What Is Anorexia In Pets And What You Need To Do About It

Anorexia (Loss of Appetite) is a term used to describe a condition when a pet loses their appetite and does not want to eat or is unable to eat. There are 2 types of anorexia:

True Anorexia: True anorexia represents a pet that doesn’t want to eat and refuses to eat.

Pseudo-anorexia: Pseudo-anorexia represents a pet who wants to eat, but is unable to eat.

Causes of Anorexia in Pets

Causes of pseudo-anorexia include:

  • Pain
  • Oral Tumors
  • Cancer
  • Impaired nerves regulating swallowing or chewing
  • Disease of the salivary glands
  • Lower jaw pain
  • Periodontal disease
  • Eye abscess
  • Feline leukemia Virus/ Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Tick borne diseases, such as canine anaplasma, canine ehrlichia, and heartworm.
  • Gingivitis
  • Stomatitis

Causes of true anorexia include:

  • Intestinal ulcer
  • Gastrointestinal blockage
  • Cancer
  • Side effect of medications
  • High environmental temperatures
  • Nausea
  • Immune disease or imbalance
  • Change of environment
  • Change in food
  • Systemic disease
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Pain
  • Poison exposure
  • Stress
  • Loss of the ability to smell

Signs And Symptoms Of Anorexia In Pets

Evidently, your pet doesn’t eat at all or just picking up on their food is the most noticeable symptom that he’s lost his appetite. However, there are a number of other signs that your pet can show, depending on the cause, such as lethargy, vomiting, feeling sluggish and weight loss.

Diagnosing Anorexia In Pets

Your veterinarian will ask you about your pet’s recent medical history and whether you have found any other symptoms, such as weight loss or vomiting.Your veterinarian is likely to give your pet a thorough examination and check their teeth to make sure that this is not the cause of their problems. Other veterinary tests, such as x-rays, ultrasound, blood, urine and fecal samples, can also be conducted to screen for disease and illness.

TreatmentOf Anorexia In Pets

After discovering and treating the root cause of anorexia, the veterinarian will work on a safe, well-balanced diet for your pet. This involves increasing the fat or protein content of the food, enhancing the taste of the diet by adding flavored toppings and broths and, sometimes, heating the food at body temperature.

Intravenous (IV) feeding may be needed if the pet is extremely anorexic, particularly if they have not been eaten for three to five days or longer. Also, if anorexia is due to pain, your veterinarian can prescribe pain medications for your pet.