Anorexia in Dogs: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention


The loss of appetite in dogs can be partial or total, but it always justifies a consultation without delay. First of all you have to make sure that it is anorexia. This eating disorder has different causes and its treatment is therefore decided on a case-by-case basis. Let’s do a check in.

The main causes of anorexia in dogs

Many pathologies can cause anorexia in a dog, namely:

  • Neurological disease,
  • Piroplasmosis,
  • Addison’s disease or hypocorticism,
  • Parvovirus,
  • A digestive affection,
  • Cancer,
  • Distemper,
  • An immune problem,
  • Various insufficiencies (cardiac, renal, hepatic),
  • Ehrlichiosis,
  • Acido-ketosis,
  • Loss of smell,
  • Respiratory disease.

Anorexia can also be due to:

  • An intoxication which follows the ingestion by the dog of a drug or a toxic substance such as for example a rat poison.
  • Pain.

In the case of a anorexia said primitive in dogs, it is a central nervous system dysfunction who is responsible for it. Different reasons can cause the brain to send distorted signals so that the dog no longer feels hungry. This type of dysfunction can be favored by:

  • Excess stress,
  • The change of place of life following a move for example,
  • A trauma,
  • The master’s death …

In any case, as soon as the dog goes without eating for several days, it is necessary to take him to the veterinarian. It may be dangerous to wait several days before consulting because total anorexia is life-threatening for the animal beyond five days.

Anorexia in dogs: how to treat it?

As a first step, the veterinarian must ensure that the dog does indeed have anorexia, because it must be differentiated from other eating disorders such as:

  • Pseudo-anorexia: it is common in dogs which, because of violent pain in the teeth, can no longer eat although they still have a good appetite,
  • Hyporexia or dysorexia: the animal eats in very small quantities because its appetite has greatly diminished.

If anorexia is proven, the veterinarian should further investigate in order toidentify the cause of this eating disorder. Complementary examinations are therefore essential such as blood tests, urinalysis, imaging … Then, he prescribes the appropriate treatment but must at the same time hospitalize the animal which is then placed under a drip in order to receive the nutrients essential to your body. In the most severe cases of anorexia, the animal is fed through a probe (nasosophageal or oral).

He may be prescribed medication for stimulate the dog’s appetite and allow it to gradually recharge. Obviously, it is essential that his master only gives him therapeutic foods for some time, on the prescription of the professional and his advice must be scrupulously followed. Note that the animal health mutuals can cover at least part of the expenses incurred by the teacher to procure his dietetic foods.

It is fundamental that the anorexic dog be the object of all the attention of his master because he absolutely has to regain his strength. This eating disorder is serious, and considerably weakens the general condition of the dog. Situations that generate stress should be avoided. It is important to play with him and make sure he gets some fresh air every day.

We have seen that anorexia can be caused by disease. But a dog can stop eating if his food are outdated or even if overnight, his diet changes drastically. Sometimes even a dog that is hungry for treats may end up not eating at all. However, in these specific cases we cannot speak of anorexia since the animal retains its appetite. But he can still sulk his bowl for several days and this may generate health problems. Here again, you must consult a veterinarian quickly so that the situation does not continue because this can put the life of the animal in danger.

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