What animals can suffer from anorexia?

08-07-2020
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Many pets can suffer from a partial or total lack of appetite. This is called “anorexia”. We tell you below the causes of this condition and the animals that are most likely to develop it.

Anorexia is a term used to describe the situation in which a pet loses its appetite. In this case, the animal may not want or be able to eat .

Before going deeper into the subject, it should be made clear that “appetite” and “hunger” do not mean the same thing. On the one hand, hunger is physiologically awakened by the body’s need for food; on the other hand, the appetite becomes psychological, because it depends on memory and association.

A dog who suffers from anorexia in front of his bowl

Possible causes of poor appetite in animals

The causes of anorexia are many, the most common being the following:

Other cases in which anorexia can occur

  • Stress caused by loud noises, such as fireworks, can cause anorexia.
  • Territorial animals, such as cats, may not eat when intimidated by the presence of another pet in the house.
  • Arthritis pets, post-operative pets, or those with body pain can also suffer from anorexia.

How will the veterinarian act?

Depending on your animal’s symptoms, your veterinarian will consider a series of measures. However, the following steps are most frequently followed:

  1. Most veterinarians will start by asking a few basic questions to understand the problem: when did you first notice a decrease in appetite or anorexia? What is your pet’s normal appetite ?
  2. He will then proceed to a physical evaluation of the animal.
  3. If considered, he will order certain laboratory tests. Blood, stool, and urine tests can be helpful in clarifying suspected underlying illnesses.
  4. He will order x-rays. X-rays can be helpful in these cases, especially when you suspect orthopedic pain, cancer, or gastrointestinal upset.
A dog at the vet due to anorexia

Anorexia in dogs

A temporary loss of appetite in your dog is not something you should be concerned about immediately. Like us , dogs are sometimes not hungry.

Sometimes a stressful situation or an upset stomach can be the cause, but these problems are often resolved within a day. If more than 48 hours have passed and the dog still refuses to eat, he should be taken to the veterinarian immediately .

The main problem arises when a dog often excited by his food loses interest in it. This sudden loss of appetite is an indicator that something is wrong.

Cats can also suffer from a lack of appetite

Cats like to live their routine , and any change in it can make them lose their appetite. Traveling, moving, or even welcoming a baby or new pet into the family can be stressful. Cats often face stress by refusing to eat.

In any case, it is important to keep in mind that if your cat does not eat, this can 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 spawning and planned hibernation snakes, it is not normal for captive snakes to refuse to feed for more than one or two months. Many snakes in temperate climates tend to decrease their feeding rate in the fall when the light cycle decreases.

Often the snakes temporarily stop eating when they are about to lose their skin . It should be noted that just before moulting, snakes do not see very well and are often irritable. However, once they have lost 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

In general, rabbits want to chew and eat anything within their reach. However, when they suddenly become listless and show no interest in food, it can be an emergency.

The fact that a dog or a cat, or another pet, skips a meal is not necessarily alarming. However, when a rabbit does, there can be a problem that needs to be resolved as quickly as possible.

The most common reason for loss of appetite in rabbits is a problem called gastrointestinal stasis. This happens when peristalsis (the contractions of the intestines that push food through the digestive tract) slows down or stops. In rabbits, this is extremely dangerous and can lead to death if proper treatment is not applied.

Final remark

As you can see, there are animals that can suffer from anorexia at certain times, for various reasons. It is therefore important that you are well informed, depending on the animal you have, and that you know when it is time to go to the vet for immediate control.

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