Not eating in dogs is abnormal and may be a sign of disease. With your dog not eating, one has to look at a broad variety of causes. Dr. Sam discusses how this symptom can be worked up diagnostically as well as possible causes.
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Not Eating in Dogs
When a dog does not eat, it is often the first sign of illness. Causes of not eating in dogs include conditions that make the act of eating painful, conditions that are painful after eating, or conditions that make a dog nauseous. In addition, any other painful or debilitating condition may cause a dog to not want to make the effort to eat.
Conditions that make the act of eating painful include periodontal disease, a tooth root abscess, a foreign object in the mouth, temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ), mouth sores or cancer or other oral conditions.
Conditions that are painful after eating include stomach ulcers, foreign body obstruction in the intestine (swallowing a foreign object that becomes obstructed, etc), and gastritis.
Liver or kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, Addison’s disease (a hormone disorder) and toxicities are all conditions that can make a dog nauseous and therefore not want to eat.
Since not eating in dogs is such a non-specific symptom, a thorough veterinarian examination is imperative. From there, blood work and x-rays may be indicated to find out what is causing the dog to not be up to eating.
- Sam Meisler DVM
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