Why is my Dog’s Stomach Sagging on one side?

Unlike humans, dogs care less about their physical appearance even when the dog’s stomach is sagging on one side. They would spend their entire day cuddling with you and craving your attention. Not just that, they love snacking now and then.

But is that even healthy? I am afraid not. However, taking care of your dog’s nutrition is your topmost responsibility.

You should avoid giving them food rich in fat if they have minimal activity as most domestic dogs. Along with that, it is necessary to keep track of their playtime as well.

Why am I saying that? Because all of this can lead to your dog’s stomach sagging on one side. And there could be a variety of reasons for this to happen. Therefore, you should always consider involving a vet as soon as you notice any such changes.

So, without wasting any more time, let us find out why your dog’s stomach is sagging on one side.

dog stomach sagging on one side

Intestinal Parasites

Ah! Roundworms can be quite a deal due to their prolonged survival in almost any part of the body. But they usually reside in the stomach leading to an increase in their size.

And unfortunately, most dogs remain asymptomatic if they end up getting these parasites due to rotten or contaminated food. Keep in mind that puppies are more prone to get these worm infestations in the gut. They can even inherit worms from their mothers through milk or placenta!!


If your buddy refuses to eat and shows evidence of weakness, make sure you rule out the presence of worms. You can even check for white thick thread-like structures appearing in their poop.

However, a course of deworming medications recommended by your vet will resolve this issue in no time. But, make sure you follow the advice as it is only affected against adult worms.

You would still need to wait before the eggs hatch and repeat medication.


As a pet parent, you should know that a dog’s digestive system has to work against gravity. That’s how everything works for them. And for that, the stomach plays a vital role. But the whole process can fail too, and it can lead to the development of gases in the stomach.

In my opinion, you should avoid giving large meals to dogs that are younger than seven years of age.

Nonetheless, it can result in your dog’s stomach sagging on one side. Call your vet immediately because it can cause the stomach to block the vein of the heart.

Advice: Dane Breeds are likely to develop bloats so, do not forget to take extra care in their case.

Symptoms and Treatment

First of all, your dog will show signs of discomfort and severe pain. And gradually it can develop fatigue too. However, your vet will release the trapped air by using a large-bore needle. So, do not worry and drive to your vet immediately.

Cushing Disease

A lot of you might know it as hyperadrenalism. It is a disease of the endocrine system that leads to hyper-secretion of the hormone Cortisol. As a result, you’d see your dog’s stomach sagging on one side or the other.

It can also lead to fat accumulation, increase in appetite, and hair fall or thinning depending upon the disturbed hormone.

Nevertheless, the only treatment for this problem is lifestyle changes that only you can bring to your furry baby’s life.

However, the vet might have to remove the adrenal gland if there are chances for his health to deteriorate. Likewise, there is a possibility that cortisol might be secreted from a distant tumor site. Therefore, surgical intervention in that case would be inevitable.


The thyroid is one of the main hormones concerned with fat deposition and the overall activity of the body. It is more appropriately known as metabolic hormone. Both access and decreased levels can affect the metabolism of your pet.

Low levels are more dangerous as they cause extreme sluggishness, weight gain, and a swelled-up abdomen. Thus, it can cause a collection of fat, further leading to the dog’s stomach sagging on one side.

Moreover, he might also become sensitive to cold, show signs of depression and constipation. Overall, you’ll see a bunch of changes. It can also cause ascites which we will be talking about next.


When fluid builds up in any cavity surrounding the organ, it causes the area to bulge out. There can be multiple causes of ascites. It is basically due to inflammation in any organ that allows fluid to escape. This accumulated fluid can put pressure on the organs, leading to further complications.

Your canine friend may have an undergoing heart or liver disease. When either of them stops its normal function, it cause transudate fluid to leak.

On the other hand, Kidney and Gut related pathologies can equally result in ascites. The amount of protein lost and consumed in food plays a significant role as well. Make sure your dog has an adequate intake of protein.

Tests and Treatment

Your vet might advise a couple of tests to find the exact cause. Why? This is because Ascites is related to almost all organ systems of the body. What kind of tests? It can be blood tests, ultrasounds, lab analysis of the ascitic fluid to look for specific cells. And, in the worst cases, he can order an intestinal biopsy as well. After which, the vet will prescribe the required medication.


The peritoneum is lining that covers and protects the internal aspect of the abdominal cavity. It can get inflamed due to an ongoing pathology. This could be due to an injury, enzymes leaking through a ruptured gallbladder, and even colon. Your dog can have an internal collection of blood that could trigger this condition.

Furthermore, there are high chances that he develops sepsis and bacterial infection. Therefore it is crucial to address any signs of your dog’s abdomen sagging on one side.


The presence of an unusual enlargement can be one of the first signs of cancer. I know the word cancer sounds scary but if you get to know about the tumor in initial stages it is treatable. Leiomyosarcoma is the common form of cancer that can affect the smooth muscles of a dog.

Gut wall consists of smooth muscle mostly. Therefore, they get affected in frequent cases. Any such cancer can cause the belly to sag and get enlarged.

Your friend will look pale, lethargic and he might also refuse to eat. He can also suffer through vomiting that will have a coffee ground appearance. Although, some of the early signs can include weight loss as well.

With all of this, the poor doggo can also have tremors due to low glucose levels. I am sure you are aware of how cancers can cause a disaster throughout the body.


If your dog is a female there are chances that she is expecting. During the beautiful two month period its belly will grow in size. And thus, you’ll notice your dog’s stomach sagging on one side or both.

Fortunately, this time it is something positive to deal with. And you might be aware of it if you helped her find a suitable mate.

Nonetheless, it is extremely important to stay in touch with your vet as pregnancy can have its complications too. There are chances that your doggo ends up with an ectopic pregnancy that will cause one side of the tummy to grow abnormally than the other one.

In this case, there are little chances for the fetus to survive. Therefore, quick termination of pregnancy is necessary to save your furry buddy’s life.


Hormonal imbalance can cause disturbance in the monthly cycles. During normal cycles the uterus prepares itself for the pregnancy. But, failure to conceive can lead to a condition called Pyometra.

Multiple cysts can develop in the uterus which inhibits the ability of the muscles to contract. Thus, the fluid keeps on building up. Moreover, bacteria can attack and multiply there causing and even spread through blood.

If you observe your dog drinking too much water during the heat season then it could be due to pyometra. Vomiting and diarrhea might also be present in a few cases. And, your buddy can also have anorexia.

Most importantly, you can notice vaginal discharge, pain and abdominal distention as well.


In the end I’d repeat, visiting the vet would help you diagnose and manage the condition. The vet would utilize his expertise and knowledge to perform examinations and tests, thus, helping in reaching a conclusion.

Similarly, the importance of a balanced diet plays its part too. Adequate amount of proteins, carbs and fats would enable your doggo to live a healthy and joyful life. Besides that, It helps boost its immune system and fight back any of these conditions.

Additionally, maintaining proper hygiene would also aid in prevention. Just don’t ignore or take any of the signs and symptoms lightly. Keep an eye on the dog’s well being. Give him all the attention he needs and spend enough time with him.

Thank you for staying with me, if you have successfully made it till the end, you now know all the possible reasons for the dog’s stomach sagging on one side. And more importantly you can now start the appropriate treatment before things get out of hand. Don’t stop caring for the furry baby!


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