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Edema in Dogs… What is it? And how can I help alleviate it?

Now many of us may already have some experience personally with suffering from edema or may have an older relative who battles with this condition, but far less folks ever encounter this condition with a “four legged” family member.

Or at least…

They may not be aware that their furry companion is suffering from this condition.  For this reason, we wanted to take a moment and describe exactly what “edema in dogs” is so that if you do find yourself caring for a dog that is afflicted with the condition, you’ll be better prepared with what to expect.

The problem is…

That “edema” can be caused by a wide variety of conditions which makes discussing the condition in broad terms a bit difficult.  In fact, the easiest way to understand exactly what edema is, is usually to consider “edema” a symptom of some other “type” of medical condition.

You see…

Edema is basically just a term used to define when the body begins to retain water and cause swelling.  Now the real question is:

“Why is the body retaining this water, and what is causing this swelling to occur?”

Once you have that answer, then you’re be well on your way to improving your dog’s situation and thus improving his or her health.

What can cause edema and is my dog at risk?

If you’re wondering if your dog will get it edema, you’ll definitely want to look through the causes.  There are several different predisposed conditions that may unfortunately increase your pet’s chances of getting edema.

  • Heart failure:
    • If your pet has suffered from a heart failure, there’s a chance that the flow of normal liquid in and out of blood vessels has been disrupted.  When this specifically affects the lungs, it is called a cardiogenic pulmonary edema.
  • Trauma:
    • If your furry friend has experienced any inflammation due to a healing wound or any other trauma, the hardworking blood vessels might run into an imbalance resulting in an edema.
  • Infection:
    • If your dog has an infection they will experience similar inflammation, which unfortunately can lead to an edema at the site of the infection on the body.
  • Cancer:
    • Last but certainly not least, if your dog has tumors there’s a chance that space the tumor is taking up, but isn’t directly damaged, can be filled with fluid.

Main Symptoms

Something like this “swelling” may sound pretty easily noticeable, but that’s only half the truth.  Most edema will be fairly easy to spot.  Just look for swelling and puffiness.  These may indicate the start of and edema or one that’s been rolling for a little while.

The problem is…

Not all types of “edema” are visible.  In some cases, such as cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) or pulmonary edema (swelling of the lungs) physical signs of retaining fluids simply won’t be possible.  In cases like these, pet owners will need to rely on changes in their dog’s behavior in order to determine whether or not something is wrong with their pet.

Which brings us…

To a very important point that we like to make which is that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be extremely passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

We always recommend that folks have their pet examined by a veterinarian at least once a year for a routine check up and in cases where you believe that there might be something wrong, be sure to have your pet checked out right away!

Because in most…

Cases, the earlier your pet is examined and diagnosed, the better.  And when we say “better” we mean better for your pet and better for you because in most cases, the earlier you begin treatment, the cheaper that treatment tends to be!

Treating edema in dogs

As we’ve already touched on, edema can be caused by a wide variety of conditions.  Some serious while others not so serious.  For this reason, you’re going to find that they available treatment options are going to vary significantly.

For example…

If your dog has an edema due to an infection, treatment may simply require the administration of antibiotics to improve the situation and the edema should resolve itself on its own.


In cases where heart failure is the case, treatment isn’t going to be so simple.  In cases like these you may simply need to manage your dog’s edema and try to minimize the complications that it can cause.  Which is why, it’s so important to work hand and hand with your vet.

Cost of Treatment

Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to estimate the cost of treatment for edema.  Since the treatment itself varies so much, the price varies pretty much the same.  Depending on the location of the edema and the severity it could run you a pretty small amount, or a huge chunk of money.  Considering how difficult it is to prevent edema, that can be scary…

Which is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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