Definition of anorexia in dogs:
Dogs sometimes develop anorexia just like humans, and a dog is described as anorexic if the amount of food he eats decreases, or if he refrains from eating altogether, and there are two types of anorexia in dogs; real anorexia, and false anorexia.
Real anorexia in dogs :
True anorexia in dogs can be defined as abstinence from eating due to the actual decrease in appetite, the unwillingness of the dog to eat.
False anorexia in dogs :
False anorexia in dogs can be distinguished from true anorexia because in this case, the dog shows a desire to eat, but he is unable to do so for several reasons, including difficulty picking up food, chewing, or swallowing.
Symptoms of anorexia in dogs :
It can be known that a dog has anorexia when some of the following symptoms appear on it:
- The amount of food that the dog usually eats decreases.
- The dog refused to eat food or sweets.
- The dog’s lack of interest in food.
- The dog is unable to eat when it tries to.
- Low weight. Vomiting. Weakness and lethargy.
Causes of anorexia in dogs :
Anorexia in dogs can occur for several reasons; some are related to health problems that may affect the dog and require treatment, and some are caused by temporary causes that can be easily remedied.
Health problems :
In some cases, dogs suffer from loss of appetite as a result of having some health problems such as:
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including esophagitis, complete or partial obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Having liver diseases including chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
- Having pancreatic diseases such as; inflammation of the pancreas or surrounding tissues, pancreatic cancer.
- Uremia or uremia leads to the accumulation of waste products in the blood.
- Having blood disorders such as; anemia, leukemia, and erythrocytosis.
- Infection with rhinitis and the inability of the dog to smell and recognize food.
- Having eye diseases such as; glaucoma or glaucoma, conjunctivitis of the eye, and uveitis.
- Having oral and dental diseases including gingivitis, swelling of the mouth, and broken or dislocated teeth.
- Infection with disorders of the immune system.
Vaccination of dogs :
Some dogs, when receiving the vaccine, develop some side effects of the vaccine, including temporary loss of appetite.
Taking medications that affect appetite :
Taking some types of drugs for dogs can lead to loss of appetite, and among these drugs are the following:
- Antibiotics that may cause stomach pain.
- Medicines that cause nausea.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Being in an unfamiliar place :
Some dogs get nervous when they are in an unfamiliar place, which causes loss of appetite, and some dogs may get motion sickness when traveling, which affects their appetite.
Problems with dog behavior :
Sometimes anorexia in dogs is caused by a behavioral problem, such as the dog being selective in its food and picky, or because it does not feel comfortable at mealtime because there is an aggressive dog near it, for example, or because the bowl intended for placing food in it is high.
Diagnosis of anorexia in dogs :
Identifying the underlying problem that leads to anorexia in dogs requires some tests, the most important of which are the following:
It includes examination using a stethoscope, temperature and weight measurement, examination of the gums, and palpation of the abdomen.
Laboratory tests include the following:
- Examination of a complete blood count.
- Blood serum chemistry examination.
- Check the ratio of salts and electrolytes in the blood.
Treatment of anorexia in dogs :
Treatment of anorexia in dogs depends on the main cause of the condition, and it is as follows:
- The use of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections.
- Perform surgery to remove objects that block the gut.
- Treat the dog’s teeth to get rid of the pain.
- Give the dog appetizing medicines.
- Help a dog exhausted from lack of food to restore its normal condition by providing it with fluids, including intravenous fluids, or subcutaneous fluids.
Home care for anorexia in dogs :
Dogs suffering from anorexia need home care, and this is as follows:
- Prevent the dog from becoming dehydrated by giving him oral rehydration supplements, after consulting a veterinarian.
- Improve the quality of Nutrition provided to the dog using certain techniques such as:
- Warm the food so that the dog can easily smell it.
- Even heating food, checking it before offering it to the dog to make sure that it is not too hot to the point of burning the mouth or digestive tract.
- Serve food by hand or with oral injections.
- Gradually give the dog the therapeutic meals prescribed by the doctor, by providing them in small quantities along with the usual meals for the dog and gradually increasing them over several days; to avoid cutting off the appetite completely.
- Provide balanced milk substitutes for anorexic puppies and avoid giving them cow’s milk, soft drinks, and sports drinks.
- Change the eating environment and it should be as follows:
- Avoid serving food to the dog in plastic containers that have a strong odor.
- Change the place of serving food to the dog, preferably choosing a place where the dog does not feel distracted.
- Change the date of feeding the dog.
- Train the dog to exercise, take walks and play with him to improve his appetite.