An eating disorder that makes pets lose weight more than is considered healthy. Anorexia in cast and dogs in different than Anorexia Nervosa, as it is not a psychological illness but more commonly a result of a medical condition. In case of refusion by the pet to eat or drink, it is advised to consult a veterinarian immediately to identify the cause. As with humans, not eating and drinking will be fatal for a pet.
How to Recognize
Anorexia is one of the most common worrisome concerns among pet owners. It is natural for your dog or cat to turn up his or her nose at an occasional meal, but a persistent refusal to eat is a warning sign that your furry friend is sick. Anorexia pets need to be evaluated by a veterinarian so that the underlying cause can be identified and an effective treatment can be implemented. Anorexia in dogs and anorexia in cats presents with the pet demonstrating a lack of appetite. Your pet shows little to no interest in food, and coaxing and cajoling him with his favorite treats do not tempt him to eat. If your pet decides to skip one meal, but proceeds to eat his other meals that day without issue, then the isolated incident is no cause for alarm. Anorexia pets are those who opt out of dining for a full day or more. If the lacking appetite extends into a second day, then it is time to schedule a veterinary appointment.
Anorexia can be a symptom of a number of health conditions, and some of them are serious. Some less serious physical causes that are easily diagnosed and treated include dental disease and intestinal parasites. A painful mouth due to periodontal disease can prevent a pet from chewing, and the abdominal discomfort that parasites can inflict is enough to throw some pets off of their feed. The following psychological factors can also attribute to anorexia in dogs and cats: Stress, Changes in environment or routine, Grieving the loss of another pet of favorite family member, and Dietary changes.
Because the list of potential causes of anorexia in cats and dogs is so extensive, your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination and pose questions to determine any additional symptoms that may be present. Weighing your pet to confirm weight loss as a result of the anorexia will also be important. He will perform a fecal analysis to rule out intestinal parasites, blood panels to rule out various diseases and an abdominal radiograph or ultrasound to rule out any masses or foreign body obstructions.
Your dog or cat may show interest in his mealtime until the food is placed in front of him, at which point he may take one sniff and walk away. If you have a finicky eater, it can be easy to confuse the picky behavior with anorexia in cats and dogs. Whether your pet likes to keep you on your toes by going on strike at the food bowl in hopes of something different or he holds off eating his own food throughout the duration of your dinner, holding out hope for something off of your plate, this can be concerning to owners. This is not anorexia, and once these pets realize that nothing better is coming along, they usually acquiesce and nibble their own kibble.
A lengthy list of diseases includes anorexia in dogs and cats as one of the first notable signs of illness. The following are a scant few of these potential conditions: Kidney disease, Liver disease, Pancreatitis, Inflammatory bowel disease, Gastrointestinal obstruction from a mass or ingested foreign body, Drug toxicity, Heart Failure, and Cancer. In most of these major health conditions, additional symptoms accompany that of anorexia. Anorexia in cats must be addressed as soon as possible. Do not allow your cat to go without food for more than two days. When a cat does not eat for an extended time frame, a fatty liver condition called hepatic lipidosis leads his health on a downward spiral. The cat feels sick and will not eat, and the fatty liver condition is further exacerbated by failure to eat, becoming life threatening very quickly without hospitalization and aggressive treatment.
Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, anorexia pets are treated for the underlying condition as well as for the lack of appetite. Your veterinarian may recommend feeding an alternative diet or adding warmed broth to the current diet to make food more appealing to your pet. He may prescribe appetite stimulants to kick start your pet's appetite. In cases when the pet is seriously sick and has demonstrable weight loss, admission into the animal hospital for supportive care, intravenous fluid therapy or feeding tube placement may be necessary to pull him over the hurdle and toward the road to recovery.