Older dogs typically lose weight for one of three reasons. My dog is a 12-year old male English Springer Spaniel with leukemia. 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. Both signs can result from a variety of causes, so it’s best to talk to your veterinarian, who can help determine the underlying problem. 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. Lastly, non-worm parasites like coccidia, giardia, and spirochetes are found in the intestinal tract and can come from infected soil, water, feces, food, other animals, and more. Please keep in mind that dogs can lose weight due to any number of factors, not just the ones on this list. Diabetes is another common reason for weight loss. 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. Lastly, infectious diseases like distemper and parvovirus are both highly contagious and life-threatening. This is an internal issue where the body struggles to break down food. Various types of cancer can cause unexplained weight loss in dogs, says Dr. Heinze. “They’re sick,” says Ann Hohenhaus, staff veterinarian at The Animal Medical Centerin New York. Other symptoms may include vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as difficulty breathing or coughing with distemper. Often they have a virus, they don’t eat for a couple of days, and then they get better.” However, if your dog is not eating an… Many people choose to supplement their dog’s diet with commercial supplements or even tidbits of at-home ingredients like a raw egg or chopped up fruits and vegetables. 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. Dogs are generally adaptable to our lifestyles, but they are also highly perceptive and will notice even minor changes in their surroundings. I can go down the list and say yes to all the symptoms. If your dog appears highly nervous or depressed, then she may be more interested in factors other than her food. He may … 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. Regular flea preventatives and good hygiene are some of the best and easier ways to ensure your dog won’t have intestinal parasites. he also is active not lazy at all. “You don’t feel like eating when you have a fever. How, then, is it possible for a dog that is eating just fine, has the normal daily portion or even more to lose weight? Older dogs typically lose weight for one of three reasons. Rather, weight loss is typically associated with chronic forms of the disease. A dog, just like a person, can lose weight for any number of reasons. Dr. Bartl explains that changes in the household or the addition of a new pet could be possible sources of stress-induced weight loss. If your german shepherd is skinny and underweight the chances are that he’s also going to lack energy. Dr. Heinze says that if you’re looking for food that’s truly meant to help your dog lose weight, talk to your veterinarian. If the ribs are visibly protruding, your dog may be severely underweight. 1) worms--but to eliminate this, can get a deworm pill from the vet. 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. And since the dog eats, the owner feels that the dog really was hungry. A common indicator for hormone imbalances are skin problems; the skin may be noticeably irritated, change in color or consistency. he is a 2yrs old Siberian husky and i can feel his back bones, he eats every time i feed him. 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 Each dog has different nutritional requirements based on its age, breed, size, activity level, as well as other factors. Tapeworms are worms that look like pieces of rice and are usually picked up from ingesting a host carrying a tapeworm egg, like an adult flea. Also, malabsorption or maldigestion disorders may impair the intestine’s ability to break down and absorb valuable nutrients from the diet. While there may be some underlying eating disorder as to why your dog acts hungry all the time, there’s also the possibility that this is “normal” behavior. 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. No blood on the stool but has diarrhea. As the illness progresses, dogs generally feel unwell and experience vomiting, loss of appetite and dehydration. my dog is 6 yrs. If you have a slim type of body (Ectomorph), it will be hard to gain weight unless you take proper care of the things you eat. Going to the vet is out of the question as I'm on total disability only. After reading this I'm pretty sure this is her problems. I thought is was worms so I tried several meds and no improvement. Although obesity is far too common in dogs today; there are also dogs with the opposite problem. 320 What could be the problem? Although changing a dog’s diet may be in their best interest, it can be difficult to provide all the nutrients a dog needs in a raw or homemade diet. “I have had people come to me because their dog is losing weight. If you think, ‘my dog is losing weight but acting normal,’ it could be a minor problem. However, not all products are equally effective against all worms. As such, you should show your dog some sympathy in these situations. Dog is very active, hikes and runs, climbs 14,000 mountains in colorado, etc - all with no problem. Unfortunately, this is an issue which is difficult to recognize and diagnose, especially because it can be caused by many different conditions. Can anyone tell me what might be wrong with him? 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. Unplanned or rapid weight loss in dogs, while not uncommon, can be alarming for any pet owner. Dogs that have increased caloric demand like excessive physical activity, extended exposure to cold, pregnancy, or lactation, may benefit from some extra calories. The experiment must be controlled, which means it’s important to avoid feeding table scraps or too many treats. 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. This reinforces the food seeking behavior in the dog, so that it gets stronger in the dog. He has become very reluctant to go for walks (which were his very favourite thing), and his tummy is very gurgly and swollen after eating even though I use an anti-gulp bowl and feed him small meals. In a healthy dog, you should be able to feel the ribs just below the skin. Reviewed and updated for accuracy on December 10, 2019, by Dr. Natalie Stilwell, DVM, MS, PhD. My great niece also has a small 'Taco Bell chalupa' and he's tiny, skinny but very healthy and is fed Iams or Eukanuba. Weight loss is associated with several malignant cancers in dogs, including hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma and osteosarcoma. They had a complete workup done and no one could find anything wrong,” she says. The clinical signs associated with metabolic conditions are complex, and advanced diagnostic testing may be required to identify these conditions. 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. Luckily, most intestinal parasites can be treated and even prevented with medications from your veterinarian. Cancer is generally more common in older dogs, and malignant forms can be life-threatening. Required fields are marked *. A lab mix - probably greyhound or wippet, maybe even dalmatian, with some ribs showing, slight backbone showing, and super muscular. Unlike some of the other conditions for which weight loss is a symptom, pets with kidney disease typically don’t drop pounds right away. Weight loss is associated with several malignant cancers in dogs, including hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma and … 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. For nutritionally balanced kibble diets, make sure to buy a good brand and be aware of their ingredients. Pets contract these by ingesting the eggs directly from the environment, from contaminated soil or water. In fact, some dogs are downright skinny and I know; I have one of those dogs. He will not eat his dog food, but will eat some people food. Not all cases of seemingly inexplicable weight loss are caused by disease. Secondly, is that a lack of appetite will cause them to eat less than they did during their prime. … read more “It turns out the dog’s food was changed. The weight loss can be chalked up to the chronic diarrhea and vomiting that often accompany these issues. Cancer is generally more common in older dogs, and malignant forms can be life-threatening. Generally speaking, Dr. Heinze says loss of appetite is the easiest way to tell if your pet’s weight loss is concerning or not. 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. Some reasons may be because another pet in the household is eating more than it’s share, the dog is unhappy with their food, or they do not have adequate time to eat everything in their bowl. All rights reserved. Another intestinal parasite is the roundworm, which looks similar to spaghetti, and can often be seen in the dog’s stool. You feel like lying down and taking a nap. Eats usually 2 to 3 cups of quality dog food, lately part raw too - on more active day will get slightly more food. Their eating might seem normal, but if they can’t hold onto their food long enough, they’ll obviously be losing weight. I plan to take him to the vet as soon as the weekend is over. Treating the underlying dental disease should help address your dog’s weight loss, but it’s important to monitor your pet’s appetite closely to make sure it’s back on track. Dogs require a delicate balance of essential nutrients for each meal, and even one missing ingredient can cause severe health consequences. Parasites live in the dog’s body and steal nutrients from the dog. It's possible that he doesn't care for his food, even if it's an expensive, well-balanced, commercial diet. Some of the most well-known illnesses to cause weight loss are cancer, diabetes, and infectious diseases, all of which are related to weight loss due to the fact that they increase caloric demand. Other canine cancers, such as oral melanoma, may make eating and swallowing more painful, causing the dog to avoid food. But take the vet's specific food recommendations with a grain of salt. Being clear about how much your dog needs to eat by age is critical to keep it adequately nourished and also to prevent obesity.. She's only 8 but after her last batch of kittens, just after weening them, she got so skinny. If you primarily feed kibble, consider adding canned food to the diet. Some reasons that come to mind: 1. There are a number of reasons this could happen. This is usually due to a lack of digestive enzymes and or bile acids and often caused by a condition like exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Does your dog scarf down his meals, or does he eat slowly or even leave food behind? Treating malabsorption will depend on its cause; so treatments can vary from dietary changes, supplementation of enzymes, or medication. This is super common as the parasites can infect dogs through many different ways. Certain types of benign and malignant tumors are notorious for causing weight loss. The dog’s weight, activity levels, and appetite are also likely to be affected by a hormone imbalance. Your email address will not be published. Consider changing brands or flavors and see if he happily cleans his plate. Symptoms of intestinal parasite infection in dogs can include: Intestinal parasites are typically diagnosed through a fecal exam to identify the eggs or other parasite life stages (depending on the type of parasite present). If the dog does not seem interested in its food, it may be a good idea to switch them to something else. 10 Weird Cat Behaviors That Could Be Signs of a Sick Cat, 7 Ways Cat Lovers Can Celebrate International Cat Day. 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. The first reason is that their body simply does not digest and absorb nutrients as well as it did when they were young. “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. If your dog IS actually underweight and it isn't worms, gingerly discuss a food that's higher in protein. A hormone imbalance is an internal issue caused by a variety of conditions which create either an excess or lack of specific hormones. 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. Treatment of intestinal parasites involves the use of a broad-spectrum dewormer, Dr. Heinze says, followed by a monthly preventative medication to prevent reinfection. Possible causes for weight loss or inability to gain weight in spite of a good appetite include intestinal parasites, endocrine disorders, digestive disorders such as malabsorption syndrome, metabolic disorders or simple malnutrition (not … 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. Chronic stress can also weaken the immune system and increase your dog’s risk of developing an infection. Don’t stay hungry for a long time. But I know why my dog is thin; he’s active, runs and plays hard, and is always ready to go. If your dog is losing weight there’s a reason behind it, so here are some possible causes. If you plan to change your pet’s food, check the ingredient labels of both brands and make the swap based on calories. So what can cause your dog to lose weight and not be able to gain it back? Wolves (or dogs) hunting in a pack also learn the concept of scarcity and food being a limited resource. 5 steps to find out why your dog is not eating If your dog has a dental abscess it will be uncomfortable for him to eat. 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. If a raw diet is still best for your dog, speak to your veterinarian and do plenty of research regarding your dog’s needs. They may not eat every day, or even every other day, so they fall into a “get it while you can” mentality. GI problems can lead to weight loss over time. Warming up your dog’s food or adding something like chicken or the … 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. I exercise him and its been a while. If you notice any changes such as those listed above, your dog should be seen by a veterinarian or at your local animal hospital. “Whipworms, in particular, aren’t killed by a lot of products,” says Dr. Heinze. This forces the body to use its own fats and proteins for fuel. As dental disease progresses, oral bacteria can spread throughout the body, leading to painful infections in the heart, liver and kidneys. Eating in time is very important. Why is My Cat So Skinny But Eats All The Time? Tumors. The first reason is that their body simply does not digest and absorb nutrients as well as it did when they were young. The weight loss is typically a result of a decreased appetite. Another external factor to a dog losing weight is an incomplete diet. This is because even the small amount of food energy she is taking in is being stored rather than released through the metabolic process. To determine whether your dog needs to gain weight, perform a simple test by feeling his rib cage. However, as well as being skinny there are also other symptoms you’re german shepherd will be showing. Changes in their home, routine, and environment are likely to cause some level of stress, and maybe even anxiety. My dog is losing weight but eating very well. Why is Your Dog Having Muscle Spasms and Tremors? 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. Metabolic disorders, such as diabetes mellitus and hypoadrenocorticism (also known as Addison’s disease), can alter your pet’s body condition. The inside of his ears are pale white and his gums are somewhat white. Pets who are suffering from these types of conditions will generally be significantly underweight, no matter what type or amount of diet is offered. “If they eat more and gain weight, they’re probably OK,” she says. The most likely reason your dog isn’t eating runs parallel to the main reason humans don’t eat at times. Some veterinarians and pet experts believe that pups were first domesticated because of their almost supernatural ability to mooch food from human beings. A good diet, plenty of exercise, and insulin injections are the suggested treatment plan for most dogs with diabetes. Weight loss generally affects both body fat and muscle, resulting in emaciation. i just change his food to the Blue Buffalo Basic, Salmon & Potato Recipe; sensitive solution formula. Weight loss commonly occurs in response to dysfunction or failure of a vital internal organ such as the heart, liver, or kidneys. If your dog won’t eat anything at all, you’re dealing with complete dog anorexia. 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. Copyright © 2020 Bestie Paws. Let me tell you a story about my cat who was 12 when she died. Internal issues relating to the dog’s overall health is one of the primary reasons for weight loss. 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. My dog is very skinny even though he eats, he also has diarrhea.? 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. In both of these cases, it is necessary to ensure that your dog is receiving a complete diet so they will not lose weight. These issues can easily be solved by ensuring the dog has privacy and time to eat, as well as enough food to meet their caloric demand. He looks very sad and he even has a limp. I dont know what else to do. So as well as checking for a loss of weight you should also look for the following. Pseudo-anorexia in dogs is a condition when a dog wants to eat but can’t because of another problem. What Happens if Your Dog Eats Leftover Bones? Laura E. McRae Veterinary Technician. I can see his ribs and his hip bones and spine. He continually goes into the kitchen begging for food and sits drooling while we eat even though he’s fed first. “Sometimes, a food that is marketed for overweight pets—it might say ‘healthy weight’ or ‘weight maintenance’ or ‘reduced calorie’—might have more calories than ‘regular’ food,” she says. Fortunately, most of the stress will be eliminated as time goes on and the dog adapts to the new house, new baby or pet, new environment, or whatever has changed in their life. Dental problems. Just like people, dogs can be affected by stress, and may even lose weight as a result of that. If your dog is losing weight unexpectedly, it can be an indication of an underlying health or behavioral issue that requires veterinary attention. If you’ve noticed a small degree of unplanned weight loss, try adding calories to their diet, she says. Excessive vomiting and/or diarrhea decrease the amount of available nutrients for your pet. Your email address will not be published. Luckily, diabetes can be easily treated when managed properly. Dr. Heinze says it’s easy to miss this because foods are marketed in seemingly confusing ways when it comes to nutrition. If your dog is suffering from an issue with their liver or kidneys, they might lose weight even if they eat normally. Here are nine of the most common causes of unanticipated weight loss in dogs. Better to be a little thin and fit than obese as your dog will age and die a lot more quick. This carries over even when the dog is getting two … This is especially the case if the extra poop is diarrheic in nature - chances are, he … Various types of cancer can cause unexplained weight loss in dogs, says Dr. Heinze. Why is your dog so skinny even though he eats? It can be caused by a number of health issues such as diseases that affect the pancreas, enzyme-related conditions, or intestinal disorders. Possible causes. 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. Secondly, is that a lack of appetite will cause them to eat less than they did during their prime. 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. Like kidney disease, pets with heart disease won’t start losing weight immediately. This is not something that needs fixing like the other issues on this list, but just a natural part of their aging. Also, dogs with advanced dental disease generally feel unwell and may lose body condition. Why is your dog look skinny? 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. Cancer. It can be as simple as your dog becoming picky due to a decreased sense of smell. Malabsorption is another internal issue and occurs when food is broken down by the body, but the nutrients cannot be absorbed. It doesn’t always mean there is a medical issue. The owners were feeding them the same amount every day, but the new food had 20 percent fewer calories.”. Next, set a goal weight. First, you need to determine the causes of why your dog won’t eat, and here is how to do it. If your dog is losing weight rapidly, you should go see your veterinarian. Even though dogs have been known to poop in order to "send a message," these cases are an exception rather than the norm. Lethargy/Lack Of Energy. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "ad5d71433749509beeb3c6fce3f47330" );document.getElementById("ffb7cdee2c").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Dr. Heinze says one of the most common explanations for weight loss is changing your pet’s food. For other dogs, it can happen suddenly. Home / My Dog / Why is your dog so skinny even though he eats? Dogs are the same. In fact, some dogs may appear to gain weight—despite a loss of appetite—due to fluid accumulation in the body. When your dog resembles a skeleton, it might be time for an intervention. In addition, make sure you’ve isolated their food from the other pets in the house to reduce food sharing or stealing. Either of these issues can be cause for concern. 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 … Loss of muscle mass is the third reason, as older dogs tend to be happier to relax than run around all the time. Some other symptoms may include chronic diarrhea or even colitis. Thankfully, these diseases are both easy to prevent through vaccination. This is not to say that feeding your dog a homemade or raw diet is impossible, but it is more demanding and costly. So, it’s vital to know the different reasons why your older dog might be experiencing weight loss. Even though it is less common, this can also be an issue when feeding normal dog food you find in the store. Of reasons enzymes and or bile acids and often caused by a condition like pancreatic! Metabolic conditions are complex, and insulin injections are the suggested treatment plan for dogs. 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