Weight loss is a physical
condition that results from a negative caloric balance. This usually occurs when the body uses and/or excretes essential nutrients faster than it can consume the. Essentially more calories are being burned than are being taken in. Weight loss is considered clinically important when it exceeds 10 percent of the normal body weight and is not associated with fluid loss.
During weight loss, the appetite may be normal, increased or decreased
. What to Watch For Weight loss
Loss of body condition
Loss of muscle mass
Poor hair coat
There are many reasons for loss of weight. Some of these include:
Lack of appetite (anorexia)
Disorders related to poor absorption of nutrients
Disorders related to poor digestion
Excessive nutrient loss
Excessive use of calories
Confirmation of weight loss is necessary. A review of the animal's former body weight(s) is essential. Once weight loss has been documented, a thorough history and physical examination, in addition to appropriate diagnostic tests are indicated to determine a cause of the weight loss. Initial diagnostic tests may include:
Complete blood count (CBC)
Chest and abdominal X-ray
Your veterinarian may make several recommendations for the treatment of weight loss prior to instituting a full diagnostic work up. Such treatment is usually administered on an outpatient basis.
Sufficient calories in the form of adequate amounts of an appropriate, high-quality diet
Supplementation with vitamins and minerals for severely malnourished patients
Parenteral (intravenous) nutrition for patients who cannot take food orally
Comfortable and stress-free environment, especially when eating
An appropriate exercise regime
Administer prescribed diets and medications precisely as directed. Periodically, weigh and record your pet's weight. Contact your veterinarian if there is any change in body weight.