Most wiener dogs have been afflicted by this condition at one time or another. Some dogs outgrow it or learn to live with it but some never recover. It can be a debilitating condition that can interfere with the enjoyment of their life and affect their long-tern fitness.
There is no definitive cause of Wet Belly Syndrome but it is suspected that the it has something to do with having short legs and riding low to the ground. It is also weather dependent, often occurring in dogs that live in cooler, wetter climates more frequently.
Chester has it. Today we went for a walk. He normally springs into action and runs out the door when I say anything that even sounds like “walk”. However, when his wet belly syndrome flares up it causes him to stop at the door and try to run the other way.
I can drag him out the door but my normally speedy dog walks at about half the pace and has to be cheered on the whole way. The syndrome often causes his head to droop and him to look like he has just been punished for chewing a sock.
We’ve seen it in other dogs too. We saw it while out on our walk today. We saw a man and his wiener dog ahead of us on the side of the trail. We could tell right away that his dog had Wet Belly Syndrome.
The man was looking down at his dog and it appeared he was having a serious discussion with him. The dog was standing there with his head down. The man started to walk across the trail but his dog leaned into the leash and the man practically had to drag him. The man stopped again and as we approached we could see the water dripping off of the dog’s belly.
Symptoms of Wet Belly Syndrome
Symptoms of wet belly syndrome can be confused with more serious conditions such as fatigue, joint or muscle injury or arthritis. You should always ask your vet if you are concerned that your dog has any of these other conditions. However, if your wiener dog exhibits these 7 signs together, it is likely that your dog has Wet Belly Syndrome.
- Spontaneous stopping accompanied by vigorous lateral shaking
- Walking at half speed….at best
- Reverse pulling on the leash – acting like an anchor
- Avoidance of shiny surfaces (they think it is water and they may get their belly wet)
- Water dripping from the belly area
- Renewed energy for walks when it is dry and sunny
We have been lucky because Gretel has not been afflicted with this condition yet. Rain, sleet or snow she is up for a walk anytime and is always full of energy. Unfortunately, when it is wet out and we want to walk further than our front porch, or we don’t want to drag a dog for the whole walk, we have to leave Chester home. It means he doesn’t always get the exercise he needs but that is the way it will have to be until a cure is found for Wet Belly Syndrome.
Has your dog been afflicted by Wet Belly Syndrome? How have you managed the symptoms?
Please note: this blog post in a tongue and cheek description of “stubborn” dogs that don’t like to walk in the rain. Although Wet Belly Syndrome is a funny name for the behavior, it is not a serious medical condition.