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When a pet loses a dramatic amount of weight for no apparent reason, you need to go to your vet as it can be a sign of disease. There may be an underlying condition that needs treatment.
In today’s world in which more than 50 percent of dogs and cats are considered overweight or obese, weight loss is often a desirable outcome for our sedentary, overfed pets. But when pets lose weight despite little effort on their owners’ parts to effect this change, it’s often an unwelcome symptom of disease. This is especially true in cases where weight loss is rapid or pronounced (more than 10 percent of body weight).
Pets can occasionally lose weight for a variety of relatively benign reasons:
Persistent, rapid, or dramatic weight loss (greater than 10 percent of a pet’s body weight), however, can be the sign of a serious condition, such as:
If you notice weight loss in your pet, ask yourself a few simple questions:
If changes in diet or activity level don’t seem sufficient explanation for the degree of weight loss (particularly if the pet’s weight loss is greater than 10 percent of her body weight), a veterinary visit is absolutely in order.
There are several steps a veterinarian may undertake to discern the origin of the weight loss.
Definitive treatment depends on the underlying cause of the weight loss.
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
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