Why Your Old Dog is Losing Weight and Drinking Lots of Water
If you have an old dog then you know how important it is to keep an eye on if he’s losing weight. There are medical issues that could be causing your dog to both lose weight and also drink a lot of water. The quicker you are to figure out why these issues are occurring, the better chances at ensuring your old dog will live a better remainder of his life.
1. Your Dog May Have Diabetes
Diabetes can affect dogs just like it can humans, and a common symptom of diabetes is excessive thirst and weight loss. You may notice that the water bowl is empty much more often than before and that your dog is losing weight despite eating the same amount of food. An increase in appetite is also common as well as an increase in urination.
Senior dogs are more likely to develop diabetes and it’s most often diagnosed in dogs over the age of 5. Obesity, steroid use, and the presence of other medical conditions can make your dog more susceptible to developing diabetes. A blood test from the veterinarian could confirm diabetes and then an appropriate treatment plan will be given. Usually, you will have to give your dog insulin shots to help manage diabetes. A better diet plan and an exercise plan are also part of caring for a dog with diabetes.
2. Your Dog May Have Kidney Failure
Kidney failure is found in dogs just like it is people, and losing weight but still drinking a lot of water are signs of this condition. Chronic kidney disease affects older dogs and often times happens over a long period of time. Advanced dental disease is one of the main culprits of kidney failure, which happens due to the bacteria spreading to vital organs such as the kidneys, liver, and heart.
Depression, vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, increased drinking of water, chemical odor on breath, and pale gums are all signs of kidney disease and kidney failure. There is acute kidney disease and chronic kidney disease, so the treatment depends on the type and severity of the condition. Some treatments include urine producing drugs, vomiting control, gastrointestinal medications, anemia correction, high blood pressure management, blood electrolyte management, and dialysis.
3. Your Dog May Have Dental Problems
If your dog has dental problems, it’s likely he will begin to lose weight and drink more water. Your dog might have pain that you are unaware of that prevents him from eating his kibble or even chewing up wet food. Dental disease is more common in older dogs and it can progress rapidly to impact other organs.
Kidney disease and heart disease can occur as a result of unmanaged dental issues, especially if there is an infection that spreads throughout the body. Tartar, plaque, and foul odor are often seen in dogs with dental issues, so keep an eye out for these issues so that you can get them fixed before any long-term damage occurs.
How Can I Tell if My Dog Has Diabetes?
The biggest symptoms of diabetes will be that your dog is drinking a lot more water and also is urinating a lot more than before. Even if your dog has been eating normally, you may notice he is losing weight. Your dog also might have a bigger appetite which is due to the cells not getting enough glucose.
More advanced signs of diabetes include lack of appetite and energy, vomiting, and seeming depressed. A veterinarian is easily able to identify diabetes through blood tests and other methods. The sooner you have diabetes diagnosed, the better chances at preventing damage to the organs.