Possible Reasons for Your Dog Weight Loss. If you recently took your dog to the vet and were told that he lost too much weight, you may be left wondering how this happened and how to fix it. Perhaps he was bored and started chewing on the furniture, or maybe he stopped eating because of an upset stomach from something he ate, but those are both problems that can be easily resolved if you understand why your dog lost weight in the first place. Keep reading to learn more about possible reasons for your dog’s unexpected weight loss and some tips on how to get him back on track as soon as possible!
Sometimes dogs are diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. Dogs who suffer from chronic pancreatitis have an inflamed pancreas, which can interfere with their ability to digest food normally. For example, a dog with chronic pancreatitis may experience vomiting and diarrhea because he can’t fully absorb nutrients from his food or process it properly. Because there are no dietary modifications that can treat chronic pancreatitis, a vet may recommend feeding your dog special high-fat foods designed for dogs with pancreatic disease in order to ensure he is getting enough calories. Although diet changes won’t cure your dog of chronic pancreatitis, it will allow him to maintain his weight.
Dogs can develop diabetes in two ways: when their pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when their body becomes resistant to insulin. Dogs with diabetes may experience weight loss, frequent urination and drinking, appetite changes, and excessive thirst. They may also become lethargic and have eye and gum issues. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, consult a veterinarian right away. A diet specifically created for dogs with diabetes could improve your dog’s quality of life while reducing its risk of health complications (such as heart disease) later on down the road. You should only discuss putting your dog on a diet if it has been diagnosed with diabetes by a vet; otherwise you could be making things worse.
Disease or Diet
If your dog is older, his weight loss could be due to any number of health conditions. More common causes include cancer, hypothyroidism and intestinal problems. Less common (but still possible) causes include diabetes and kidney disease. Don’t delay: If you think something might be wrong with your pooch, take him to a vet as soon as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the better it will be for both you and your dog.
Dogs often lose weight if they have a digestive issue. It could be something as simple as an upset stomach, or something more serious like inflammatory bowel disease. If your dog is losing weight without an obvious cause, he could have a problem digesting his food and you should take him to a vet. Dogs with digestion issues often refuse to eat and may vomit frequently. While there are some natural remedies that may help ease their stomach pain (see below), it’s best to rule out more serious issues with your vet first.
If your dog has lost weight in a short period of time and his skin is pale, there’s a chance he has liver problems. The problem may or may not be treatable. If your dog has just had surgery, such as dental work or neutering, it can be common to see him lose some weight quickly due to an increased stress response and lack of appetite. Fatty Tumors: Fats are often stored in our bodies as adipose tissue; they’re used to keep us warm and help our bodies function properly. Tumors that form when body cells begin replicating too fast and become cancerous can disrupt how these fats are distributed throughout your pet’s body.
It’s not always about nutrition. Some dogs experience weight loss as a side effect of cancer treatments. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause nausea, appetite loss, fatigue and hair loss—the opposite of what most pet owners want to see in their pet. But it’s important to remember that these treatments are given with an end goal in mind: a healthy dog free from disease or discomfort. If your dog is undergoing treatment, talk to your veterinarian about ways you can help your dog feel better while staying on course with her treatments.