Overweight dogs and cats is a reason to be alarmed. But it is also true when the opposite happens: sudden weight loss in dogs and cats can be dangerous and hide a serious health problem or illness. This article reveals the seven most frequent diseases that can be hidden after weight loss in dogs and cats: a heart problem, intestinal parasites, cancer, kidney disease, feline hyperthyroidism, mouth aches and even chronic stress.
Does the cat or dog lose weight? Do not rule out a disease
Not only is the overweight of dogs and cats a reason to be alarmed by the risks that it implies for their health, including canine or feline arthritis and a greater chance of suffering a heart disease. A sudden weight loss in these animals can also be dangerous. "Any thinning in dogs or cats not planned or not supervised by the veterinarian should be a reason for examination, as it can be a symptom of a health problem or a serious illness, such as a heart condition," concludes a study by the University of Tufts (USA).
Both dogs and cats can benefit from controlled weight loss, in order to reduce an overweight problem. But this slimming plan must be supervised by the veterinarian, include a change in the controlled diet and incorporate an increase in the activity of the animal, either through play or through walks and even sports, which have the approval of a specialist. When a cat or dog is on a controlled weight loss plan against obesity, the veterinarian recommends that this loss be slow and not exceed between 1% and 2% of body weight per week.
What happens, then, when the cat or dog loses weight quickly and not expected? Among the most frequent causes of sudden thinning of the four-legged friend are heart problems or internal parasites, as well as serious diseases such as cancer or hyperthyroidism.
1. Weight loss in dogs and cats: heart disease?
The heart of dogs and cats, like that of people, can fail. Cardiac ailments are due to different reasons. Sometimes, it is the valves of the heart that suffer some damage. Other times, this vital organ loses the force it needs to pump all the blood that the body requires. "Sudden weight loss of dogs and cats may signal that there is a heart problem: This weight loss includes a muscle loss that can be detected even in the early stages of the disease on the animal's shoulders", explain these veterinarians.
And what happens when it is a puppy that suffers from a heart condition? Then, the development of the child slows down and the growth of the animal is slower than that of the rest of the litter. In this case, the veterinarian should examine the puppy, to rule out a congenital heart problem.
2. My dog or cat loses weight, does it have parasites?
One in five dogs will suffer an infection from intestinal parasites throughout their lives, including worms and tapeworms. But how do you know if the dog has intestinal parasites? The first sign of the presence of parasites in a dog is weight loss and widespread health. Your body also reacts with virulence to these dangerous parasites in your intestine. Therefore, diarrhea and vomiting are other signs that can warn that the four-legged friend hosts parasites.
Felines can also be infected with intestinal parasites in various ways: long, round, flat or microscopic. The parasites that lodge in the intestine of the cat can have different aspect, but all are harmful for their health. What are the symptoms of a cat with intestinal parasites? Weight loss, but also diarrhea, deterioration of their fur and even exaggerated vomiting are among the alarm signals and are the reason for an urgent visit to the veterinarian.
3. Cancer in dogs and cats: weight loss
Cancer in dogs and cats, and especially bowel cancer, is another of the most frequent causes of sudden weight loss. The tumor may appear in the stomach, intestines and even in the rectum.. The warning signs of cancer in cats and dogs are an uncontrolled weight loss in the four-legged friend, as well as vomiting or pain in the abdomen area.
4. Does my dog or cat have kidney disease?
Kidney problems are common in cats, as well as very dangerous. And it is that a feline who cannot urinate because he has kidney stones can die without proper treatment in time. And also dogs can suffer kidney problems. But weight loss in this case will not be one of the first signs to appear: when a cat or dog with a kidney disease loses weight, in general, the problem comes long.
So, How to detect a kidney problem in cats in time? One sign is that the cat goes to the litter tray more times than usual and stays longer in it, even if it fails to urinate. The animal is also restless, unable to sleep or be relaxed, meow and complains when he goes to the sandbox.
5. Does my cat have hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a common disease in cats, especially in older cats, and rare in dogs. It is caused by an excessive production of hormones in the thyroid gland, to the point that "one in ten adult cats suffer from hyperthyroidism," according to a study by the American Association of Feline Veterinarians.
Hyperthyroidism causes the cat to be more active, but also to eat and drink more. But nevertheless, a feline suffering from hyperthyroidism loses weight and the health of his hair worsens.
6. Weight loss in dogs and cats: oral problems
Caries and mouth ache they are frequent in dogs and cats and also the explanation that certain animals eat less and, consequently, lose weight. Both dogs and cats need to have their teeth cleaned, since, without dental hygiene, the bacterial plaque will appear as they turn years old. In addition, good teeth cleaning is essential to avoid bad breath (halitosis), as well as inflammation and gum pain and difficulty eating.
7. Weight loss and stress in cats and dogs
The stress that cats and dogs suffer can also trigger weight loss: the stressed animal may stop eating and, consequently, lose weight.
Canine and feline anxiety causes changes in appetite that should not be overlooked. Are you worried that your friend suffers stress? Read 'Five things that stress cats' and these tricks to calm a dog with anxiety.
Causes why your dog may be losing weight
Start alarming if you see that your dog has begun to suffer a alarming weight loss, which shows the ribs or the column. It is important to take it to the veterinarian immediately, however we will discuss the possible causes of weight loss.
Maybe your dog suffer from a gastrointestinal disease, which is characterized from inflammation of the intestines or food allergy, two of the reasons why your dog can be very thin.
You may think "my dog is very thin but still eats a lot”Eye, this is very normal and more when it comes to a parasite. It is possible that some type of pain is also observed in the stomach of the animal or that the feces are not consistent and even observe some parasite in them.
It is also necessary to highlight dental problems, because of these oral pains they can cause you to stop eating or eat very little, generating a significant weight loss. Either excess tartar or the presence of an abscess and even a broken tooth.
In this case, the one who will have a better decision on what to do will be the veterinarian.
Liver diseases, some liver malfunction, which is responsible for digesting and absorbing food and nutrients well, can cause the dog does not maintain its weight in stability, during these cases you can also observe a change in skin color, vomiting and lethargic.
Other major causes of weight loss in dogs is that there is a malfunction in the kidneys. Here we will also observe vomiting, polydipsia or thirst, lack of appetite or even increased urination. So if you visualize that your dog is very thin and does not want to eat, it may be for this case.
Now, since we have given you some of the Causes of weight loss in your pet, we will highlight the solutions to face them.
Treatments for your dog to eat more
To start fattening your pet we must be very clear what is the detonating cause of weight loss and on the other hand to plan a new diet based on the cause. In all cases it is important to follow all veterinarian instructions so that we help our pet.
Here, we will give you some indications that foods and vitamins You can give your dog to return to its ideal weight.
You will need to give him a diet that is full of nutrients and take into account all the needs of the dog's organism and of course, that provides a lot of protein and energy to it. Keep in mind that to fatten your dog it can be very useful to provide canned food or homemade food Suitable for dogs.
With all the instructions given above, you can prevent your dog from losing weight or know the reasons why this is happening to your pet. Keep in mind that having a pet is a lot of responsibility and you must ensure its care.