What could cause rapid weight loss in dogs?

Updated April 17, 2017

Weight loss in dogs is normal as they age, however, rapid weight loss is a sign your dog is in need of some medical attention. What could cause rapid weight loss in dogs?


Rapid weight loss in dogs could have a number of causes. First, you will have to observe the dog closely if you want to help. You will need to start looking for signs of intestinal parasites called worms. Your dog can pick up worms from eating something it is not suppose to--another animal's stool, for example. Watch for vomiting. Observe the dog's stool for worms or pieces of a tapeworm. Watch for diarrhoea. If you find these signs, then a trip to the pet medication section at your local store may help or you can consult with your regular veterinarian for the best course of action. If don't observe signs of worms in your dog, there may be something wrong with your dog's digestive system.


If you do not see any sign that your dog has worms or tapeworm, then you need to identify his daily behaviour in order to inform your veterinarian. Mainly, watch your dog's appetite. Take notice of excessive flatulence, a rumbly tummy, constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting, bad breath and tumours. These are symptoms of digestive system issues that would help your veterinarian determine where to start in helping solve your dog's rapid weight loss.


The effects of a digestive system problem can cause rapid weight loss. A simple digestive system problem can easily turn into a major issue if you do not take action. Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas starts to decrease the number of digestive enzymes to digest the food. Your dog may lose his appetite. Your dog may start suffering from sugar diabetes.


Providing your dog with plenty of fresh water and high-quality dog food will prevent future digestive problems. Make sure your dog has the regular visits to the vet for routine check ups. And always be sure your dog has a clean environment.


The benefits of solving your dog's rapid weight loss could mean a longer life for your pet and more memorable moments for you, your dog and your family.

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About the Author

Hannah Scott has been a freelance writer for more than 12 years. Scott's first published article appeared in "The Mountain Press" in 1999. She has also written for the "Tennessee Star Journal" and several websites, including RAE Magazine.