Sudden Weight Loss


Around the holidays both humans and their pets normally gain a little winter weight. But, what should you do if you notice your pet losing an abnormal amount weight? There are many diseases for which weight loss is the first symptom owners notice.

Diabetes: Low insulin and the inability of the body to absorb sugar from blood can lead to increased appetite in your dog, even though he or she is still losing weight. Senior dogs and those whose body weight is on the verge of obesity are the most prone to developing diabetes, though like in humans, diabetes in dogs can be genetic.

Dental Disease: One of the simplest reasons your dog may be losing weight can stem from dental issues. If your dog is suffering from a tooth root abscess or other issue related to the health of his or her teeth or gums, it may simply be too painful for your dog to eat. As a result of this lack of eating, your dog will begin to lose weight.

Thyroid Problems: Hyperthyroidism is a condition that results in a rapid metabolism that leaves your dog at risk of extreme weight loss. No matter how much they eat, the rapid metabolism of their body quickly breaks down the nutrients it is receiving without absorption. Blood work is required in detecting thyroid issues. Once that is achieved, thyroid problems can be easily managed with the help of meds.

Parasites: One of the more common causes of weight loss in your dog could be a tapeworm or other internal parasite. Dogs with parasites often exhibit rapid and sudden weight loss. A dog suffering from an intestinal tapeworm, for example, suffers from a lack of nutrients and loses weight because the tapeworm is consuming all of the food eaten by the dog.

Liver Disease: Dogs or cats suffering from liver disease lack essential carbs and sugars provided to the body by the liver. When an animals suffers from liver disease, it does not get the crucial nutrients needed from the liver. This forces the body to begin to consume its fat deposits as well as muscle tissue, in an attempt to replace the lost nutrients. Weight loss and muscle wasting are very common signs.

Addison’s Disease: This is an adrenal insufficiency in your dogs’ body that results in a steroid hormone deficit. Signs of Addison’s disease include vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and low blood pressure. Additional signs include a lack of appetite, shaking, increased frequency of urination and an increased thirst.

If you feel as though your pet has lost a sudden amount of weight over a short period of time, please contact the clinic to schedule an appointment with your primary veterinarian.