Weight loss in dogs is considered normal as long as it responds to justified reasons such as exercise or a planned dietary change. However, when the descent is drastic and apparently spontaneous, it can be a symptom of a major pathology.
As a general rule, weight loss in dogs is considered to be clinically significant when it exceeds 10% of normal body weight. To know the latter, there are guidance tables depending on race and age. However, it is worth noting the possibility of small variations in the ideal weight of the animal according to the genetic factor.
Likewise, it must be taken into account that common factors such as seasonality or stress can cause small fluctuations in the physical state of pets. However, these variations are usually temporary and do not pose a risk, a priori, to health.
How to assess weight loss in dogs
Although in case of a severe decrease in body mass you should go to the veterinarian, the owners can do a preliminary check of the state of the thinness of your pet:
- When passing the hands along the body, the ribs can be palpated due to the lack of an intermediate layer of fat.
- Watching the dog from above or from the side, a marked waistline is visible.
- After weighing it, the notable loss of kilos in the animal with respect to previous measurements is verified.
Some of the questions that animal health specialists often ask owners allude to appetite, difficulty swallowing, or the appearance of feces. Sterilization or the frequency with which the heartworm preventive treatment is administered are also aspects to be assessed.
Generally, these issues are complemented by a complete physical exam. Blood, urine, feces, and even radiographs are usually present in it.
Weight loss in dogs may be associated with multiple chronic diseases, even if only at some stage of these. Among the most common pathologies are:
- Gastrointestinal disorders. In these cases, weight loss is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and lethargy. These symptoms cause a lack of appetite with the consequent loss of body mass.
- Renal failure was chronic. In her, the kidneys are affected as far as his excretory or metabolic mission, which causes weakness in the animal.
- Megaesophagus or esophageal dilation. Dogs with such a condition, usually large, have a swollen and enlarged esophagus unable to transport food effectively.
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (PID). When the pancreas does not produce the necessary digestive enzymes, either quantitatively or qualitatively, dogs do not obtain the necessary nutrients. Therefore, despite the thinness produced, the animals that suffer from it feel a voracious appetite. The same goes for liver disorders.
- Diabetes. This pathology is quite common among dogs, especially in those of advanced age. Excessive thinness is usually associated; It is even one of the symptoms that help the diagnosis of diabetic dogs.
The list of chronic diseases linked to weight loss in dogs is large because most pathologies influence appetite and activity level of the animal. Before a case of appreciable thinness, apparently unjustified, it is advisable to be a forecaster and go to the specialist as soon as possible.