My Chihuahua cross recently lost his appetite. He is 2 yearsold and used to eat everything as fast aspossible. Lately he hasn’t been eating his food with the same enthusiasm. Should I be worried?
I see many dogs with appetite loss. It’s good to remember that dogs, cats, and other pets are creatures of habit. If they don’t eat, drink, or defecate every day at about the same time thensomething may be wrongand the pet should be examined. If you concentrate on the location and duration of the big “5 patterns” – eating, drinking, pooping, peeing, and sleeping – you can begin to determine if your pet needs an examination and possible further diagnostic tests.
There are a few things to consider when pets lose their appetite. Really old petsmay not want to eat every single day, but 99.9% of the time they will eat every single day. If your dog or cat does not eat today then something is up. There are manycommon conditions that lower your pet’s appetite, including problems with the stomach, intestines, kidneys, liver, and pancreas. Intestinal viruses like the Rota and Coronavirus, eating a rancid piece of meat, or having a parasite infection can all upset the stomach and intestines. Swallowing a piece of a toy, blanket, article of clothing, or just about anything can create a blockage or partial blockage that can definitely cause inappetence.
Many people strugglewith whether or notthey should bring their pet to the veterinarian for an examination. Continuous vomiting,blood in the stool, appetite loss greater than one day, andweight loss all definitely constitute a trip to the hospital. Your veterinarian can run blood testsandultrasounds or perform x-rays to determine the exact cause of the illness. Treatment varies from some simple anti-nausea medications to medicines that specifically target the organ system(s) involved. If your pet is dehydrated your doctor may want to give fluids intravenously. Rarely surgery is needed. In any case, if in doubt, bring your pet in for an examination. It may save his life.