Hi, Floridamom, and welcome to the forum. I am sorry your dad is so sick with a disease of his own making. He's very young to be going through this. If you haven't already done so, I suggest you read the info in the folder at the top of the forum entitled Hepatitis Resources. There is a lot of good information in there.
It's true that the ascites (fluid in belly) can affect his breathing, as it pushes against his lungs. I suppose it can even seep into the lungs or cause fluid retention in the lungs or, more likely, the sac around them. The Lasix is a diuretic, but they may not be giving him a high dose if his kidneys have been showing signs of failure. It does wonders for fluid retention, but is very hard on the kidneys. Do you know if they have put him on Lactulose yet? Not knowing why he is in the hospital could be an indication of encephalopathy.
I don't know if he will get good care at the V.A. Does he have any other insurance coverage? If they are able to bring him out of this crisis and he stops drinking entirely, he could have a chance to live longer. If he continues to drink, he will be hastening his death.
I know you will get a lot of support here. Feel free to ask anything you don't understand. We are not doctors, but someone here may have the info you seek.
BTW, I'm in FL, too, and am followed at Mayo Jacksonville.
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland