Overview of Canine Weight Loss
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 them. 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
Causes for Dogs to Loose Weight
There are many reasons for loss of weight. Some of these include:
Diagnosis of Weight Loss in Dogs
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:
Treatment of Weight Loss in Dogs
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.
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.
In-depth Information on Weight Loss in Dogs
Weight loss is a physical condition that results from a negative caloric balance, as when metabolic utilization and excretion of essential nutrients exceed the caloric intake. Weight loss is considered clinically important when it exceeds 10 percent of the normal body weight and is not associated with fluid loss.
Weight loss can result from many different mechanisms that share the common feature of insufficient caloric intake or availability to meet metabolic needs. Causes vary markedly from intentional restriction of calories in order to reduce weight in an obese patient, to weight loss associated with life threatening illness.
Historical information is very important, especially regarding type of diet, duration and environment of storage of diet, the patient’s daily activity and, environment, the presence of pregnancy, appetite, signs of gastrointestinal disease (vomiting, diarrhea, regurgitation), or signs of any specific illness.
Causes of Weight Loss in Dogs
There are several disorders or situations that need to be considered when evaluating patients for weight loss. These include: