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Very painful swelling on dogs abdomen-Update #2 MORE PROBLEMS!

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  • Very painful swelling on dogs abdomen-Update #2 MORE PROBLEMS!

    Hi there,

    I am looking for some advice on a situation with my 1 year old female Shih-Tzu.

    Yesterday afternoon she came in from playing outside in the snow with her Golden Retriever buddy and was shivering badly. Figuring she was just chilled, I wrapped her up in a blanket. This did nothing and she continued to shiver all day. Around 6pm I was petting her and ran my hand on the side of her belly and she let out a cry and tried to nip at me. On inspection I noticed the lower left side of her belly was swollen/distended and very painful. She had also been lethargic and nervous most the day. Worried about a hernia or obstruction I took her to the emergency vet. They took x-ray and did an ultrasound on the mass. X-rays showed an intact body wall but a clear swollen area below the body wall. Ultrasound showed fluid in the swelling. Vet suspected soft tissue injury from playing with the bigger dog. Vet prescribed pain medicine and sent us home.

    Dog is in even more pain today. Even with pain medication she will cry out and nip when you touch near her stomach. Has trouble even laying down because of the pain. She hasn't moved since 11am this morning.

    I am just having a hard time believing that this swelling could be so painful. I am thinking about taking her to our normal vet tomorrow with the CD of the x-rays. I think it may be beneficial to do a CBC and a needle aspirate?

    Any ideas what could cause all this?

    Last edited by CGirl10; Jan. 3, 2013, 10:39 AM.

  • #2
    Did she have a fever?
    Could there be a splinter or something causing an abcess?
    I didn't understand where exactly the swelling is. Is she spayed? If not, could Pyometra be possible? Closed Pyo will not necessarily have any discharge.


    • #3
      Is the mass on the outside or the inside of the body wall? I think you are describing something on the outside of the wall--ie, not actually INTERNAL?

      If the mass IS internal, then I would advise getting back to the emergency hospital ASAP, or at least contacting them.

      If it's external and the emergency vet was not very concerned about it, then perhaps a hot pack would lend some relief until you can get her in to your regular vet?


      • #4
        How's her appetite, is she thirsty but won't drink? I'd go back to the vet and ask them if it's appropriate to put a syringe in there and draw out some fluid. If there is internal bleeding, it could be pooling there. If nothing else, fluid could leave little room for the lungs to expand and press on the heart distressing it.
        Take her back and insist on that, or insist they explain why that is not appropriate.
        I'm not a vet, nor tech nor anything else but that is what makes sense to me.


        • #5
          Did she have a temperature? That sounds like some sort of infection, for sure, or some sort of internal damage. I'd be back to the vet asap. Is there a different emergency vet you can get to? That first one must have missed something. Again, is she spayed? I agree with previous poster about pyometra. I hope you can get her some relief ASAP.

          Why do these things ALWAYS happen on holidays??
          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


          • Original Poster

            Sorry if I wasn't clear. Body wall is intact and swelling/fluid is on the outside, not internal. Location is on her lower abdomen, off to one side. She had a fever of 103.3. She was spayed in July. She is drinking water and urinating. Hasn't had much of an appetite, but she can be finicky normally. She pooped around 11am. There are no marks on her belly. Vet didn't seem too concerned because body wall in intact and organs looked normal. I just don't see how playing, even roughly, could cause that much pain.


            • #7
              Originally posted by CGirl10 View Post
              I am just having a hard time believing that this swelling could be so painful. I am thinking about taking her to our normal vet tomorrow with the CD of the x-rays. I think it may be beneficial to do a CBC and a needle aspirate?

              Any ideas what could cause all this?

              I have no idea what could cause it, but personally I would give the emergency vet a call and describe how she is acting today. They may be able to either reassure your or advise you if the situation could possibly be urgent. There's nothing wrong with going back to your normal vet tomorrow, and I always prefer to use my normal vet, but if she is in that much pain then I would definitely inquire today, just in case.


              • #8
                Is the swelling hot?

                Did the vet put her on any antibiotics?

                A 103.3 deg fever is pretty significant and could be indicative of an abscess.

                Where is the swelling in relation to her spay incision? Is it possible that she's been brewing something--some sort of abscess--since she was spayed and it's just now coming to a head?


                • Original Poster

                  Hard to say if its hot because her stomach is always hot, like a little heat pack! No antibiotics, just pain killers. Swelling is to the side of her incision.


                  • #10
                    An abscess will feel very hot.

                    Is the swelling directly to the side of the incision? Attached to it? Or off to the side and not really related?

                    If attached, I would be worried that an infection between the layers of skin has been brewing for months. That would be quite concerning.

                    No antibiotics with a 103.3 deg temp and something that looks like an abscess is a odd.

                    At the very least, I would have a chat with the emergency vet.


                    • Original Poster

                      I'd say not really related, but I will check again later when she is relaxed. Last night, when she was more willing to let us feel around, there was almost a hard lump you could feel and move around.


                      • #12
                        Hmm. Now I'm thinking that maybe it is just a fatty lipoma that she's had for a while, but your other dog may have bruised it somehow? Fatty lipomas are distinguishable just as you say - you can move them around under the skin and they feel very self-contained. But if it got bruised somehow it may have burst? But that still doesn't explain the temp.

                        Definitely get her to your regular vet tomorrow. It's awful when they're in such discomfort.
                        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                        • #13
                          If she is in that much pain, she needs to be at the vets on some sort of heavy duty pain medication. If your normally friendly dog is trying to bite you, her owner, and she is in enough pain to spike a fever, then you know she is in a lot of pain. Fentanyl CRI or injectable hydromorphone, buprenorphine etc. are often low cost treatments that your vet can give your dog until a diagnosis can be made. Keep an eye on her, and if she isnt feeling any better I would take her back for better pain meds!


                          • Original Poster

                            She does tend to nip at any pain. I have had to work with her, because if I hit a mat while grooming, she will nip.

                            She is on Tramadol 10mg. I can't fault the vet for not giving her something stronger, as she is showing much more pain today then she did yesterday. Last night at the E vet she was walking around, wagging her tail, and fine be carried around. Today she is hesitant to even walk much.


                            • #15
                              Have you called the emergency vet and told them how she is now? When I had to take my dog in they were great about answering questions after discharge, for free. They even answered a question I had about my other dog accidentally getting the first dog's medication. Call them.
                              My blog: Crackerdog Farm


                              • #16
                                Sounds like she needs to revisit the vet asap if she is not walking around much. Something causing her pain. Can you at least call and see if you can double up on the tramadol?


                                • Original Poster

                                  Got her to roll over on her back and felt around her stomach. Can barely see the swelling/mass, but can still feel something. She was letting me touch around quite a bit before getting irritated. I am going to get her up in a minute and see how she is feeling, because I was even surprised she would roll over. I might need to pick up a thermometer to take her temperature, even if the pain is less, I want to make sure she isn't running a fever still.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Update-Took her to our regular vet today. Turns out she fractured her hip. Regular vet took one look at the x rays (The ones taken at the emergency vet) and noticed the fracture. It isn't displaced at all so he upped her pain meds and gave her some steroids. Swelling/masses on her belly is from blood from the trauma. Glad to have figured out what was wrong with her. Now she is on the mend.


                                    • #19
                                      Holy shit! What a HUGE miss from the ER vet!

                                      Gald you've got a diagnosis and that you've got a treatment plan. Hope the pup pup is feeling better!


                                      • #20
                                        Wow. I would stop payment on whatever you used at the emergency vet. Call your credit card company and put a hold/dispute on the charge ASAP. That is just malpractice.
                                        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry