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Rapid Weight Loss in Your Pet May be a Sign of Illness

By February 25, 2019Pet Behavior, Pet Care, Pet Health
Rapid Weight Loss in Your Pet May be a Sign of Illness

While thin may be in, a sudden weight loss in your dog or cat could be cause for concern.  Unhealthy weight loss may be marked by weakness or lethargy, and your pet should be evaluated by a veterinarian. This could be a sign of a serious and underlying issue.

Unhealthy Weight Loss in Dogs and Cats Could Be Fatal.

While pets that are fit and trim do tend to live longer, unhealthy weight loss could be the result of a fatal condition. Some symptoms to be aware of include low-energy, coat or skin issues, lethargy, and low immunity. If not addressed and treated, unhealthy weight loss could slowly kill your beloved pet.

Some illnesses that can cause weight loss in dogs and cats include:


Could your pet be dehydrated? Around two-thirds of your pet is comprised of water; if they are dehydrated, they will lose weight.  Take your pet to emergency care as dehydration can cause organs to fail and ultimately lead to death.


Cancer robs the body of nutrition, causing weight loss. An early sign of cancer in pets is inexplicable or sudden weight loss.


Worms and parasites of all kinds can cause a multitude of problems, including weight loss. Intestinal worms are taking nutrition away from your pet, while worms in the lungs cause issues with blood flow. If your pet suffers with heartworm, which can be fatal, the kidneys and liver are at serious risk.  A fecal exam typically can target parasites and put you on the path to treatment.

Dental Issues

Just as it is painful for a human to chew with a bad tooth, pets with dental problems may lose weight because eating hurts. Don’t let pets with oral and dental issues go untreated; tooth decay and infection can spread to the rest of the body, including vital organs.

Infection and Disease

Take your pet to the veterinarian to be assessed for infection or disease. The weight loss could be a symptom of something worse, like a serious illness. For instance, pets with disease in their lungs, liver, heart, or kidneys will frequently lose weight. If your pet is being treated for an infection of some sort, they could be losing weight due to antibiotics which can cause nausea and impact your pet’s appetite.


Have there been any life changes or modifications to the home environment lately? Pets can become depressed, just like humans. Sometimes when a pet’s primary human dies, they can become depressed and lose weight.

Age is another reason your pet could have a decline in weight. If your dog or cat is a senior, they may be experiencing pain from arthritis or other age-related issues. They may also have lost some of their sense of smell and taste, which could significantly impact appetite.

Have your pet’s weight assessed by the best of the best: at CVETS, a brand-new, state-of-the-art Emergency Vet and Surgery center in Columbia, SC. Delaying treatment could be fatal; find out the underlying reason for your dog or cat’s sudden weight loss.