Listlessness in pets, or lethargy, occurs in both dogs and cats when they lack of energy or they are unwilling to exert effort. Lethargy or listlessness in dogs is a common symptom of a vast array of illnesses. Cats are known for sleeping all day long and spend around 15 to 16 hours per day snoozing. However, when your pet seems more lethargic than normal, it could be an indication that your cat or dog has some sort of illness and should visit a veterinarian for further diagnosis.
How to Recognize
Listlessness means your pet is not as active as usual and has a lack of energy. Symptoms of listlessness can include difficulty breathing, bloody diarrhea or vomiting blood, difficulty or inability to urinate, abdominal swelling, convulsions, uncontrolled bleeding or a thick mucus drainage from the rectum (symptomatic of a bowel obstruction). Fever and dehydration should be taken seriously as well, as they may indicate an infection.
Several diseases can be the cause of listlessness. Other causes include trauma, parasites, a tumor, a reaction to a medication, toxicity, depression, and pregnancy. Endocrine, metabolic, and hereditary disorders may be the cause of listlessness.
Treatment varies greatly depending on the underlying condition.