Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) in Dogs

Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
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Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

What is Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis)?

The dog’s abdominal cavity is lined by the peritoneum. This membrane lubricates the contents of the abdomen by excreting a small amount of fluid. This membrane also helps with inflammation by forming scars. When a dog has peritonitis, this membrane is highly inflamed and too much fluid builds up within the abdominal cavity. 

Peritonitis is caused when a dog’s abdominal cavity becomes infected or inflamed. An increase of fluid in the peritoneum occurs and the dog exhibits symptoms of severe illness.

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Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $100 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) in Dogs

The symptoms of dog abdominal cavity inflammation are easy to recognize. If your dog has any of the following symptoms, either one or more than one, it is important to contact your veterinarian. Symptoms include:

  • Repeated vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Distended abdomen
  • Pain in the abdomen

Types

There are two types of peritonitis, and both of them result in the same symptoms. Treatment may vary depending on the type.  They include:

Spontaneous Peritonitis 

Spontaneous peritonitis is a fluid collection in the peritoneal cavity where fungi or bacteria to cause an infection. Otherwise known as ascites, the fluid in the abdomen comes from blood vessels, organs, masses in the abdomen, or the lymphatic system. Dogs that have heart, liver, or kidney disease can suffer from spontaneous peritonitis.

Secondary Peritonitis 

When another disorder causes the infection, secondary peritonitis occurs. Bacteria can spread because of an injury or inflammation in the abdomen.

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Causes of Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) in Dogs

Dog abdominal cavity inflammation can be serious, and if not seen by a veterinarian it can be life-threatening. Fluid builds up within the abdominal cavity, and there are specific causes for this. Causes include:

  • Wound or injury of the abdomen
  • Ruptured appendix
  • Perforated colon
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Diverticulitis
  • Inflamed pancreas
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
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Diagnosis of Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) in Dogs

If your dog is experiencing any of the above symptoms, the veterinarian will perform specific tests to check for abdominal cavity inflammation and the stage of severity. These tests will include an abdominal fluid sample along with a culture to identify the bacteria type, a blood count, a biochemical profile, an ultrasound or x-ray of the abdomen area, or any other test the veterinarian feels your dog should have.

The imaging techniques, such as a radiograph and an ultrasound, will allow the veterinarian to take a closer look at any fluid, gas, or an abscess. Once fluid in the abdomen is determined, the veterinarian may also take a sample to be analyzed. Once the diagnosis is complete, the veterinarian will determine the type of treatment the dog needs to help heal from this serious inflammation.

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Treatment of Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) in Dogs

The veterinarian will make the decision to treat the peritonitis either surgically or non-surgically.  This depends on what has specifically caused this inflammation to occur. If the peritonitis is serious, and surgery must be performed, the veterinarian may choose to perform an exploratory surgery to seek out more of the underlying cause and to plan for the surgery itself. 

Intravenous fluids

Intravenous fluids are given to restore the proper fluids in the dog’s system.  Fluid and electrolytes will be given to the dog and the dog will have to be kept in the hospital for this procedure. 

Dietary Changes

A low-sodium diet will be highly recommended by the veterinarian to help with fluid retention and if the dog is diagnosed with a heart disease. Nutrition can be given via feeding tube or by an injection. 

Surgery

Surgery may have to be performed if the dog has a bacterial infection that has caused the peritonitis. The abdomen is flushed and “washed” with saline. Unfortunately, many dogs do not recover from this as it is a life-threatening condition.

Medications

If the peritonitis is somewhat manageable, your dog will be given the appropriate medications, such as antibiotics and medications to control any pain your pet is having. It is important to have your canine family member finish all medications given.

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Recovery of Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) in Dogs

Once your dog is home and after the main treatment is over, he will have to be monitored closely. It is important to watch for any recurring symptoms and other different behaviors that may allude to illness. Your pet will more than likely be on antibiotics for quite some time. 

Depending on the severity of the peritonitis, your dog can recover, but it is a very serious condition, and if not caught early and treated, it can be life-threatening. Be sure to listen to your veterinarian’s instructions on any other aftercare procedures and keep all of the follow-up appointments to stay proactive in this serious illness.

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Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $100 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

dog-name-icon

Mishka

dog-breed-icon

Cava-poo

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy, Shivering,
Lethargy

Was it a botched surgery or a rate complication?? My 1 ur old cavapoo was spayed & according to the vet had some hemorrhage due to having a polycistic ovary. Sent her home w antibiotic & antiinflamatory. After a day and a half she started started eating (chicken & rice) and seemed to be recovering better ea day. by day 6 shes almost herself minus her normal Exuberant energy. Day 7 - am, I stop her from pooping inside & when we got outside she won’t move & stands still. She sloy comes inside, starts shaking a lot & mildly whimpering. That lasted for 30min until she fell asleep. By the time the vet is in 1.5hrs later she is just down but no longer shivering, & he takes the stitches off. He doesn’t think there’s a fever & recomends That if it happens again, i take her to my nearest vet so they can see it in vivo. 3 hrs later it happens again, I drive to another vet & he says her temp is 1.5 higher than normal, breathing is rapid/agitated, she’s lethargic & has a tense abdomen. Ultrasound shown some internal fluid & diagnosed possible peritonitis. Gave her a shot of another antibiotic & an analgesic, sent us home with more doses of that & wants to see her in two days.

Aug. 12, 2018

Mishka's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Without examining Mishka it is difficult to say what specifically happened here; spaying is a simple surgery with rare complications, issues like polycystic ovaries are an inconvenience during surgery but should lead to complications afterwards. I honestly cannot say what caused these symptoms and I don’t want to speculate without having examined Mishka or knowing more. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 12, 2018

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dog-name-icon

Tina

dog-breed-icon

English Bulldog

dog-age-icon

3 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Abdominal Distension
Diarrhea

My friends English Bulldog breeder most recent litter of 8 puppies are having problems. The puppies have just begun to reach age of 3 weeks old and 4 of the puppies have died. All of the living pups have diarrhea and distended abdomens. How should she go about saving the remainder of her puppies?

March 31, 2018

Tina's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Normally diarrhoea and distended abdomen are indicative of parasite (worm) infection, if the puppies haven’t been wormed yet, they should be; also a sample of faeces should be checked to look for any protozoan parasites as well. Other infections (bacterial for example) may be affecting the puppies, but without an examination I cannot give a diagnosis or prescribe any medication for them; a visit to a Veterinarian is required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

April 1, 2018

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Abdominal Cavity Inflammation (Peritonitis) Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $100 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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