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What’s with my dog’s dramatic weight loss?
Losing weight is a goal for many people in the U.S., and although dropping pounds can be healthy and beneficial for some, drastic weight loss in dogs can mean trouble. If your dog was at a healthy weight and is now starting to lose pounds quickly, you should consider bringing it to the veterinarian's office as weight loss can be caused by various medical conditions.
Some problems can be fixed by simply switching your dog's pet food to a more well balanced option such as Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets or Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food as both offer lean meats and hearty fruits and vegetables. Other issues can be more serious and may require certain pet drugs to stop the issue or help the dog deal with its condition while helping it put on some much needed weight.
To determine what problem is plaguing your dog, you should bring it to the vet for a full physical exam as well as blood profile testing and possible X-rays or an ultrasound. The vet might also request you bring in stool samples so he or she can check for potential parasites that might be stealing your pet's nutrients or causing issues with digestion.
If your pet isn't currently on tick and flea preventative medication such as Frontline Plus, Revolution or Sentinel, then it runs a much higher risk of getting infected with harmful parasites that may lead to Lyme disease or issues like heartworms. However, the dog might also have another problem such as Addison's disease or diabetes that is behind the drastic weight loss. The dog may also be suffering from infections or inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, cancer or even pain caused by hip dysplasia or arthritis that is causing it not to eat.
Once a problem is found, the vet will be able to come up with a plan of action to get the dog back at a healthy weight. If the issue is pain caused by joint or hip discomfort, the vet might suggest starting the dog on joint supplements such as Dasuquin with glucosamine for dogs in order to increase joint health and flexibility. He or she might also prescribe pain medication like Metacam or Previcox. Stick the tablet in Greenies Pill Pockets to ensure the pooch gets the relief it needs.