Weight Loss in Dogs

The causes and treatments of a dog’s weight loss.


Parasites/Parasite-borne diseases: Hookworms (especially puppies), roundworms (in puppies), whipworms (heavy infestations), coccidiosis (in puppies), heartworm disease, giardiasis (in puppies), sarcoptic mange, chronic ehrlichiosis, visceral leishmaniasis (protozoal), or salmon poisoning disease (a bacterial disease contracted by eating salmon, trout or Pacific giant salamanders parasitized by flukes that carry the infective organism).

Nutritional/Metabolic disorders: Not enough food, protein deficiency, improper protein-to-calorie ratio, or malabsorption syndrome.

Tumors: Many types, including pituitary, pancreas, stomach, colon, rectum, lungs, kidneys, or malignant lymphoma.

Foreign bodies: In esophagus or intestines.

Miscellaneous: Gastritis, gastrointestinal ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic active hepatitis, paraneoplastic syndrome, craniomandibular osteopathy, or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Endocrine disorders: Diabetes mellitus or hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease).

Congenital/Inherited disorders: Chronic hepatitis (in Bedlington Terriers, Doberman Pinschers) or idiopathic hepatic fibrosis.

Acquired/Non-infectious diseases: Gastrointestinal obstruction or polymyositis (generalized inflammation of the muscles).

Infectious diseases: Fungal infections (histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, aspergillosis) or infective endocarditis.

Drug reactions: Etodolac or deracoxib (both medications for pain of osteoarthritis).

Allergies/Hypersensitivities: Allergic gastritis or allergic pneumonitis.

Trauma: Chronic diaphragmatic hernia.

What to do: Weight loss is not an emergency, but your dog still needs veterinary care. Call your veterinarian during regular office hours to make an appointment for diagnosis and treatment.

Disclaimer: DogChannel.com’s Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Dogs · Health and Care