Why Has My Dog’s Tummy Gotten Rounder?

Your Labrador retriever Morgan is looking a bit pudgy these days. Morgan has always been a husky, solidly built guy, but he’s kept himself in good shape with lots of fetch games and jogs around the neighborhood. Recently, though, Morgan has been looking more rounded, especially in his belly. Since Morgan’s eating habits haven’t changed, you’re a bit concerned about a hidden medical condition. You’ve made an appointment with your veterinarian, who will determine the source of Morgan’s weight gain and prescribe a treatment plan if needed.

Pesky Parasites

Morgan might be the victim of internal parasites, especially the nasty critters who lodge in Morgan’s intestines and abdominal walls. These ill-intentioned bugs cause a fluid build-up, making Morgan show quite a pot belly. Young animals are more likely to experience these unpleasant effects of parasite infestation. If your vet suspects parasites, he’ll take fluid, blood, and stool samples that confirm his diagnosis. He can eradicate that specific parasite with a targeted medication.

Prescription Medications

Perhaps Morgan takes a prescription medication that causes him to gain weight, even if he eats and exercises normally. This is more likely to occur if Morgan has taken the medication for a long period of time. Ask your vet if Morgan’s med has caused his weight gain, and if a lower dosage or a different medication might be the solution.

Fluid Retention

If Morgan suffers from cardiac disease, he can accumulate excess fluid in his abdominal area, giving him a large-belly appearance. This can occur regardless of his eating or exercise habits. Or, Morgan might be the victim of an internal organ disease or tumor. Ask your vet about treatment options.

Hypothyroidism

Morgan’s thyroid gland might be out of whack, causing him to gain weight. Remember that this gland produces thyroid hormones that regulate the body’s use of energy. Normally, Morgan’s body converts his food into energy, which he burns during his daily activities, keeping him at a consistent weight.

However, if Morgan’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism sets in. In effect, Morgan’s metabolism slows down and his unused food energy is stored as extra body weight. Your vet can easily diagnose this condition with blood work, and he can prescribe medication that should treat Morgan’s sluggish metabolism.

Once your Shawnee vet determines the cause of Morgan’s weight gain, he’ll quickly provide treatment that will address your dog’s problem. After all, you want Morgan to be a healthy, active member of your family for years to come.

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