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Weight Loss in Dogs

By: Dr. Bari Spielman

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Maldigestive Disorders (inadequate break down/processing of food)

  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition where the pancreas does not produce sufficient enzymes to break down food.

  • A lack of bile salts due to liver or gall bladder disease affects digestion and absorption.

    Metabolic Disorders

  • Various forms of organ failure (e.g. heart, liver, kidney)

  • Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison's disease) from an insufficient production of adrenal hormones.

  • Diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes, which decreases the ability of the body to use sugar or glucose in the diet

  • Hyperthyroidism, where increased metabolism occurs secondary to increased out put of thyroid hormone

    Excessive Nutrient Loss

  • Protein losing enteropathy (PLE), a group of diseases characterized by excessive loss of proteins into the gastrointestinal tract

  • Protein losing nephropathies, which involve protein loss through the kidneys

  • Chronic hemorrhaging from the skin or intestinal tract, which results in loss of proteins

  • Extensive skin lesions or burns that ooze serum and increase the loss of protein from the body

    Neuromuscular Diseases

  • Primarily disorders of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that render the animal unable to eat or cause them to loose their appetite

  • Paralysis of the esophagus

  • Neurologic disorders that affect the ability to pick up food or swallow food

    Excessive Use of Calories

  • Increased physical activity
  • Prolonged exposure to a cold environment
  • Pregnancy or lactation (nursing)
  • Fever or inflammation
  • Cancer

    Chronic Infections

  • Bacterial infections
  • Viral infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Mixed infections

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