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Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook

ACUTE PAINFUL ABDOMEN (may include Bloat)

THE ACUTE abdomen is an emergency that may lead to the death of the individual unless treatment is started as soon as possible.

This condition is characterized by the sudden onset of abdominal pain along with vomiting, retching, extreme restlessness and inability to find a comfortable position, whining and crying, grunting and labored breathing. The abdomen is extremely painful when pressed on. A characteristic position sometimes seen is one in which the dog's chest rests against the floor with the rump in the air (prayer position). As the condition advances, the dog's pulse becomes weak and thready, the mucus membranes pale and the dog goes into shock.

One of the following may be the cause:

Torsion of the stomach and intestines
Urinary stones
Trauma to the abdomen with internal injury
Rupture of the bladder
Rupture of the pregnant uterus
Acute pancreatitis
Intestinal obstruction

Veterinarians will tell you that a dog with Bloat or any other form of acute abdomen is critically ill and should have immediate veterinary attention.


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