A stray dog lies on the boulevard. The city of Batumi, Georgia. The local authorities register the animals and keep records. Residents feed dogs. Dog Health 15.01.2024

My dog has a hard belly - why?

What could it mean if your dog has a hard tummy?

Importance of attention: A hard stomach in a dog should never be ignored or underestimated.

Risk of stomach torsion

Potential danger to life: In severe cases, a life-threatening gastric torsion could be present, requiring immediate veterinary attention.

Signs of concern

Observation required: A distended and hard abdomen could indicate a gastric torsion. In addition, symptoms such as retching without vomiting, excessive panting, pale mucous membranes, lack of water intake and restless behavior should be noted.

Various causes of a hard tummy

Serious health sign: A hard tummy can have various serious causes that need to be differentiated.

  1. Stomach torsion
    Danger to life: Gastric torsion causes a critical interruption of the blood supply to the digestive tract and can lead to circulatory arrest.
  2. Intestinal obstruction
    Blockages in the digestive tract: Intestinal obstruction can be caused by swallowed objects or poisoning.
  3. Ascites
    Accumulation of water in the abdomen: This is often a symptom of an underlying disease, such as liver disease or heart failure.
  4. Peritonitis
    Inflammation of the peritoneum: Inflammation of the peritoneum can be caused by bacteria and can lead to blood poisoning if left untreated.
  5. Flatulence
    Common problem in dogs: Excessive gas can lead to painful bloating, especially in dogs that gulp down their food quickly.
  6. Internal bleeding
    Result of accidents: A hard belly can also be caused by internal bleeding following an accident.
Liebenswerter Hundewelpe Cockerspaniel schläft auf dem Sofa Depositphotos / izanbar

When is a visit to the vet necessary?

Recognizing the urgency: In the case of certain symptoms, such as a twisted stomach or an intestinal obstruction, an immediate visit to the vet is life-saving.

Immediate measures for a dog with a hard stomach

Provide warmth and comfort

Provide a comfortable place to rest: A soft, warm basket is soothing for dogs with a hard tummy. Additional warmth can be provided by a hot water bottle that is not too hot or an extra blanket.

Easily digestible food

Adapted feeding: Dogs with a hard tummy should be offered easily digestible food. Oatmeal, psyllium husk porridge or carrot soup are gentle on the digestive tract. These foods should be served lukewarm so as not to irritate the gastrointestinal tract.

Adequate fluid intake

Water and light broths: It is important that the dog continues to drink sufficient fluids. If necessary, the water can be made more palatable by adding a little chicken stock or a teaspoon of fruit juice to encourage the dog to drink.

Observation of behavior

Watch for changes in behavior: Continued observation of the dog is crucial to detect changes in behavior or condition. Particular attention should be paid to whether the dog is in pain, especially when the abdomen is touched.

Act immediately if the condition worsens

Immediate visit to the vet: If the dog shows no improvement or its condition worsens, a vet must be consulted immediately. If there are signs of a more serious illness such as gastric torsion or intestinal obstruction, rapid action is required.

These immediate measures are designed to stabilize the dog's condition and provide relief until professional veterinary treatment can be given.

Porträt des niedlichen Shiba Inu, kleiner Hund, Welpe, Nahaufnahme. Dogecoin. Rothaariger japanischer Hund lächelt Porträt. Leuchtende Farbe, Kryptowährung, elektronisches Geld. Foto in hoher Qualität Depositphotos / Dimand27

Preventive measures against hard stomach and gastric torsion in dogs

Adaptation of feeding behavior

Encourage slower eating: The use of anti gulping bowls can help to slow down the dog's eating, reducing the risk of stomach problems. These bowls are designed in such a way that the dog is forced to eat more slowly and chew more carefully.

Dietary measures

Choosing the right food: High-quality food that is easily digestible and does not contain any flatulent ingredients is recommended. For dogs with sensitive stomachs, food with a high fat or calcium content should be avoided. Dry food can be moistened with water or broth to increase digestibility.

Controlled rest periods after eating

Avoid vigorous activity: Immediately after feeding, the dog should have a rest period to reduce the risk of gastric torsion. Romping, playing wildly or rolling around after eating should be avoided.

Regular health monitoring

Physical examination of the dog: Regular palpation of the dog and observation for behavioral or physical changes can help detect problems early.

Avoidance of risk factors

Beware of certain breeds and behaviors: Large dog breeds and dogs that tend to gulp down their food very quickly are particularly prone to gastric torsion. Special precautions should be taken with these dogs.

These preventative measures can help to reduce the risk of a hard tummy and more serious conditions such as gastric torsion, supporting the dog's long-term health and well-being.

Banner: Depositphotos / Istomin
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