Jack Russell Has A Swollen Stomach and Loses Balance

by Joey Birkle
(Cleveland, Ohio)

Reader Question: How To Treat A Jack Russell That Loses Balance and Has A Swollen Stomach?

My 16 year old Jack Russell has a swollen stomache and she often looses her balance, and has been having problems with her bowls moving. Is there anything I can do or is this out of my control?

Veterinarian Responds Readers Concern Regarding Canine's Swollen Stomach


You will need a diagnosis to determine the best way to proceed with your dog. Your veterinarian may be able to give you a lot of information based solely on a physical exam (e.g., she’s constipated and needs more fluid and fiber in her diet versus her heart is failing and her abdomen is filling with fluid as a result), so don’t let worries about expense keep you away. Remember, it’s the veterinarian’s job to put all the options on the table, and the owner’s job to pick which is right in their situation.

Trying home treatment without an accurate diagnosis could make your dog’s condition worse rather than better, particularly since she is a canine “senior citizen.”

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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