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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Weight Loss Treatment for Dogs and Cats

Treating sudden weight loss in pets

The appropriate treatment for your pet's rapid weight loss will depend on what is causing his or her weight loss. Once the cause of the weight loss has been determined, the proper care can be implemented. Following are several treatment options for your pet's unusual or sudden weight loss:

Weight loss due to dentition
If your pet's weight loss problem is due to dentition, your pet may need anesthesia and veterinary dental care. Brushing is the best way to improve dental health and prevent tooth and gum problems in the future. Brush with a small, soft toothbrush such as the Petrodex Finger Toothbrush and use C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste. This toothpaste is poultry or beef-flavored and pets love it. Two minutes a day is all it takes. You may also want to consider using the C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit For Dogs and Cats.

Weight loss due to dysgeusia
If your pet has dysgeusia (poor sense of taste), warm his or her food slightly. Warm food has a stronger odor. Keep your pet's nose clean because a stuffed-up nose can't smell food. If your pet has allergies that are causing the stuffed-up nose, try to figure out what is causing the problem. It could be chemically treated deck boards, a new dog house, a pillow with goose feathers or cedar chips, corn in the food, perfume, etc. Remove the offending allergen. Control allergic symptoms, and use Yucca Intensive daily. Yucca is an herb that decreases inflammation and helps maintain a normal immune system that does not overreact to allergens.

Recommended products to help with sudden weight loss in dogs and cats
 

Weight loss due to diarrhea
Use Fast Balance G.I. to restore your pet's intestinal cells to normal. Change your pet's diet because food allergies can cause diarrhea. Switching to healthy pet food often improves the situation.
To boost the healthy, good bacteria that should be in your pet's intestines, feed NaturVet Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotic. The probiotics are the good bacteria that influence vitamin absorption.

 

Weight loss due to disease
If your pet is losing weight because of a disease, work with your veterinarian to determine a diagnosis and treatment. If the disease causes joint pain so that your pet doesn't want to walk to the pet bowl, use PetMeds Super Joint Enhancer which contains MSM. MSM works like aspirin but will not harm the stomach and cause ulcers. For cats with arthritis and difficulty walking to the food bowl, use Super Joint Enhancer Bite-Sized Chews.

 

Weight loss due to depression
Upset, anxious or mourning pets benefit from anti-anxiety medications. Use of a collar that releases calming pheromones, such as Adaptil Collar for Dogs or Sentry Calming Collar for Cats can help. Although humans cannot detect these pheromones, they are calming to pets. Anxious or mourning dogs can also be calmed with  Quiet Moments.

 

Weight loss due to dementia
Pets who are no longer able to think clearly don't eat as they should. To help your pet maintain normal brain function, supplement with Omega 3 fatty acids.

 

Weight loss due to dysfunction
When the stomach, pancreas and intestines don't function well, your pet can't digest and absorb food. Older pets often are unable to make the enzymes needed to absorb vitamins in their food, such as Vitamin B12. These pets need Vitamin B12 injections. When the stomach and pancreas don't make enzymes needed to break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, pets can't absorb these either. Use NaturVet Digestive Enzymes Plus Probiotic to help.

Weight loss due to medications
Many drugs—from antibiotics to chemotherapy medications—cause nausea so that pets are not interested in eating. If your pet is taking any of these medications, ask if you can feed your pet an hour before giving the drug. If not, rather than regular kibble, offer warmed, easily digested broth.

Weight loss due to worms
Often, intestinal worms are the reason for "unknown" weight loss in many pets. Use monthly Heartgard Plus (dogs only) or Revolution to help control worms. If your pet doesn't need heartworm or flea medications, deworm every three months. Panacur C removes whipworms, hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms in dogs, and Drontal (Rx) removes roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms in cats. Controlling worms in your pet will mean there is less of a chance your pet will have a sudden or rapid weight loss.

 
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