Causes Of Rapid Weight Loss In Dogs

Weight Loss In DogsWeight Loss In Dogs

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There are many causes of rapid weight loss in dogs.  It can be caused by medical problems.  Disease of the liver, pancreas, and intestines can cause the food not to be absorbed properly.  Vomiting and dog diarrhea may be present.  Dog weight loss accompanied by increased water intake and urination may indicate kidney disease or diabetes.  Heart disease can cause weight loss in which the body does not get the proper nutrition because of poor circulation.  Dog worms or other canine parasites can steal your dog’s nutrition.

If your dog is just a little underweight, there may not be anything seriously wrong.  Toy breeds are sometimes picky about their food.  Adding a teaspoon of canned dog food to the dry food may tempt it to eat better.  Some dogs prefer their food be soft and moist.

Healthy pets that are lean usually have less joint, heart, lung and pancreatic problems.

Dogs that are underweight are not receiving enough calories.  If your dog is burning up more calories than it is taking in or eating a food that in not digestible, it may be losing weight.  Some dogs are hyper and you may have to cut back on the amount of exercise he gets.

If your dog does not seem ill and is active and alert, you can start by increasing it’s caloric intake.  You may need to increase the protein and fat contents in your dogs food.  Vitamins may increase your dogs appetite too.

If no weight gain is seen with increased food intake or if the weight loss is accompanied by signs of illness in the dog, you should see your vet.

Your vet may want to do a blood test, stool sample, urinalysis, electrocardiogram, ultrasound, endoscopy, and x-rays to find the underlying cause for the canine weight loss.

Canine Giardia

Giardia in dogsCanine Giardia

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What is giardia? It is a single cell parasite that lives in the intestine of dogs.  Canine giardia is caused by a microorganism present in contaminated feces and bodies of water.  Giardia in dogs is a common health problem.  Symptoms of parasitic infection include dog diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and lack of appetite.  Some parasites can cause intestinal upset.  Fecal samples can be examined for the presence of giardia, and a drug called Flagyl is commonly prescribed to treat it.  Dogs with giardia do not always show symptoms.  It can be especially fatal in puppies under six months of age.

The dog giardia vaccine is not recommended because it only prevents spreading of the disease through fecal matter and not the disease itself.

Dogs, cats and all animals can get this disease.  It has the potential to infect humans too.  They are too small to be seen by the naked eye.  It is spread by feces of infected animals.  Some dogs can be carriers and show no signs of the disease.  Humans that have giardia have diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, and sometimes fever and nausea.

The best way to diagnose the disease is by a trichrome stain of fresh feces.  The cysts may not be seen on a regular fecal examination.

Treatment of giardia is done by giving the antibiotic metronidazole or Furazolidone.  Kaopectate can be given to help control diarrhea in dogs.

Since the dog parasite is spread by fecal contamination of food, water, and the environment, prompt disposal of waste is very important.

The best way to prevent giardia infection is to make sure your dog has clean drinking water.

Common Causes of Dog Diarrhea

Causes of Dog Diarrhea

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Underfeeding and overfeeding are two common causes of dog diarrhea.  Diarrhea is one of the most common problems in dogs.  Diarrhea is the elimination of watery, runny or soft stools.  The condition usually last for twenty four to thirty six hours and treatment at home is enough, unless the diarrhea persists and your pet gets severely listless.  If the dog has black and tarry stools, bright red blood in the stools, severe abdominal pain, or fever, or if the dog persistently vomits or attempts to vomit, see your Vet immediately.

Antibiotics and other medications can change the number and kind of bacteria that normally live in your dogs intestines.  This can cause canine diarrhea.

Some dogs do not have enough of an enzyme called lactase, which breaks up a large sugar molecule in milk called lactose.  Lactose pulls water into the intestinal tract to soften the stools.

Diarrhea can be caused by diet.  Eating things such as garbage, candy, tin foil, tablescraps, spicy foods, milk and bones.  Sudden pet food changes and excess fat in the diet can be diarrhea causes too.

Worms and other intestinal parasites can irritate the intestine and cause bloody diarrhea in dogs.

Parvovirus, distemper, or coronavirus can be a cause of diarrhea.

How to stop diarrhea?  Diarrhea can be managed by changing the dog’s diet and giving kaopectate to coat the intestinal tract and firm the stools.  An adult dog with diarrhea should not have food for twenty four hours.  Do not take away water.   Diarrhea in puppies may quickly develop into severe fluid losses, or dehydration.

After withholding food for twenty four hours, you can give small, frequent feedings of boiled hamburger or chicken with boiled rice for four or five days.  Be sure the food is room temperature before feeding.  Small and frequent feedings give the intestine enough time to digest the food.

The next few days, mix this diet with an increasing amount of the dog’s regular food.

If the diarrhea persists more than forty eight hours, contact your vet.  Chronic diarrhea can be life threatening.


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