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Weight Loss In Older Dogs: When To Worry

Weight Loss In Older Dogs: When To Worry

When dogs begin to age many things will change. One of the most common areas that you notice a difference will be their weight and while you may be worried about weight gain there is also the concern of weight loss in senior dogs. Our Suffolk County vets discuss weight loss in older dogs and when you might worry.

When Your Older Dog is Losing Weight

While it is more common for dogs to gain weight as they age, there are certain circumstances that may result in your dog actually losing weight. This may cause you to be concerned about your beloved companion and wonder what the cause of this weight loss may be. There are two categories that this answer can take either there is an underlying condition and it is a symptom of a more significant issue or your dog’s aging process requires a different balance in their diet.

When is Weight Loss in Older Dogs a Concern?

When weight loss occurs in older dogs there is a good chance that ut is caused by an underlying health condition. These issues are liver/gallbladder disease, dehydration, dental issues, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis. Each one of these issues needs to be diagnosed and addressed by your vet. Most of these root causes will present with other symptoms that accompany weight loss.

The best thing you can do for your senior dog if they are losing excess weight is to make note of all their symptoms and bring them into their vet in Suffolk County in order to have them examined. Here are some of the issues that may affect your pet causing weight loss as well as the common symptoms for each of these conditions:

Liver/gallbladder disease

      • Lethargy
      • Increased thirst
      • Vomiting/diarrhea
      • Fever
      • Pain 
      • Pale or yellow gums
      • Yellowing of skin/eyes

Dehydration

      • Dry gums 
      • Lethargy 
      • Sunken eyes
      • Loss of skin elasticity
      • Less urination
      • Dark urine

Dental Issues

      • Excessive drooling
      • Difficulty eating/chewing
      • Bad breath
      • Swollen or bleeding gums

Kidney disease

      • Increased thirst
      • Excessive urination (may contain blood)
      • Vomiting
      • Loss of appetite
      • Pale gums
      • Lethargy

Heart disease

      • A chronic cough
      • Tires easily
      • Exercise intolerance
      • Excessive panting
      • Irregular heartbeat
      • Restlessness

Diabetes

      • Excessive thirst
      • Excessive urination
      • Increased appetite
      • Lethargy
      • Repeated urinary tract infections

Cancer

      • Lethargy
      • Unusual bleeding
      • Lumps, bumps, or swelling
      • Distended abdomen
      • Limping or lameness
      • Unusual urination – frequency or amount

Arthritis

      • Wobbling
      • Lameness
      • Scuffing the toes
      • Incontinence

What Happens When There is No Diagnosis

If your vet can’t find any underlying cause for the weight loss it might be time to change your dog's diet. Consult with your veterinarian about their current diet and the amount of protein, fat, and fiber they are getting.

If your senior dog is losing a significant amount of weight rapidly go to your veterinarian as soon as possible. If you are concerned about your dog's weight in general, bring it up with your veterinarian during your senior dog's routine exam.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your senior dog is noticeably losing weight, contact our Suffolk County vets right away to schedule an appointment for your dog. 

New Patients Welcome

Deer Park Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Suffolk County companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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