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Sudden weight loss in pets is a severe indication. This calls for attention, as losing weight without reason is a dangerous indicator.

Controlled and planned weight loss with a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist is especially beneficial for overweight pets. Specific forms of weight loss in animals can be problematic.

If your cat or dog plans to lose weight because of obesity, vets generally recommend losing one to two percent of their body weight per week.

But unexpected or sudden weight loss could be a symptom of something serious. Here are the most common reasons for unwanted weight loss in pets:

Seven factors that cause sudden weight loss in pets

1- Internal parasites (worms)

Cases of weight loss due to parasites are not as common as they used to be because many pets take monthly medication to protect against worms. However, not all products are effective against all worms.

White worms, in particular, are not killed by many human medications. It is more common in dogs than cats due to eating spoiled food or contaminated water.

Its symptoms include weight loss and symptoms of the intestinal parasite in pets also include: vomiting (intermittent or continuous), soft stools, diarrhea, and decreased appetite.

So using a deworming medication is one of the first things veterinarians can do to help a dog experiencing sudden weight loss.

2- Cancer

Bowel cancer (lymphoma) is one cause of weight loss in both dogs and cats. While it is more common in older dogs than cats, it is a severe diagnosis. 

The tumor may appear in the stomach, intestines, or rectum, and other symptoms include vomiting, poor appetite, and abdominal pain.

In addition, any cancerous process can cause weight loss, including cancer of the digestive system, liver, gallbladder, and kidneys. Read:

3- Kidney disease

Unlike other conditions for which weight loss is a symptom, pets with kidney disease will not start losing weight immediately.

If they were diagnosed only after losing weight, they likely had the disease for a long time.

The same goes for hyperthyroidism, a disease whose symptoms are weight loss in cats, not dogs.

The difference is: Pets with kidney disease will drink and urinate a lot, while cats with hyperthyroidism overeat and drink too much (polyuria).

Hanging food may cause sudden weight loss for your dog or cat.

4- Advanced heart disease

Like kidney disease, pets with heart disease won’t start losing weight right away. Some dogs may gain weight despite losing their appetite due to bloating.

Overall, anorexia is the easiest way to tell if your pet’s weight loss is related to illness or not.

If you notice a small amount of unexpected weight loss, try adding calories to your pet’s diet. If they eat more and gain weight, they are probably OK.

In addition, be sure to separate your pet’s food from other pets’ food in the home. The experiment must be controlled, which also means being careful with leftovers from the table or eating a lot of food.

5- Dental disease

Oral pain may lead to weight loss in pets because dogs and cats will have difficulty chewing when they suffer from an abscess or other problem in the gums.

Therefore, the problem of sudden weight loss must be treated by cleaning the teeth of dogs or cats periodically in the veterinary clinic.

So brush your dog or cat’s teeth today and closely monitor your pet’s appetite to ensure it’s back to normal.

6- change food

Not all cases of weight loss that a particular disease cannot explain are explained. One of the most common explanations for weight loss is to change your pet’s food. 

Many people resort to asking about an appetizer for cats, and when we ask the cat’s owner why? It turns out that the cat’s food has changed, and the cat is not eating well.

Upon examination, it was found that the new food had fewer calories by 20 percent, so the cat eats the same amount but loses weight due to the lack of calories.

If you plan to change your pet’s food, check the package ingredients label and choose based on calories.

7- Stress

Although this is not as common as medical causes, stress can cause changes in a pet’s appetite and should not be ignored.

Is your pet feeling anxious? Has something changed recently in your home? You had a new baby or brought a new animal home.

These reasons may lead to sudden weight loss in pets without their knowledge.

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