Fluid retention is when bodily fluids are unusually held back or secreted in a body cavity. Your pet’s body is not excreting enough water, which can cause noticeable swelling in your pet’s body.
Fluid retention is diagnosable by a vet after a few tests including a blood profile, blood count, and urinalysis. X-rays and ultrasounds may also be necessary for proper diagnosis. The veterinarian may also remove fluid to make it easier to find bacteria, protein makeup, or any bleeding. This will help diagnose the underlying cause of the fluid retention in your pet.
There are numerous possible causes of fluid retention. It can be a symptom of another illness, or its own illness unaccompanied by other symptoms or conditions. It may be caused by a ruptured bladder, congenital heart failure, liver damage, low levels of protein in the blood, or other conditions. In dogs there is a chance that the fluid retention is caused by nephritic syndrome. This condition causes high amounts of protein in the dog’s urine, and high amounts of cholesterol in the blood. Normally this condition would pertain mostly to fluid retention in the abdomen.
Treatment depends greatly on the cause of the fluid retention. If the fluid retention is its own condition normal treatment would be to try to use tapping methods to remove the fluid. Sometimes in severe cases corrective surgery may be required. If bleeding or tumors are found surgery is crucial. Diuretics are medications used to remove surplus fluid, but overusing this medication can cause hypokalemia (low levels of potassium).