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How to examine the dog’s abdomen?

We can examine the dog’s abdomen by visual inspection and palpation, such as constipation and pregnancy problems can be touched by the dog’s abdomen to make a general judgment. First, we observe the changes in the dog’s abdomen, such as shape and outline, and then touch its abdomen to see whether it is soft or hard.


1. Visual diagnosis:

The dog’s abdominal circumference increases or decreases. Enlarged abdominal circumference: This phenomenon may occur during pregnancy and obesity in female dogs; Acute gastric dilatation (food accumulation, gas accumulation, fluid accumulation), intestinal dropsy, colonic constipation, abdominal dropsy (peritonitis, ascites, rupture of visceral blood vessels, rupture of the bladder, etc.); Bladder height filled; Uterine abscess; Celiac tumor. Local enlargement is more common in abdominal hernia and umbilical hernia in dogs.

2. Reduced abdominal circumference:

(1) Rapid reduction of the abdominal circumference: usually in severe diarrhea and other diseases, such as acute gastroenteritis, due to severe dehydration, loss of appetite, and gastrointestinal contents caused by a sharp decrease.

(2) abdominal circumference gradually shrinks: in chronic wasting disease and long-term fever, as a result of the loss of appetite, absorption function decrease and consumption increase gradually caused.

Abdominal curl: hind limb pain disease, causing abdominal muscle tension and strong contraction, often manifested as obvious abdominal curl. In tetanus or peritonitis, due to abdominal muscle tension, can be seen a slight abdominal curl.


3. Palpation:

The dog’s abdominal wall is thin and soft, the abdominal cavity is shallow, easy to palpate. If you hold the dog’s hindquarters up in turn, you can almost touch all the abdominal organs. The abdominal wall is tense at the beginning of the compression, but becomes sluggish after a few touches. Abdominal palpation is very important for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases, peritoneal cavity diseases, and urogenital tract diseases in dogs and cats, and is an important technique in the diagnosis of dog diseases. It is usually done intermittently with the palm or fingers. Abnormal changes in abdominal palpation include the following.

(1). Increased abdominal wall sensitivity: The dog showed dodge, resistance, review, and other movements, indicating peritoneal inflammation.

(2). Increased abdominal wall tension: Abdominal wall muscle tension, contraction, elasticity decreased, seen in tetanus, peritonitis, and so on.

(3). Reduced abdominal wall tension: seen in diarrhea, malnutrition, heart diseases, and other problems.

(4). Sound of water percussion on the abdomen: let one person place his palm on the opposite abdominal wall as a fulcrum, and the examiner palpates the abdominal wall with his fist or palm. If there is a sound of water percussion, it indicates abdominal fluid accumulation.