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Anorexia (Loss of Appetite) in Dogs

By: Dr. Etienne Cote

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A prolonged inability or unwillingness to eat may be sign of serious illness in your pet.

If your pet refuses to eat, watch for any of the following: NOTE The presence of these in conjunction with anorexia, warrants an immediate consultation with your veterinarian, regardless of how long the loss of appetite has been present.

  • Development of excessive salivation (drooling)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy (lack of desire to exercise or be active) or sluggishness
  • Weight loss
  • Breathing difficulties or labored breathing
  • Signs of infection such as discharge of pus or blood
  • Sudden changes in behavior

    Medical causes of appetite loss usually are more serious than psychological causes because they mean that a disease has progressed to the point that the animal is either unwilling or unable to eat. Therefore, the animal's challenges are twofold: first, to fight the disease itself, and second, to do so without the benefit of nutrients that eating provides.

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