What Causes Rapid Weight Loss in Dogs: Tips On How to Treat

What Causes Sudden Weight Loss in Dogs

  • Malabsorption Disorder. The dog’s body cannot normally absorb calories and other needed nutrients.
  • Digestive Disorder. There are certain disorders happening in the body that prevents proper digestion. Examples of these include chronic diarrhea or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
  • Metabolic or endocrine Disorder. Good examples of these disorders include diabetes, Addison’s disease and Crushing’s disease.
  • Neuromuscular Disorder. Muscle mass is lost, the dog has difficulty in doing exercises or active play, and swallowing and holding food is hard to do are some of the symptoms associated with this disorder.
  • Cancer and tumors. Severe and sudden weight loss is a very common symptom here. These are commonly seen in the pancreas, stomach, pituitary gland, rectum, and kidneys.
  • Internal Parasites. Giardiasis, heart worms, visceral leishmaniasis, whipworms, coccidiosis hook worms and other types of intestinal worms can cause sudden weight loss if undetected and untreated.
  • Heart Disease. If unmanaged, can cause sudden and severe weight loss
  • Inherited Disorders like chronic hepatitis which often is contacted by Doberman Pinchers and Bedlington Terriers.
  • Non-infectious diseases that are acquired like polymyositis
  • Infectious Diseases. Most common here are fungal infections like histoplasmosis.
  • Allergies including allergic gastritis
  • Reactions to Medications like etodolac which is used for controlling pain.
  • Trauma.

How to Treat

  • Start by paying attention to how the dog eats. If abnormal eating habits can be observed, then consult a veterinarian
  • Observe other signs besides loss in appetite. See if the dog is vomiting and lethargic. Report this to the veterinarian especially when it happens for more than twenty-four hours.
  • Go the veterinarian and have the dog examined. Physical exams, blood tests, and stool exams can be done to know the cause and the proper treatment. It is also good to tell the veterinarian all the symptoms that have been observed at home.
  • For bacterial infections, the dog will be given antibiotics. Usually, the appetite of the dog will come back after the infection has subsided. Medications that can improve appetite can also be prescribed
  • Hydrate. Allow the dog to drink lots of water. A bottle can be used if the dog will refuse drinking from the bowl.
  • Attachment of intravenous fluids. This will be done when the dog has not been eating for several days. Though this will not cure the cause of the sudden weight loss, it can help in providing nutrients and hydration while the veterinarian determines what is causing the problem.

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