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Italian greyhound with lack of appetite

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Our question this week was:

My 4 year old Italian Greyhound, Versacci, does not have an appetite for about 3 days now and is drinking a lot of water. He is still very active and did have a bit of a cough. What should I do?

Denise Scordino


Hi Cathy – thanks for your email. Sounds like you have a couple potential problems that are probably unrelated. Versacci (great name by the way!) has not been eating well for 3 days, has been drinking a lot of water and had a bit of a cough.

It is possible that there are three different problems or one problem causing all three symptoms. I'll try to give you a little information on all three possible problems.

First, let's talk about "not eating well". Decreased appetite is a very common symptom and can be associated with just about any disease ranging from diabetes, infections, metabolic diseases and much more. To give you more information about this symptom, read Anorexia in Dogs. It discusses all the many causes for not eating.

The second problem, "drinking a lot of water", can be associated with diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, uterine infections among other problems. This article, Polydipsia and Polyuria in Dogs may be helpful. It discusses all the causes for drinking more and urinating more.

Lastly, the cough. It mentioned your dog had a cough so I'm not sure if you are speaking in past tense. There are many different reasons dogs can cough ranging from mild viral infections (such as kennel cough), to bacterial infections, pneumonia, heart failure or tumors. This article on Coughing in Dogs or Infectious Tracheobronchitis (Kennel Cough) may be helpful for you to understand the possible causes for coughing in dogs.

Take a look and see what you think. If your dog continues not to eat, acts lethargic, is vomiting or you are just worried about him – the safest thing is to take him to your veterinarian for evaluation.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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