5 Causes Of Weight Loss In Dogs
Unplanned or rapid weight loss may be symptomatic of something serious. Here are the most common reasons for unwanted weight loss in dogs.
Cases of weight loss related to parasites aren’t as common as they once were because many dogs are on monthly heartworm protection drugs. However, not all products are equally effective against all worms.
Whipworms, in particular, aren’t killed by a lot of products. These are more common in dogs and they will contract these by ingesting contaminated food or water. Along with weight loss, symptoms of an intestinal parasite in dogs can include include vomiting (intermittent or persistent), soft stool, diarrhea and/or decreased appetite. Using a broad spectrum de-wormer is one of the first things vets might do to help a dog with these symptoms.
Intestinal cancer (lymphoma and/or lymphosarcoma) is one that causes weight loss in dogs. While it’s more common in older dogs, it’s a serious diagnosis.
The tumor may appear in the stomach, intestines, or rectum and other symptoms include vomiting, poor appetite, and abdominal pain. Additionally, any type of cancerous process can cause weight loss, including cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, gallbladder and kidneys.
3. Kidney Disease
Unlike some of the other conditions for which weight loss is a symptom, dogs with kidney disease won’t start dropping pounds right away.
If they’re only getting diagnosed after they’ve started losing weight, they’ve probably had the disease for a long time.
4. Advanced Heart Disease
Like kidney disease, dogs with heart disease won’t start losing weight immediately. In fact, some dogs may gain weight, despite a loss of appetite (the cause: bloat).
Generally speaking, loss of appetite is the easiest way to tell if your dog’s weight loss is concerning or not. If you’ve noticed a small amount of unplanned weight loss, try adding calories to their diet. If they eat more and gain weight, they’re probably okay.
5. Dental Disease
Oral pain, may lead to weight loss in dogs and they will have a hard time chewing hard kibble when they’re dealing with an abscess or other gum problem.
Treatment for the underlying condition should address the weight loss problem, but monitor your dog’s appetite closely to make sure it’s back on track.