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While a controlled, and well-thought-out weight loss plan conducted in conjunction with your vet, for an overweight pet is healthy, there are some types of weight loss in pets that can be quite dangerous. Weight loss that you’re not trying to purposefully achieve should always be investigated and looked into. Losing weight in an unplanned and rapid manner should be cause for some concern. Here are some reasons why your pet might be losing weight.
- ParasitesWeight loss due to parasites is not as common as it used to be because pets nowadays are on heart-worm protection drugs which they receive on a monthly basis. But there’s a catch. Not all preventative drugs are equally effective to all the different kinds of parasites and worms that are in the environment.If your pet ingests contaminated water or food, he may be at risk of developing Whipworm. Weight loss is only one of the minor symptoms of having a parasite in your intestinal tract. Others symptoms include vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, and soft stool.
- CancerMost people start freaking out every time this word comes up. Rest assured, this is only one of the possibilities and it’s not very likely that your dog has cancer in this situation. Intestinal cancer is cancer known to cause unwanted weight loss in all kinds of animals. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
- Kidney DiseasePets who have kidney disease won’t start losing weight right away. If they’re getting diagnosed with kidney disease only after you’ve discovered the rapid weight loss, chances are, your pet has been suffering from kidney disease for a while. Weight loss can also be caused by hyperthyroidism in cats.
- Advanced Heart DiseasePets who have this disease won’t start losing weight right away. Despite poor appetite, some dogs are known to gain weight because of bloating.The best way to recognize whether your pet’s weight loss is due to a serious condition or not is to monitor his calorie intake. If your pet lost a few pounds recently, increase his calorie intake. If he eats as he usually does and gains back what he lost, chances are that he’s just fine.
- Dental DiseaseOral pain can cause your pet to start eating less or stop eating all of a sudden because of the pain it causes when they chew. Dental treatments should fix the diet problem too. Monitor him closely after the treatment to make sure they’re on the right track to recovery.
- StressAlthough it’s not as common as the other medical conditions causing weight loss, stress is a factor that should not be overlooked. Changes in the household like a new family member or the addition of a new pet can cause stress and lead to weight loss.