A swollen and hard gut is a clue that your dog has a serious problem, especially if it is in its adult or elderly phase. This same symptomatology also occurs in purchased puppies that have not passed the pertinent sanitary tests, when being picked up from the street and, in some occasions, when rescuing them from public kennels or shelters.
It is important to differentiate between these two stages of life of the animal, because the disease we are talking about is very different.
We start with adult dogs, because it is when this symptom conceals a more serious disease. A swollen gut indicates that your dog is holding gases or liquids and that he cannot expel them. This builds up pressure on the stomach walls, also giving you that feeling of hardness to the touch that you noticed. It trembles because it hurts and this inflammation, by stressing the muscle so much, can end up seriously damaging the tissues of his belly.
To prevent this from happening, you just have to be more careful and monitor his lifestyle. Do not let him do binge eating, or to drink all the water in the world, it is best to change the one you have in your drinker frequently, so that it is fresh and so you always have control of how much he drank, but without allowing water to be lacking for him.
After eating, do not take him out for a walk; let him rest before going to the street. If he cannot wait and needs to go outside, slow down his trot at the start, then you can play together.
Combine these tips with a quality, rich and varied meal within a routine basis, because dogs like them. Not forgetting to add flavor and nutrients.
Control the accumulation of gases or liquids in your dog is a matter of prevention, care and to serve your friend with what he deserves. Although it sounds like a mild illness, it is not, that swelling can end up affecting other adjoining organs, causing peritonitis, internal hemorrhage and killing him. We do not want to scare you, but rather advise you to take good care of your friend's feeding.
If the excessive accumulation of gases and liquids is a problem, there is another one that is more complicated to avoid: stomach torsion. When the stomach is swollen, sometimes and suddenly, it can writhe on itself, preventing the exit of gases, liquid, and food. The way to prevent this from happening is the same as we pointed out before. If you see that your dog has a hard gut, try to vomit but cannot and it hurts to touch his belly, run to the vet without a second to lose.
The above cases usually occur in older dogs and especially in large breeds. If we refer to a puppy, things change of figure. These little ones, sometimes, are not as dewormed as we would like them to be. If you have adopted him in a shelter, this problem does not usually occur so frequently, but if you have bought him you have to know that there are many reckless people who do not bother to vaccinate or treat their mothers.
The mafias of breeding animals have bitches which are forced to give birth without rest until they die. Not being cared for, her children inherit the parasites that she has from her milk or through the uterus.
A healthy and well-cared puppy, with the vaccines up to date and having received the corresponding anti-parasite treatment from birth to adulthood, would not have to suffer these infestations of worms or other undesirable guests. In this case, what you cannot do is medicate or give pills like crazy, you have to go to the veterinarian, who prescribes the appropriate ones and start the vaccination and medical care he needs.
Although it is relatively normal that a puppy can have parasites and not be something serious, if he has a colony of them or they are too big, they can permanently hurt him.
As you have seen, prevention is essential in these cases. Do not buy dogs. If you rescue the new member of your family from the street, take him to the vet to make sure no parasites are taking advantage of him. Monitor his diet and eating habits. If at any time you see that his belly is swollen and hard, visit your veterinarian without delay.