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Sluggishness is a symptom of a vast array of health issues in pets and is characterized by lethargic and listless behavior. There are many things that can make dogs and cats sluggish including overexertion, intestinal parasites (worms), parvovirus, feline leukemia virus, heartworm disease and kennel cough. Other issues that may cause sluggishness in cats and dogs include heart disease, distemper, leptospirosis, hypoglycemia, diabetes and liver disease. See also Lethargy.

How to Recognize

Sluggishness is similar to lethargy and listlessness. Your pet may show a disinterest in activities, a decrease in activity level, and tiredness. If you often exercise with your pet, you may notice him/her moving more slowly than usual.

Causes of Sluggishness

Sluggishness may be due to overexertion or infections such as intestinal parasites (worms), parvovirus, feline leukemia virus, Heartworms, and Kennel Cough. Other causes include heart disease, distemper, leptospirosis, hypoglycemia, and liver disease.


Sluggishness is a common sign of many illnesses/injuries. It is important to seek veterinary care if your pet appears sluggish.

Treatment for Sluggishness

Medication can also cause sluggishness in animals, so be wary of any medications prescribed to your pet if they are already feeling sluggish.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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