Common Causes of “ADR” in Dogs

Common Causes of “ADR” in Dogs

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Understanding “Ain’t Doing Right” in Dogs

Many dogs present for nonspecific symptoms that is commonly referred to as “ADR” by veterinarians and veterinary staff.

ADR stands for “Ain’t Doing Right”. This is a common term used for nonspecific signs of illness. This term can refer to the following:

  • Eating less
  • Eating less eagerly
  • Hiding
  • Less social
  • Less eager for treats
  • Less exercise tolerance
  • Playing less
  • Sleeping more
  • Not drinking
  • Lethargic
  • Not interacting with other dogs

This term is used to refer to owners that just know something is a bit off. Most signs are subtle with no obvious symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or limping. Those symptoms are much more clear-cut.

ADR is a very common presentation to vet clinics by owners in tuned to subtle changes in their dogs.

Common Causes of “ADR” in Dogs

They include the following:

  1. Digestive Upset. Some dogs will eat things outside, lick trash, lick or eat dead animals, drink dirty still water in the yard, and just don’t feel good. The symptoms aren’t severe so severe they have started vomiting or diarrhea but make a dog not feel good. Maybe the dog isn’t as eager to eat treats or finish their food. It may these subtle symptoms may lead to vomiting and diarrhea the next day.
  2. Dental Disease. One of the most common diseases in dogs is often under diagnosis and under recognized. This can include periodontal disease, tooth root exposure, and other oral infections. This can often be diagnosis during your vet’s physical examination of your dog.
  3. Generalized Arthritis. Some dogs with arthritis will just not feel good and overall and be less active. Some dogs will be lame and others will just want to sleep more and not feel good. Diagnostic tests that your vet will recommend will likely include x-rays (radiographs).
  4. Cancer. Cancer is common in dogs and can cause a variety of very vague symptoms including lethargy, decreased appetite and weight loss. Cancer can involve internal tumors as well as changes to the blood that can result in anemia. Diagnostic tests that your vet will recommend will likely include blood work such as a complete blood count and profile as well as x-rays (radiographs).
  5. Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is the clinical state associated with a deficiency of thyroxine (thyroid hormone), which causes slow cell metabolism in most body tissues.

Other causes of ADR can include diabetes mellitus, heart disease, pancreatitis, canine dementia, and kidney disease. If your dog is showing vague symptoms – please see your vet to help identify the underlying cause.

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