The experiment must be controlled, which means it’s important to avoid feeding table scraps or too many treats. If your dog IS actually underweight and it isn't worms, gingerly discuss a food that's higher in protein. In a healthy dog, you should be able to feel the ribs just below the skin. A good diet, plenty of exercise, and insulin injections are the suggested treatment plan for most dogs with diabetes. For nutritionally balanced kibble diets, make sure to buy a good brand and be aware of their ingredients. This carries over even when the dog is getting two … Weight loss is associated with several malignant cancers in dogs, including hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma and osteosarcoma. If you notice any changes such as those listed above, your dog should be seen by a veterinarian or at your local animal hospital. Weight loss generally affects both body fat and muscle, resulting in emaciation. Dr. Cailin Heinze, MS, VMD, DACVN, assistant professor of nutrition at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, says that weight loss due to parasitism is less common than it used to be, because many pets receive monthly protection against heartworm and intestinal parasites. A hormone imbalance is an internal issue caused by a variety of conditions which create either an excess or lack of specific hormones. This is especially the case if the extra poop is diarrheic in nature - chances are, he … Secondly, is that a lack of appetite will cause them to eat less than they did during their prime. Why is My Cat So Skinny But Eats All The Time? If your dog is losing weight there’s a reason behind it, so here are some possible causes. The inside of his ears are pale white and his gums are somewhat white. It's possible that he doesn't care for his food, even if it's an expensive, well-balanced, commercial diet. Here are nine of the most common causes of unanticipated weight loss in dogs. If you do not know the healthy weight range for the breed of dog you have, consult your veterinarian, a breeder or a rescue group for … Malabsorption is another internal issue and occurs when food is broken down by the body, but the nutrients cannot be absorbed. Metabolic disorders, such as diabetes mellitus and hypoadrenocorticism (also known as Addison’s disease), can alter your pet’s body condition. While not as common as other causes, Dr. Bartl says that stress and anxiety can significantly affect a pet’s appetite and should not be overlooked. If you’ve noticed a small degree of unplanned weight loss, try adding calories to their diet, she says. “If they’re only getting diagnosed after they’ve started losing weight, they’ve probably had the disease for a long time,” Dr. Heinze explains. Unfortunately, this is an issue which is difficult to recognize and diagnose, especially because it can be caused by many different conditions. Dogs are the same. Oral pain, says Dr. Lara Bartl, DVM, Diplomate DABVP (Canine/Feline Practice), assistant professor at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech University, may lead to weight loss in pets, as dogs will have a hard time chewing hard kibble when they’re dealing with an abscess or other gum problem. Your email address will not be published. If your dog is losing weight rapidly, you should go see your veterinarian. Older dogs typically lose weight for one of three reasons. The dog’s weight, activity levels, and appetite are also likely to be affected by a hormone imbalance. Dr. Bartl explains that changes in the household or the addition of a new pet could be possible sources of stress-induced weight loss. With these tumors, weight loss may occur due to the metabolic demands of the tumor itself, or because pain and discomfort is causing reduced appetite and activity. To determine whether your dog needs to gain weight, perform a simple test by feeling his rib cage. My dog is losing weight but eating very well. What Happens if Your Dog Eats Leftover Bones? The most likely reason your dog isn’t eating runs parallel to the main reason humans don’t eat at times. Dogs are generally adaptable to our lifestyles, but they are also highly perceptive and will notice even minor changes in their surroundings. With cancer alone, there are a multitude of reasons the dog may lose weight including loss of appetite, metabolic changes, direct effects of the tumor, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments. I have a german shepherd who is about 1 year old and I feed him canned food mixed with the dry food twice a day. However, not all products are equally effective against all worms. Treatment of intestinal parasites involves the use of a broad-spectrum dewormer, Dr. Heinze says, followed by a monthly preventative medication to prevent reinfection. So, it’s vital to know the different reasons why your older dog might be experiencing weight loss. They may not eat every day, or even every other day, so they fall into a “get it while you can” mentality. So as well as checking for a loss of weight you should also look for the following. Maybe your dog looks skinny because him/her ribs are showing or maybe they are skinny.If they are you can try to feed it by hand or bring your dog to a docter. First, you need to determine the causes of why your dog won’t eat, and here is how to do it. It can be as simple as your dog becoming picky due to a decreased sense of smell. Can anyone tell me what might be wrong with him? It is usually easy to treat by supplementation of necessary enzymes and alteration of the dog’s diet, but more severe cases may require medication. In both of these cases, it is necessary to ensure that your dog is receiving a complete diet so they will not lose weight. Weight loss is associated with several malignant cancers in dogs, including hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma and … He may … Treating malabsorption will depend on its cause; so treatments can vary from dietary changes, supplementation of enzymes, or medication. Not all cases of seemingly inexplicable weight loss are caused by disease. As the illness progresses, dogs generally feel unwell and experience vomiting, loss of appetite and dehydration. No blood on the stool but has diarrhea. Lastly, infectious diseases like distemper and parvovirus are both highly contagious and life-threatening. After reading this I'm pretty sure this is her problems. Going to the vet is out of the question as I'm on total disability only. This is not something that needs fixing like the other issues on this list, but just a natural part of their aging. old He eats regular and is neuterd and he is skinny you can see his ribs I know he has some type of worms I just don't know which kind the last time I brought to the vet I cost me 200 … read more 1) worms--but to eliminate this, can get a deworm pill from the vet. I can see his ribs and his hip bones and spine. As dental disease progresses, oral bacteria can spread throughout the body, leading to painful infections in the heart, liver and kidneys. He looks very sad and he even has a limp. Also, dogs with advanced dental disease generally feel unwell and may lose body condition. When it comes to dog losing weight, it is usually easy to point out the cause if the dog is experiencing a loss of appetite. If the dog does not seem interested in its food, it may be a good idea to switch them to something else. If your dog is losing weight unexpectedly, it can be an indication of an underlying health or behavioral issue that requires veterinary attention. Next, set a goal weight. Even though dogs have been known to poop in order to "send a message," these cases are an exception rather than the norm. This reinforces the food seeking behavior in the dog, so that it gets stronger in the dog. If your dog has a dental abscess it will be uncomfortable for him to eat. he also is active not lazy at all. Loss of muscle mass is the third reason, as older dogs tend to be happier to relax than run around all the time. Reviewed and updated for accuracy on December 10, 2019, by Dr. Natalie Stilwell, DVM, MS, PhD. If you think, ‘my dog is losing weight but acting normal,’ it could be a minor problem. Because maldigestion is a bit more difficult to diagnose, it is best to see your veterinarian if you think this could be causing your dog to lose weight. Other canine cancers, such as oral melanoma, may make eating and swallowing more painful, causing the dog to avoid food. She's only 8 but after her last batch of kittens, just after weening them, she got so skinny. “You don’t feel like eating when you have a fever. Why is your dog so skinny even though he eats? Laura E. McRae Veterinary Technician. Some of the most common include: Poor Nutrition: If your dog’s food does not offer enough nutrients, he may lose weight and be unable to gain it back. Either of these issues can be cause for concern. If your dog appears highly nervous or depressed, then she may be more interested in factors other than her food. Thankfully, these diseases are both easy to prevent through vaccination. However, as well as being skinny there are also other symptoms you’re german shepherd will be showing. But take the vet's specific food recommendations with a grain of salt. Why is Your Dog Having Muscle Spasms and Tremors? Hookworms are intestinal parasites that can be picked up through ingestion of the eggs, transferred from a nursing mother, and even burrow into the dog’s skin. Please keep in mind that dogs can lose weight due to any number of factors, not just the ones on this list. This forces the body to use its own fats and proteins for fuel. Cheap kibble brands and poorly packaged canned foods are both known to have less nutritional content, and can therefore lead to a deficiency in some necessary vitamins or minerals. Older dogs typically lose weight for one of three reasons. In addition, make sure you’ve isolated their food from the other pets in the house to reduce food sharing or stealing. This is a common issue for pets who are fed raw or homemade diets but can also be seen in dogs who eat a kibble diet that may not be nutritionally complete. Does your dog scarf down his meals, or does he eat slowly or even leave food behind? The first reason is that their body simply does not digest and absorb nutrients as well as it did when they were young. Luckily, most intestinal parasites can be treated and even prevented with medications from your veterinarian. The name for this condition is hypothyroidism, where the prefix hypo- means “under.” It can be confounding to observe that even while your pet is eating very little, she is continuing to gain weight. Unplanned or rapid weight loss in dogs, while not uncommon, can be alarming for any pet owner. Dental problems. 320 What could be the problem? Why is your dog look skinny? I dont know what else to do. Chronic stress can also weaken the immune system and increase your dog’s risk of developing an infection. Cancer is generally more common in older dogs, and malignant forms can be life-threatening. Certain types of benign and malignant tumors are notorious for causing weight loss. Each dog has different nutritional requirements based on its age, breed, size, activity level, as well as other factors. Consider changing brands or flavors and see if he happily cleans his plate. “I have had people come to me because their dog is losing weight. If your dog still seems overwhelmed or uncomfortable after a few weeks, it may be beneficial to speak to a behavioral specialist about ways to alleviate their stress. “Whipworms, in particular, aren’t killed by a lot of products,” says Dr. Heinze. Although obesity is far too common in dogs today; there are also dogs with the opposite problem. Excessive vomiting and/or diarrhea decrease the amount of available nutrients for your pet. A dog, just like a person, can lose weight for any number of reasons. Dr. Heinze says one of the most common explanations for weight loss is changing your pet’s food. Dogs require a delicate balance of essential nutrients for each meal, and even one missing ingredient can cause severe health consequences. I exercise him and its been a while. How, then, is it possible for a dog that is eating just fine, has the normal daily portion or even more to lose weight? Cancer is generally more common in older dogs, and malignant forms can be life-threatening. This is not to say that feeding your dog a homemade or raw diet is impossible, but it is more demanding and costly. Labman is right when he says dogs get overfed by their owners thinking it's so cute and your only hurting the dog in the long run. A common indicator for hormone imbalances are skin problems; the skin may be noticeably irritated, change in color or consistency. And since the dog eats, the owner feels that the dog really was hungry. If your german shepherd is skinny and underweight the chances are that he’s also going to lack energy. Possible causes. The first reason is that their body simply does not digest and absorb nutrients as well as it did when they were young. It doesn’t always mean there is a medical issue. As such, you should show your dog some sympathy in these situations. Diabetes is another common reason for weight loss. my dog is 6 yrs. This is usually due to a lack of digestive enzymes and or bile acids and often caused by a condition like exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Dog is very active, hikes and runs, climbs 14,000 mountains in colorado, etc - all with no problem. In fact, some dogs are downright skinny and I know; I have one of those dogs. “It turns out the dog’s food was changed. Luckily, diabetes can be easily treated when managed properly. “They’re sick,” says Ann Hohenhaus, staff veterinarian at The Animal Medical Centerin New York. Warming up your dog’s food or adding something like chicken or the … Internal issues relating to the dog’s overall health is one of the primary reasons for weight loss. Required fields are marked *. Generally speaking, Dr. Heinze says loss of appetite is the easiest way to tell if your pet’s weight loss is concerning or not. he is a 2yrs old Siberian husky and i can feel his back bones, he eats every time i feed him. Remember that dogs’ stomachs are easily upset by sudden changes in diet, so changes should be made carefully and incrementally over a number of weeks. This is an internal issue where the body struggles to break down food. Unlike some of the other conditions for which weight loss is a symptom, pets with kidney disease typically don’t drop pounds right away. Some veterinarians and pet experts believe that pups were first domesticated because of their almost supernatural ability to mooch food from human beings. Tumors. It can be caused by a number of health issues such as diseases that affect the pancreas, enzyme-related conditions, or intestinal disorders. Various types of cancer can cause unexplained weight loss in dogs, says Dr. Heinze. Other symptoms may include vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as difficulty breathing or coughing with distemper. Cancer. The best way to prevent weight loss in a dog with cancer is by feeding an energy-dense, high fat, moderately high protein, low carb diet. 5 steps to find out why your dog is not eating They had a complete workup done and no one could find anything wrong,” she says. Missie had started to lose weight in the 9 months before she died the vets did tests such as xrays and blood tests but only found a low white blood cells. The clinical signs associated with metabolic conditions are complex, and advanced diagnostic testing may be required to identify these conditions. If you plan to change your pet’s food, check the ingredient labels of both brands and make the swap based on calories. Your email address will not be published. Lethargy/Lack Of Energy. Pseudo-anorexia in dogs is a condition when a dog wants to eat but can’t because of another problem. The owners were feeding them the same amount every day, but the new food had 20 percent fewer calories.”. My dog is a 12-year old male English Springer Spaniel with leukemia. Dr. Heinze says that if you’re looking for food that’s truly meant to help your dog lose weight, talk to your veterinarian. Diabetes is another common reason for weight loss because the dog’s body is not producing enough insulin and cannot break down the sugars in the dog’s food. This is super common as the parasites can infect dogs through many different ways. i just change his food to the Blue Buffalo Basic, Salmon & Potato Recipe; sensitive solution formula. Wolves (or dogs) hunting in a pack also learn the concept of scarcity and food being a limited resource. This is because even the small amount of food energy she is taking in is being stored rather than released through the metabolic process. In fact, some dogs may appear to gain weight—despite a loss of appetite—due to fluid accumulation in the body. Weight loss commonly occurs in response to dysfunction or failure of a vital internal organ such as the heart, liver, or kidneys. Let me tell you a story about my cat who was 12 when she died. Even though it is less common, this can also be an issue when feeding normal dog food you find in the store. Some dogs may lose weight due to external factors like how active they are, or the quality of their food, while other dogs may lose weight due to internal factors like age or a health condition. If your dog so far has not manifested such gluttonous behavior and suddenly starts doing it, then it is time to review food portions that you are giving it, especially if they are in a growth phase. Although dogs can lose weight for a variety of reasons; here is a list of some of the most common reasons your dog may be losing weight despite eating well: This is an external factor characterized by the dog simply not getting enough calories to fuel their body. Copyright © 2020 Bestie Paws. 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