemia, which means low albumin levels caused by the liver not functioning well (possibly because of a portosystemic shunt or an infection). In this case, when albumin is lacking, there isn't anything that can help contain water in the bloodstream, so it just leaks out of blood vessels and other spaces of the body such as the abdomen.
  • Pyometra, causing pus in the uterus to leak out. This is seen in unspayed females and is a medical emergency.
  • Kidney problems causing the dog to be losing albumin out of the kidneys.
  • Bleeding disorders, such as from ingesting rat poison or an inherited blood clotting disorder (causing blood to seep into the abdomen).
  • Trauma (caused by the rupture of the spleen, bladder or gallbladder, leading its contents to leak out).
  • A ruptured blood vessel in the abdomen causing blood loss, anemia and shock (often caused by injury or a ruptured tumor).
Learn about the other signs of ascites.

Learn about the other signs of ascites.

Symptoms of Ascites

Dogs affected by ascites will exhibit the typical sign of a distended abdomen. Tapping on the abdomen will produce a dull, flat noise. Depending on the underlying cause of ascites, there may be accompanying symptoms owners must be on the lookout for:

  • Breathing difficulty (suggesting the distended abdomen is interfering with breathing)
  • Cough (often suggesting heart disease)
  • Weakness (in some cases, suggesting internal bleeding)
  • Pale gums (suggesting anemia or shock from internal blood loss)

Treatment of Ascites

Treatment focuses on detecting the underlying causes. Often a procedure called Abdominocentesis is required where a needle is inserted to drain out the excessive fluids, allowing the dog to breathe better. This can help the pet feel more comfortable, but it won't stop the fluid from leaking unless the underlying cause is addressed.

The fluids collected are often analyzed so to come to a proper diagnosis. Ascites due to trauma may require blood transfusions and emergency surgery. Diuretics are often prescribed (such as Furosemide) to aid the body in flushing away excessive fluids. Dogs on diuretics will urinate more. IV fluids are administered in case of shock or dehydration.

A Distended Abdomen Is Serious

Ascites is a condition that should not be left untreated, especially when it appears suddenly. The underlying cause needs to be detected as soon as possible in order to treat effectively and promptly. Never underestimate a dog with a distended abdomen.

Note: In some cases, the dog's abdomen may appear distended not because of fluids leaking, but because of air. If your dog's abdomen appears enlarged and your dog is restless, attempting to vomit and in pain, see your vet immediately as these may be signs of bloat in dogs.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: What can I do to comfort my dog who is basically dying from heart failure and has an excessively distended belly? What can I do to make my dog as comfortable as possible without suffering?

Answer: So sorry your dog is going through this. Unfortunately, when fluid starts to build up like this and the underlying cause is heart failure, generally, the time left is, unfortunately, going to be limited, so with the help of your vet, you want to focus as much as possible on providing comfort. Your vet can tap the chest and remove some fluid, but this will keep building back as the heart is unable to pump as it should. You may want to discuss with your vet adjusting the heart meds your dog is on as sometimes little tweaks in dosages (or the addition of some other medication) can help, but there is no certainty on how your dog may respond.

© 2009 Adrienne Farricelli


Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 12, 2019:

So sorry your baby has been suffering from an enlarged abdomen lately. I hope more diagnostic tests can reveal the source of the ascites in your dog so that the correct treatment or management plan can be implemented. I will keep your dog in my thoughts and prayers. Unfortunately, cancer in dogs is very common, now statistics show that 1 dog in 4 get cancer, and in dogs over the age of 10, 1 in 2 are diagnosed with cancer.

Shristy Maharjan on October 12, 2019:

My dog fucchey is suffering from enlargement of abdomen. He's 11.5 years old. Doctor told he might have tumor. And took out water/ fluid from his belly and given saline for energy. And said to do blood test and ultra ray. Pray for my fucchey. I am worried as hell.

Donna on May 27, 2016:

Has anyone suggested White Thistle? I just read some about it on the internet for dogs. I put some on my Pintrest site for anyone to read. I believe in the White Thistle, my husband had Hepatics, caused from having another problem. Anyway, I gave him White Thistle because it helps the liver. Get a hold of a holistic vet and maybe they can help too. Just a suggestion. God Bless you and your little fur kid, I pray you find a good thing to help. Feeding homecooked meals is a good thing. Look on some of those sites too.

Lana on December 31, 2014:

Hi, My Ruby is a year old pugalier. Has a portasystemic liver shunt, we have known this since she was 10 weeks old. I didn't listen to the vet about surgery and that she wouldn't survive. I found natural remedies. She eats a wholefood, fruit and vegie diet with liver enzymes put in each meal and supplements to give her the things she needs. Shes had a very very happy, healthy 10 months but last week developed weakness and becoming ill, just Monday being seen to by the vet and had bloods and xrays done, this confirmed very low in her proteins, sodium and calcium and ascites in her abdomen. The vet hasn't given me the option of draining, learnt that here, thanks guys! The vet wasn't really helpful, think he wants me to make the tough decision but Ruby is still having times of play and wagging tail and although there is fluid in her face and neck, it goes after walking around and her tummy seems to be shrinking today. I have been given this advice for natural things to do do rid her of fluid. heaps of watermelon, its a natural diuretic as is celery and to make a parsley tea with distilled water and cool and let her drink, she will wee like mad and get rid of the ascites. all must be organic, the liver shunt causes toxic build up so we have to have her toxin free as possible, hence the organic food. im also giving her coconut water and the meat from a raw young coconut, very detoxing and healing, shes had this as her diet from 10 weeks old. its a miracle food, your fur abbacies can eat fruit and raw vegies. I inttend to heal this issue, we love her so much, its been the hardest 10 months looking after a special needs puppy but there are other ways not just the way the vet tell you, there is always a more natural approach do your research and get bust finding a way. For the girl who has a pup with a livershunt too, please seek help from Rick and Cindy they are amazing and saved my puppys life! So Im trying to locate the parsley today to do the tea, say some prayers for my Ruby and I am saying them for all your furbabies, cheers!

KaylaR on April 30, 2014:

I'm so happy I didn't either because I knew there was hope with my little guy he is much more happy now just to see him happy makes me very happy . The thing is I had taken him to this vet hospital for the 3rd time to see what could be done in his situation and the vet was talking about the fluid drainage the first time I have heard about it she was saying since he was so little that there was a very low percentage that he would make it through the surgery because he was so young

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 28, 2014:

Wow, what an ordeal Happy to hear you didn't listen to those vets! I love to read happy endings. Your pup is young, most likely that played a role.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 14, 2014:

Sorry to hear that, unfortunately ascites is often a sign of some serious underlying medical condition. My deepest condolences.

rekha paul on February 14, 2014:

I had a 2 month old pockt dog she was suffering from ascites we had taken hee to the vet wen her belly was sowllen we drained out water twice but her condition was getin worst we lost her forever but she wil remain in our heart forever

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 05, 2014:

I am so sorry to hear about Max's health issues. Was the vet able to pinpoint a possible cause? He is so young! I hope he makes a full recovery.

Noel desouza on January 05, 2014:

Our Dg Max was diagnosed with Ascites last Christmas, he was a fine, till the fluid built up started, at first we just thought that he was eating food outside as well as eating at home and we concluded that his stomach bloat was due to this.

but then he got ill, and would shiver at nights, doctor has prescribed Lasix 40 mg in the morning, and 40 mg at night, in order that the fluids get flushed out through the kidneys, he has lost his appetite, but still has a lot of water.

We have put him on beef bone soup, and are feeding him with the help of a syringe, he has started lapping up the soup but it is slow maybe 30 ml every hour, Doc says do not over do as he may throw up everything, good news is that he 'hasn't thrown up yet,he is also on saline and some liver med that the Doc injects either intravenous or through the IV.

Max has given us his love friendship, protection,and has asked for nothing in return, we only hope that he has one more chance to right the wrongs we may have put him through, as we watch him we are unsure where all this is headed at.

Life is so precious, and Max is fighting for his life, and we are supporting him with all the help we can get, we just hope Max can get back, we dont think he will be the same strong dog, but it would be good to have him around, he is all of 4 years old.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 23, 2013:

Liza, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending my deepest condolences.

liza on November 22, 2013:

My buddy just died today due to liver failure. We discovered it when i had him for check up last week because he has no appetite but the size of his stomach is abnormal, and he has been diagnosed with ascites. the blood test result showed that his liver was damaged and the vet prescripted silymarin capsule as his supplement. but his condition became worst until we had him drained. he became alright w/in 24 hours but became even worst after that. he has been taking a lot of amoxicillin after he has been drained, then there are 2 more medicines. but he has been vomiting all the medicine. even his water intake. until this morning, when i bid my goodbye to him. such a great loss!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 10, 2013:

Wow, great to hear your dog went through such an improvement, thanks for sharing your success story!

Thomas973 on June 10, 2013:

We had a dog develop ascites as a result of Lyme's disease. Had her drained a few times and then the doctor hit on a medicine called Enacard. What an AMAZING change for us. The fluid buildup stopped and we got our old dog back!

Gail Louise Stevenson from Mason City on January 07, 2013:

Very good article. I didn't see anywhere in your article about ascites being a disease, but a condition. I read some articles online about it affecting humans. Thats awful that dogs suffer from ascites.

Terri L on July 16, 2012:

This is very true. Just today I had to put a very young dog 1 1/2 year old down due to this condition. It began with a fast onset of anemia then I began to see swelling after treament. At first I thought a blocked bowl. Stools where black. In the end all took place in less then 2 weeks. Please love your pet today for you never know about tomorrow.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 08, 2012:

Janet thank you for the update, but I am sorry to hear it is a sad one. Have you asked a vet's opinion on possible options? Here is guide on quality of life:

Best wishes.

Janet on July 08, 2012:

I posted about 3 months ago about my Jack Russell Lucy. She is still with us and not alot has changed except that I have not had her drained since the beginning or mid June. At that last procedure she needed to be sedated and the vet needed to use an ultrasound to locate the pockets of fluid. There wasn't a lot of fluid drained and in one week she was right back at the same weight. That time was very draining for her. She was not happy for a couple days later. At that time I decided I wouldn't put her thru it again. Her organs (liver and odendum{I think my vet said}) are quite enlarged now making the draining very difficult. She is very uncomfortable now and her belly is looking bruised, but she is still wanting to be with me and still seems so perky. It breaks my heart to put her down but I can't see any other option. Her meds are not working at all except to maybe keep her appetite up and lessen any possible pain. I just don't know when it is the right time to say good-bye.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 17, 2012:

Antonette, you really need to see a vet and see what is causing this, there is nothing you can do at home for this. it could also be she has worms if she has a pot belly, please see your vet to find a cause, best wishes!

antonettedelacruz on June 17, 2012:

my 2months old female shih tzu have the same case.... im worried. she also lost her appetite but still well drinking.. she was sitting and sleeping all day her stomach going bigger every day... i hate to see her suffering,, help please.... =((

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 03, 2012:

The vet needs to investigate what is causing it, there is nothing that can be done at home. The fluids can be drained by a vet to make the dog feel better, I wished I could be of more help, but this is something that needs the attention of a vet.

lata naik on May 03, 2012:

my labrador pup is suffering from acites .pls help me with effective treatment as i dont know any treatment .no doctor is here . i m staying in shivmoggha karnataka india. doctor says here that ascites has no treatment . i m worried

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 29, 2012:

Your vet should find out what is causing the dog ascites in the first place. Is it a heart condition? More testing is needed, to ind the source of the leaking. best wishes

hodgson on April 28, 2012:

My 5 year old shih tzu chihuahua mix has a bloated abdomen. He stopped eating today but will still drink. We took he to the Vet. and he has had blood work, x-rays, and been observed all day. He is taking Furosemide 12.5mg 2 times per day. Very worried - help please.

goldenmom on April 17, 2012:

***correction to above post. In looking at the Rx my golden is taking (1) atenalol 25 mg a day and 200 mg furosemide morning and 160 mg furosemide in the evening

goldenmom on April 17, 2012:

Golden Retriever born with Extreme SAS. Neutered at 4mo. Prognosis lifespan of 7-12 mo. He is 2 1/2 yrs now. 6mo ago he had difficulty breathing. Was sitting up to sleep. Many vets, tests & all said he was on his way out. One Vet gave him Flurosemide 40mg 2x's a day and atentinol 1/2 a day. He did not get better. Another Vet bumped up the flurosemide and atentenol & drained his abdomen. He was a new dog. Better than he had ever been. We kept draining him every 10-15 days and bumped the meds to 1 whole atentenol in morning, plus 400 mg of flurosemide in morning and 360 mg in evening. If I didn't know he had this SAS I would say he is cured. He wags his tail, plays a little although the heat zaps him. It was costing me 800 a month to keep him drained, medicated, & special food. My vet showed me how to drain him. It is scary but I can do it. I would never recommend this without a lot of special instruction as there are a lot of things you can hit with that needle. Also, infection and if the potassium level runs wrong it could be fatal. It is very hard to be faced with putting a dog down when money is the factor. My golden is young, and tolerates this well. Good luck to everyone.

goldenmom on April 17, 2012:

I have a dog with S.A.S

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 24, 2012:

I think only your vet may ultimately give you a better idea, or perhaps you can ask another vet's opinion. If you are into homeopathy, there are many vets that specialize in this and can give you a different insight, best wishes.

Janet on March 23, 2012:

I have an 8.5 year old Jack Russell, Lucy. She has been diagnosed with cancer of the liver and the spleen. We have had her drained 3 times so far and she is on prednizone and a dieuretic. She only seems to be able to go 1 week between drainings and although for the first few days she is very happy and comfortable I fear I'm doing her body more damage because the fluid seems to accumulate very fast after that. I do know that there is really nothing I can do to cure her cancer and we are going to lose her. Her appetite is good but she has lost most of her body mass, I assume to the cancer. I feed her lots whenever she asks but it doesn't seem to be helping her to gain that body mass. I don't know how long I should be doing this, not just because I can't afford the procedure every week but how much is too much? I love her so much and hate seeing her like isn't her, she has been lost to the disease. :'(

Carol on February 02, 2012:

We have been draining our 16 year old lab/chow mix (Calo) for 2 months now. We thought we were going to loose her before Thanksgiving. We have had blood work, x-rays, ultrasound done, but nothing conclusive... maybe heart failure, maybe lung disease, maybe cushings. Had her drained to get her comfortably through the holidays. She did so well that we have continued. Our primary goal is to keep her as comfortable as possible in her last days. She is much more comfortable after the drainings. Last time the vet removed more than 9 lbs of fluid. He is amazed she is still alive. They first had recommended we put her down, but after the first draining she could move around a lot better, would come to great us and wagged her tail... just can't see putting her down when she still seems to have a zest for life. Would much rather her go naturally. She also has a good appatight as long as we drain her before she gets too swollen. She is on prednizone to help her breathing and a dieuretic. We have to drain her about every 1-2 weeks. I would definetly recommend draining to improve comfort. Thanks for all the posts. It is nice to know we are not alone. Love you Calo!

Sachin on January 31, 2012:

Try not to pick up the dog by putting pressure on the abdomen. This will lead to additional pressure and might block the breathing for the dog.

Sachin on January 31, 2012:

My dog died today because of Ascites. This seems very painful for the dog. Buzo was 7.5 yrs old labrador. abdoman inflation just developed in last 3 days. I have been visiting a doc since last 5 days when he developed a fever. I wish this doesn't happen to any other dog.

We miss you Buzo.

JamesBjr on January 16, 2012:

We had a female boxer of 12yrs. We notice that her stomach was swollen so Thursday we took her to the Vet and they did x-rays and he said that she did not have a tumor but her heart was enlarged and they would have to drain her we left her there he called back and told us they drained a little over 2 liters from her stomach and the blood work showed that she had heart worms. He told us that he was going to treat the enlarge heart first and worry about the heart worms later he just want to slow her heart down. So he put her on Enalapril 10mg 1.5 tablets twice a day,Furosemide 50mg 2 tablets twice a day and Doxcycline 100mg 1.5 tablets twice a day. ok when we went to pick her up friday and he brought her in there we knew something was different about her, she was staggering and he said that was probably cause she was in a confined space. We also notice that her stomach looked good but the fluid had moved up under her arms and he said that was ok and it should go away. Well when we took her home she laid on the couch all day unless she had to go out side a use the bathroom. we notice the fluid had moved to her back legs cause it had swollen up bad. we gave her pills like we were suppose to. Saturday looks like she was doing fine, she was walking more so my wife and I were so excited. Sunday we gave her pills that morning. at 7:55pm she had to use the bathroom and she came back and laid on the couch and sadness to say she past away at 8:00pm. why we don't know and she only gasp for breath twice. we did not think she would leave us this fast..Has anyone been through this please let us know. or was it too much medicine for her she was 65lbs.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 15, 2012:

Arlana, I have a hard time understanding if your vet diagnosed congestive heart failure or not? This is a serious disease and may cause ascitis. It is diagnosed with chest X-rays, ECG, echocardiography,and other tests. If CHF is the cause she needs to be put on heart meds, a reduced salt diet, and a restricted exercise regimen.

Arlana Smith on January 14, 2012:

Our dog, Angel, has been having her belly drained for over a year once a week. Very costly. No one has been able to come up with a firm diagnosis. She sees a cardiologist every few months. I suspect Cushings but no other doctor agrees with me. She has had many tests and at first, her protein levels were high. Now, not so much. She has CHF (maybe). She is very lively. She runs and barks and eats normally. You wouldn't know that she was sick except for her destinded belly. Every week the vet takes off 1.0-1.5 liters of fluid. Any suggestions.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 30, 2011:

Ascites is an accumulation of fluid, therefore it could be your dog is fighting an infection and pus (which is ultimately made of dead white blood cells) may have leaked in the abdomen? just guessing..

brenda on December 30, 2011:

my vet said that fluid in my dog's abdomen contains "old white blood cells" can anyone explain that to me

Jackie on December 05, 2011:

My 8 year old shih-tzu started to develop occassional diarrhea and vomiting a couple years and recently, it went bad and his belly is with water and he started refusing to eat. Went to the vet and did X-ray and blood work. He said his stomach was filled with gas and the blood work came with high white blood cell which indicated infection. Other than that was the liver count as 430 (normal was 141). I sort of remember the same number when I took him to a vet when he was around 3 yrs old, so I thought maybe it's not as serious. He was given 10 days antibiotics. He initially started to eat a little, but then would stop again. His belly remains the same... not worsen though. However, I decided to try Milk Thistle. 1st day of giving it, his belly seems to have soften (it was the last day of him on antibiotics) and his appetite came back. Then I read that I should do 5day/2day start/stop schedule. The 2 days I stopped, his belly seems to have harden again and he lost his appetite again... I just giving again and he started eating and belly seems soften again. Am I just imagining things? Does its effect come as quickly? Should I stick with 5/2 schedule? I read some website saying I should give 2-3 months...?

Sara on November 27, 2011:

Our almost 9 year old rottie, Sierra has been diagnosed w ascites because of fluid in her belly. We have spent over $700 so far for lab work to show she may be anemic but liver function looks good. They have done X-rays and we have gone to the vca ER in Aurora for an ultrasound. They wanted to keep her for more testing & iv's to the tune of $3k. I have brought her home instead where she is taking reglan and some other pharmaceutical grade vit E med. she is eating well but seems tired and the bloating is quite severe. Our vet really wants us to see an internist.

Brady on October 22, 2011:

Our dog IMHA, a condition where her immune system attacks her red blood cells. Her liver is also stressed, and this may be the primary cause of her IMHA, or an associated issue. The steroids she is on to stop the immune system from attacking her red blood cells also stress the liver. Anyways, it's complicated. But one of the issues is ascites. She is full of abdominal fluid. We cut back on the steroids to give her liver a rest, but she is still very bloated and has labored breathing at night. Our vet doesn't want to drain the fluid as he says it has a lot of natural electrolytes and proteins in them. But yesterday some of the fluid started dripping out her. As she sleeps, the pressure on her belly pushed quite a lot of fluid out onto the blanket. She actually looks more comfortable now and it is easier for her to get around. The fluid is still slowly dripping out...quite slow, but it's not healing. I'm worried she will lose too much fluid and become unstable. I've put a large bandage on it to block the flow, but I wonder if it will just soak the bandage overnight and push out more fluid....any thoughts?

Heart on September 27, 2011:

It wouldn't just be okay to drain a dog or keep doing that. Ascites always has an underlying cause. See your vet and let him/her find out and treat that. That may keep you and ur pet away from the clinic for a while. Cheers

Heather on September 04, 2011:

I have a 6 year old miniature pinscher that we adopted last year in April. We found out about December that she has a shunt near her liver which has caused liver disease. We have had her stomach drained 3 x's. She gets along with it very well and when we bring her home she is a different dog. Last time they drained her was 2 weeks ago, they took off 5.1 pounds of fluid. She is very skinny, but oddly has as much energy as our other two min pins. She is still very happy too. I really wish I could figure out something to make her better or put weight on her, but I know there is nothing to do, but wait :(.

Svetla on August 31, 2011:

My German Shepherd Amigo died two days ago suffering the same condition. It developed very rapidly. He was very energetic and strong, and suddenly in a week, he's no longer with us. :( It is very serious condition, please anyone having the same problem with his dog, do not waste any time. Go to a vet.

Bridget & Anthony on August 21, 2011:

Our dog Charley has ascites. We have had him drained twice now, and the second time he went in the Vet has recommended that we put him down. This is a very serious condition, and I would recommend anyone, that, think that their pet has this condition, to PLEASE take them to the Vet as soon as possible, Charley will be missed by us all.

P.S. We LOVE YOU Charley.

Dinesh on August 21, 2011:

Thank you

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 20, 2011:

It is hard to say without diagnostic tests. The prognosis varies depending on the underlying cause. Many conditions causing ascites can be treated if this helps, but again there is no way to know for sure until the underlying cause is found, best wishes.

Dinesh on August 20, 2011:

My 11 year old male Labrador's abdomen swelled abnormally in just a week. His scan and x-rays suggest possible tissue growth around the stomach or liver. The vet is unsure and has asked for further examination, for which he'll be taken tomorrow. Could it be Ascites? Should we fear his condition?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 20, 2011:

Furosemide is most commonly used medication to treat ascites and I see that your dog is already on it. I am not sure what your vet can do to prolong his life, but at times, if you are unsure, it helps to ask the opinion of another vet. Some vets may opt to drain the fluid in a procedure known as ''abdominocentesis''. I am not sure how much it will last, I guess it depends on how advanced the disease is. If he is hungry and alert it may be worth a try to see if there are better options. Best wishes and thank you for taking so much care of him!

Eva on August 18, 2011:

My chiguagua (11 yrs old 9 pounds)has CHF and a pulmonar enema,he now has develop ascites, we are injecting every 12 hrs with furosemide (as the pill stopped working)giving him also (pill)spironolactone one hr before the injection. He is in a lot of meds due to his condition (enalapril,vetmedin viagra and medicine for the cough) He started with his enlarge heart over 2 + yrs ago. We are loosing hope and we has fight with his sickness for a long time (and lots of $$)we we love him so much.

What puzzle us is he that he is hungry and considering his sickness he is alert with moving limitations due to all the problems.

If I could help him with the ascites It will be much better, for the 1st time I'm considering to put him to sleep .....and is breaking my heart.

Another question .....if we may drain him of some of this liquid on a very delicate condition how long will the draining may last ?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 06, 2011:

I think you should see results by now, please inform your vet if there are no changes.

Lisa on August 04, 2011:

I have an 11 year old weimaraner that has congestive heart failure which is causing ascites, my vet has put her on furosemide for the fluid build up as well as Lanoxin and Aminyllin, my question is how long does it take for the fluid to decrease in the stomach, she has been on this medication for 3 days - Thx

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 16, 2011:

If for ascites you mean a swollen abdomen, I would be concerned about a possible inflammation of the endometrium (lining) of the uterus which occurs within a week after a dog has given birth here is a link about it:

mat on July 15, 2011:

what causes postpartum ascitis in dogs and how can you prevent it. is there any breed disposition?

Arnel on May 16, 2011:

Hi Chris,

Your dog probably has an ascites. How is he now? Your dog shoulld have given her a diuretics.

Chris on April 03, 2011:

My dog (5 year old lab - Lucy) also has an enlarged abdomin. I have spent $550 on blood work, urine analysis, multiple x-rays and a sample of the fluid has been sent to a lab and I am waiting results. She swelled up in a week. We also discovered she had a blocked colon which was cleared with an enima. Vet wants me to spend $700 more on a sonagram. I don't have any more funds for this. I am thinking I'll just try to have the vet drain the fluids or administer diurectics. If anyone has any other ideas, please respond.

Vicky on February 25, 2011:

For the English Pointer, has the ascites fluid been tested? This can be a good indicator of which of the many possible causes is creating the ascites. Check out this article:

My dog has food allergies, probable liver and kidney damage. We don't have a definite diagnosis because I have limited funds and would rather put them to treatment, though I'm rethinking that.

Vicky on February 25, 2011:

You need to look for herbal diuretics. I have found that some herbal are natural diuretics, but they not be as effective as the regular.

"Because the leaves contain so much potassium, they probably resupply any potassium lost due to dandelion's mild diuretic effect, although this has not been proven.

I have looked for herbals for diuretics. This article was one of the best:

R MCASKILL on February 12, 2011:

Article very useful. Will be at the vets first thing having read this. Damn!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 21, 2011:

Alex, I would stray away from herbal remedies for this sort of problem since ascites may stem from serious issues such as liver failure or serious heart disorders. If for your dog has ascites, you must see your vet at once..

Alex on January 21, 2011:

are there any herbal remedies for the treatment of Ascites?,thanks

Robert on January 20, 2011:

Instead of arguing like children saying yes you did, no you didn't, you should prob. consider that people are looking up this information because they are concerned about their loved one and not concerned about who calls it at disease or who calls it a condition. help the people. Isn't that what doctors are for to help people (or pets in this case)? I found this article to be helpful regardless of the diagnosis argument.

santong on December 11, 2010:

two dogs recently died due to ascites after parturating now another one has developed the same condition after given birth

albino4 on December 11, 2010:

my dog (an english pointer) has ascites but we don't know what is causing it.She has lost a lot of weight and is not eating.We have taken her to the vets and she is now on a drip and liquidised food. Does anyone have any ideas at all we fear that we may not have her much longer.

kkgifts from Florence, SC on October 07, 2010:

I am a nurse, so i am familure with ascites. Your hub is very usful, we recently had a one of our beloved dogs have ascites. He's ok now.

zain on September 06, 2010:

ascites is a condition not a disease at it occures as a conditon resulting from other diseases..

DSudduth on July 20, 2010:

As is congestive heart failure, ascites is a symptom not a disease.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 12, 2010:

I find some conflicting information on this, some sites define it as a condition, others as a symptom, after all perhaps it can be both: a condition where the abdomen fills with fluids and it can be defined as a clinical sign, like '' upon examination, the dog exhibited ascites of the abdomen''.

Barb on May 11, 2010:

I believe if you do some research on Ascites you will find it is a condition, not a symptom or a disease.

Nice information anyways.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 27, 2009:

I looked through the whole hub, but nowhere do I see where I called ascitis a disease.

gyan prakash on August 27, 2009:

ascitis is not a disease it is a symptoms