Rapid weight loss in my dog

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When your dog loses weight noticeably you should question the reason. If you cannot find the cause or event that led him/her to lose the weight, make sure you take him/her to your veterinarian who can do the relevant medical checks and monitoring follow-ups.

You might find that your dog has become weak in addition to his/her weight loss. He/she might be feeling sick and perhaps vomiting. This is an unhealthy weight loss.

If your dog is slightly thinner than other dogs of the same breed, only marginally thinner,  it can actually be beneficial to him/her over time as he/she often live longer than an overweight dog. He/she might be exercising a lot, going on walks and getting plenty of fresh, this is excellent to his/her wellbeing. On such days you might want to reward him/her with a little more food to maintain his/her energy levels.

If your dog is overweight we can develop and tailor a Targeted exercise regime to shift the weight in a healthy manner over time. You may need to reduce the quantity of treats you are giving him/her if you use treats. You should not try to suppress his/her food too rapidly as he/she might feel deprived leading to negative behaviours and it can also affect his/her health. Exercise is however always required at the right pace.


Some of the causes for weight loss include the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid issues
  • Addison’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Wrong food choice
  • Allergy
  • Dental issues
  • Mouth lesions
  • Liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Wrong quantity as he/she is a growing adult dog
  • Tapeworms
  • Other parasites
  • Other cause affecting the mental state of your dog

Your veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your dog and look at his/her medical history to assess and identify the most useful diagnostic tests to undertake.

Blood tests, urine tests and radiographs are often recommended as a baseline assessment and check and so you should expect your veterinarian to perform these as a starting point to determine the cause of the weight loss. Once it has been identified, a treatment plan can be in place so that your dog feels better quickly and until he/she regains his/her normal healthy weight.

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