Anorexia is a term used to describe the situation in which a pet loses appetite. In these cases,it may be that the pet does not want or not can eat.
Before continuing to deepen the subject, it should be clarified that “appetite” and “hunger do not” mean the same. On the one hand, hunger is physiologically awakened by the body’s need for food; while appetite becomes psychological, it depends on memory and association.
Possible causes of lack of appetite in animals
There are many causes for anorexia, the most common are:
- Internal parasites
- Infection in the tongue
- Inflammatory ulcers
- Dental diseases
- Enlarged tonsils
- Presence of a foreign body.
- Infections that produce fever.
- Any disease of the stomach or intestines.
Other cases in which anorexia may occur:
- Stress caused by thunderous noises, such as fireworks, can cause anorexia.
- Territorial animals, such as cats, can stop eating when they feel intimidated by the presence of another pet in the home.
- Arthritic pets, postoperative pets or those in body pain may also suffer from anorexia.
How will the veterinarian act?
Depending on the symptoms that your pet presents, the veterinarian will consider carrying out a series of measures or others. However, you can expect it to do the following:
- Most veterinarians will start by asking some basic questions to understand the problem: When did you first notice the decrease in appetite or anorexia? How is your pet’s normal appetite?
- Next, he will make a physical evaluation of the animal.
- If you consider it, it will indicate that certain laboratory tests are performed. Blood, feces and urine tests may be useful to clear up suspicions of underlying diseases.
- He will order x-rays to be done. X-rays may be useful in these cases, especially when orthopedic pain, cancer or gastrointestinal disorders are suspected.
Anorexia in dogs
A temporary loss of appetite in your dog is not something to worry about immediately. Like us, dogs are sometimes not hungry.
Sometimes, a stressful situation or an upset stomach can be the culprits, but these things are often resolved in a day. If more than 48 hours pass and the dog still refuses to eat, then it must be taken to the veterinarian immediately.
The main concern arises when a dog that is often excited about his food loses interest in it. This sudden loss of appetite is an indicator that something is wrong.
Cats can also suffer from lack of appetite
Cats enjoy living their routine, and any change in it can make them lose their appetite. Traveling, moving or even welcoming a baby or a new pet to the family can cause stress. On many occasions, cats deal with stress by refusing to eat.
In any case, it is important to keep in mind, if your cat is not eating, which may be the result of an illness. Infections, pancreatitis, kidney failure, cancer and intestinal problems can cause a cat to stop eating.
Anorexia is particular in snakes
With the exception of some female snakes just before laying eggs and snakes subjected to planned hibernations, it is not normal for captive snakes to refuse to eat for more than one or two months. Many snakes from temperate climates tend to decrease their feeding rate in the fall as the light cycle decreases.
Often, Snakes temporarily stop eating when they are about to shed skin. It should be noted that, just before the molt, snakes cannot see very well and are usually irritable. However, once they change their skin, their appetite returns to normal.
However, if anorexia is allowed to continue for more than a few weeks, it can predispose the animal to infection. Anorexia is a sign that a snake does not feel safe enough in its cage.
Anorexia in rabbits can be serious
Generally, rabbits want to chew and eat anything within their reach. However, when suddenly they are apathetic and show no interest in food, this may be an emergency situation.
The fact that a dog or cat, or other pet, skips a meal may not be cause for alarm. However, when a rabbit does, there may be a problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
The most common reason for loss of appetite in rabbits is a problem called: gastrointestinal stasis. This occurs when peristalsis (the contractions in the intestines that push food through the gastrointestinal tract) decreases or stops. In rabbits, this is extremely dangerous and can cause death if not treated properly.
As you can see, there are animals that can suffer from anorexia at certain times, for various reasons. Therefore, it is important that you inform yourself well, depending on the pet you have, and know when it is time to go to the veterinarian for an immediate check-up.