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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. Still, far fewer folks ever encounter this condition with a “four-legged” family member.  Or at least they may not know that their furry companion is suffering from this condition.  For this reason, we wanted to take a moment and describe precisely what “edema in dogs” is so that if you 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, making discussing the situation in broad terms difficult.  The easiest way to understand precisely what Edema is is usually to consider “edema” a symptom of some other “type” of medical condition.  You see,, Edema is 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, you’ll well on your way to improving your dog’s situation and thus improving their health.

What can cause Edema, and is my dog at risk?

If you’re wondering if your dog will get Edema, you’ll want to look through the causes.  Several different predisposed conditions may, unfortunately increase your pet’s chances of getting Edema.

  • Heart failure:
    • If your pet has suffered from heart failure, there’s a chance that normal liquid flowed in and out of blood vessels has been disrupted.  Its called cardiogenic pulmonary edema.
  •  when this specifically affects the lungsTrauma:
    • If your furry friend has experienced 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, it will experience similar inflammation, which unfortunately can lead to an edema at the site of the disease on the body.
  • Cancer:
    • Last but certainly not least, if your dog has tumors, there’s a chance that the space the cancer 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 pretty easy to spot.  Just look for swelling and puffiness.  These may indicate the start of an Edema or one that’s been rolling for a while.  The problem is not all types of “edema” are visible.  In some cases, physical signs of retaining fluids simply won’t be possible, such as cerebral Edema (swelling of the brain) or pulmonary Edema (swelling of the lungs).  In cases like these, pet owners will need to rely on changes in their dog’s behavior to determine whether something is wrong with their pet.

Which brings us…

We would like to make a critical point: we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians, or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who are highly 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 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!

Treatment Options

As we’ve already touched on, Edema can be caused by various conditions.  Some are serious, while others are not so serious.  For this reason, you will find that their available treatment options will vary significantly.  For example, if your dog has an edema due to an infection, treatment may require antibiotics to improve the situation, and the Edema should resolve itself on its own.


Treatment isn’t so simple in cases where heart failure is the case.  In such cases, you may need to manage your dog’s Edema and minimize the complications it can cause.  This is why it’s essential to work hand in hand with your vet.

Cost of Treatment

Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to estimate the cost of treatment for Edema.  Since the therapy itself varies so much, the price differs pretty much the same.  Depending on the location of the Edema and the severity, it could run you a small amount or a massive chunk of money.  Considering how difficult it is to prevent Edema, that can be scary.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost fo purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable 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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