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.

Dog Parasites

Dog Parasites

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What are parasites?  A parasite is an organism that lives in or on a host and obtains its nourishment from the host.  Intestinal parasites are dog parasites that live in the intestine of dogs and draw blood.  Worms in dogs are a common problem.  Some people think if their dog is found to have parasites in his stool, that he must be suffering from a disease state.

This is not always true.  Most dogs are infested with intestinal parasites at one time or another.  Some are born with them and others acquire them later in life.  They develop a certain a mount of immunity when they recover.  This helps to keep the worms in check.

We should distinguish a disease state from the presence of canine parasites.  Not all dogs with parasites will suffer from symptoms of a disease.

If canine worms are causing disease, there will be some change in the appearance of the stool.  This can be reflected by a decline in the general health of the dog.  Symptoms of parasites are a loss of weight, decreased appetite, upset stomach, anemia, mucus and/or blood in the feces.

Most dogs are capable of developing a resistance to certain dog worms like those having a larvae phase which migrates in their tissues like dog roundworms, hookworms and threadworms.  The effect is on the maturation cycle.  Instead of becoming in the intestine, the larvae remain dormant as cysts in the tissues.  Tapeworms and whipworms have no migratory stage and cause little build up of immunity.

Resistance to canine roundworms appears to be age related.  Dogs over six months of age usually do not have a heavy infestation of worms.  Ten or more worms are considered to be a heavy infestation.  Dogs with worms can suffer from malnutriton.

Cortisone which is an immunosuppressive drug have been shown to activate large numbers of hookworm larvae lying dormant in the dog’s tissue.  Stressful events such as surgery, trauma, severe disease, and emotional upset like shipping can activate dormant larvae.  This leads to the appearance of parasites in dogs stool.

During pregnancy, roundworms and hookworm larvae are activated and migrate to the unborn puppies.  Even when the mother has been wormed, a heavy parasite problem may appear in the puppies.  This happens because none of the deworming agents are affective against larvae encysted in the tissue.

Different types of worms in dogs may require different medications.  If your puppy is diagnosed with more than one type, ask your vet about a medication that will protect against more than one parasite at a time.

If your puppy goes outside for any length of time, more than likely it will pick up worms sometime in its life.

Whipworm Infection In Dogs

Dog whipworm infectionWhipworm

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What are Whipworms?  Whipworm infection in dogs is a common intestinal parasite.  They are two to three inches long and are very thin and threadlike.    They are a dog parasites that fastens itself to the wall of the gut.  They can cause severe irritation to the large intestine.  Dog whipworms get their name from the whip shape of the adult dog worms.  This canine parasite is hard to detect with the naked eye.  Dogs with worms may have anemia and show signs of weakness.

Symptoms of parasite infection are weight loss, watery, bloody diarrhea, streaked with muscus.  A baby whipworm emerge en route to the intestine.  When mature they attach themselves to the lower intestine and begin to reproduce.  Canine parasites can cause malnutrition problems.

The female lays fewer eggs than other canine worms and infestations are usually light.  This makes it difficult to detect the presence of whipworms.  The eggs are introduced by  licking infected ground.  Canine whipworm eggs are very hardy and can remain in the environment for years.

Telmintic and Panacur are effective dog worms treatment.  Two or more wormings are usually required to kill all worms in dogs.

To prevent your dog from getting worms, you must practice good sanitation.  Stools should be removed daily from your yard or kennel.  Cement runs can be bleached to kill bacteria and larvae.  This helps prevent re-infection.

Canine Hookworms

Canine Hookworms By Admin What are hookworms?  Canine hookworms are small thin dog worms about 1/2 to 1/2 inch long.  They are a dog intestinal parasite that fasten themselves to the wall of the intestine by a hook and draw … Continue reading

Dog Tapeworms

Tapeworms in dogsDog Tapeworms

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Dog tapeworms are dog parasites that live in the small intestines in dogs.  The scolex or head of the parasite fastens itself to the wall of the gut by suckers and hooks.  The body has small segments that contain packets of eggs.  Tapeworms in dogs can vary in size from less than an inch up to several feet long.  The head of the parasite must be killed and purged to cure the dog of tapeworm infection.

When sexually mature the segments of the body that contains the eggs are passed in the dogs feces.  If the segments are fresh and moist they are capable of moving.  They are about a quarter of an inch in size.  You may see them sticking to the hair around your dog’s anus or in his feces.  The worms on dogs look like kernels of rice or sesame seeds when they are dry.

There are several different types of dog tapeworms a dog can acquire.  One is due to eating discarded animal parts or uncooked meat.  Eating raw fish is another way.  The disease is transmitted by fleas.  The dog must swallow or bite the fleas which contains the immature tapeworms in it’s intestines.  The flea acquires the canine parasite by eating dog tapeworm eggs.

The tapeworm rarely causes significant ill effects.  You may notice a change in the texture and condition of your dog’s coat.  Symptoms of severe tapeworm infestation can cause, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and a reductin in weight.  Unless the dog has heavy infection, you will not notice tapeworm segments in the feces.

If a child accidentally swallows an infective flea it can acquire a tapeworm.  Echinococcus granulosus is a more serious disease in man that is caused by the canine tapeworm.  This disease is found in sheep, cattle, elk, deer, pigs, horses and other domestic livestock.  The dog acquires the infection by eating uncooked meat or the carcass of an animal that is infected with echinococcus granulosus larvae.

The eggs do not produce worms in humans, but produce large cysts in the lungs, liver, and brain.  The cysts are called hydatids.  This can result in a serious or fatal illness.  Common dog tapeworms can be prevented by controlling fleas and other insects.  Do not feed your dog fish or raw meat.  Keep your dog away from rodents.

In addition to external parasites such as fleas and ticks, dogs can be plagued by intestinal parasites.  Dog worms can cause severe health issues in dogs.  You should ask your vet to check your dogs stool twice a year for tapeworms and other canine worms too.

Treatment of tapeworms in dogs include giving Telmintic dog worm medicine 3-5 days in a row.